Study Guide

Nibelungenlied Essay

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In the following essay, Hatto offers reasoned speculations about the anonymous author of The Nibelungenlied.

Nothing is known about the poet beyond what we learn from his work. It was evidently a convention that the authors of heroic poems, which were written in a more traditional and popular style than the fashionable romances of the knights, should remain anonymous. No author of a heroic poem names himself during the earlier history of medieval German poetry. On th,e evidence of the Nibelungenlied alone we can only guess at the poet's status, and there is no agreed guess.

Some think that the poet may have been a mmisterialis, or 'unfree' knight bound to the service of a lord, that is a man of the same status as his great contemporaries Hartmann von Aue and Wolfram von Eschenbach. Others think of him as a menial cleric with a turn for...

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This section contains 1,557 words
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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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