Study Guide

Elder Edda Essay

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In the following essay, Conrad-O'Briain looks at the great romance of the Elder Edda in an effort to understand its neglect by writers and critics.

Seventeen of the lays in the Elder Edda concern the house of the Volsungs. Fifteen directly or indirectly point towards the Icelandic Volsung Saga, the Middle High German Nibelungenleid, and finally to Wagner's series of operas, Ring of the Nibelungs. They are part of one of the best case histories for the development of the epic from short lays or tales available. The other two "The First Lay of Helgi Hunding's Bane" and "The Second Lay of Helgi Hunding's Bane" could also be approached as points on a continuum of development, but a development that was somehow interrupted. The second lay has already begun the expansion. It adds incidents and treats them with greater complexity, even if it still relies, in true lay...

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This section contains 1,632 words
(approx. 5 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Elder Edda Study Guide
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Elder Edda from Epics for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.