Study Guide

Nibelungenlied Themes

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Chivalry

Chivalry was a code of behavior which evolved in the Middle Ages. It is associated with the tradition of mounted knights in armor, lord and ladies, feasts, jousts, and war games. In fact, "knights" arose from the development of new military techniques. The behavior of a knight both on the battlefield and in everyday life was expected to follow a certain set of rules— a moral, social and religious code of conduct. The notion of chivalry encouraged knights to foster the virtues of courage, honor, and service to their lord or kinsmen. Part of this code prescribed respectful treatment of women, who had few legal rights in the Middle Ages. For instance, in the Nibelungenlied, Siegfried's respectful treatment of Kriemhild and their closely-regulated courtship followed the code of chivalry. Chivalry is also associated with class, noble rank, and social standing as well as expertise on the battlefield...

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This section contains 2,053 words
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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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