Study Guide

Nibelungenlied Essay

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In the following essay, LeVert surveys both critical and popular reception of the German national epic and addresses questions of genre.

The Nibelungenlied is a work which has elicited both critical acclaim and literary frustration. W. A. Mueller in The Nibelungenlied Today suggests that the Nibelungenlied "reflected the Germanic concepts of strife, misfortune, death as fate ... which he must meet with courage and defiance to triumph over them," These issues do pervade the story, as does the characters' abilities to deal effectively with them. Many heroic deeds are performed in the name of honor. Friends even kill friends in the name of honor. But is the Nibelungenlied a story which celebrates honor and heroic deeds? As an epic, yes, it is. But the question deserves a more complex answer.

As an epic which encompasses strong elements of the romance genre, the Nibelungenlied has sometimes been accused of trying...

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This section contains 1,708 words
(approx. 5 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Nibelungenlied Study Guide
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Epics for Students
Nibelungenlied from Epics for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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