Study Guide

Nibelungenlied Criticism

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The Nibelungenlied was one of the most popular poems of its age, and is probably the best-known Germanic poem from the Middle Ages. Most literary analysis of the poem began after 1800, and soon Germany embraced the poem as a work of nationalism, often comparing it with Homer's Iliad. Essentially, commentary on the Nibelungenlied falls into three categories: the study of source-texts; socio-historical studies; and literary interpretations.

Much of the critical work on the Nibelungenlied since the eighteenth century has been done in German, but English scholarship has appeared as well. Some twentieth-century scholars have analyzed the sources of the poem, concentrating on the author's blend of historical fact, myth, and legend. Other scholars have done more literary analyses of the work, concentrating on characterization, theme and structure. According to T. M. Anderssons's A Preface to the Nibelungenlied, critical work in Germany on the Nibelungenlied from about 1902 to 1941 focused...

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This section contains 768 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Nibelungenlied Study Guide
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Nibelungenlied from Epics for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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