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It is interesting that these strong women end up with well second rate heroes well I would not really consider Gunther as a hero at all. Theseus does not defeat her in battle but he tricks her into boarding his ship and kidnaps her. Gender in "Das Nibelungenlied" or Why do heroes always have to kill people? Violence is generally connected to gender. Most often it is the male characters who are violent whereas the female characters are mainly their victims.

Masculinity is defined by how violent a man is, and the degree to which a man is masculine itself decides whether he is powerful or considered attractive by women. Siegfried's attractiveness is not just based on his looks but mainly by his heroic deeds: That is why both Kriemhild and Brunhild are attracted to him, instead of Gunther who is a very weak king. He is just not masculine enough. Hagen von Tronje, however, is also a very strong man, a fighter to which Brunhild is more attracted to him than to her own husband.

The role of female characters in "Das Nibelungenlied" is even more interesting, I think. They most often are objectified: First, a women is the possession of her family brothers, father, uncles etc. Of course the hero can treat what belongs to him however he pleases.

Therefore, when is wife is disobedient e. Yet, Brunhild seems to be exempt from that tradition at first. She is living isolated in Iceland, and is almost equal to a male. Her strength and her ability to fight and compete against most men has given her freedom and independence. This only ends when Siegfried deceives her and defeats her with unfair means. Then she suddenly has to comply to rules for females because she has shown weakness which is the only thing a man is never allowed to show. Her "punishment" is the marriage to Gunther. But even there she tries to inhabit the male role because she refuses to sleep with him.

Only when Siegfried wrestles her down so that Gunther can have sex with her, she is finally giving in and she is submissive from then on. Consequently, masculinity and therefore, violence determines every relationship in "Das Nibelungenlied". How strong and violent a man is, determines his rank in the social hierarchy of the males, it also determines who he is going to marry, and if this marriage is successful, i.

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The heroic Siegfried slaying the dragon. This episode within "The Song of the Cid" is particularly dramatic and tragic.


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The daughters of El Cid have almost been beaten to death by their husbands because they felt insulted by the Cid. This painting stresses all the cruelty with which both of the girls have been treated. They were completely innocent and unsuspicious about what was going to happen to them. However, one question comes up for me: Why would the father not make sure that his daughters marry decent men?

Cid is, of course, perfectly loyal and submissive to the king. He proves that by letting him decide about his daughters' marriages. The king picks two men who are not particularly the ultimate dream of future in-laws: However, in the king's defense: Who is really to blame here is the Cid himself. He marries his daughters off to two guys who are terrified like little children when a lion escapes from its cage.

They obviously are NOT capable of taking care of his daughters. But the Cid does not really seem to realize this or he just doesn't care what happens to his two girls.

Der Streit Der Koniginnen Im Nibelungenlied (German, Paperback)

Because quite frankly, he doesn't even have a relationship with the two of them for his family were for the longest time his men. He hasn't seen his daughters grow up and at the same time he hasn't spent a whole lot of time with Jimena either. So is it unfair to ask if he even sees any of them as his most precious treasure? The only thing that really is important to him is his loyalty to the king and his reputation that he spends years on to get back again.

Even after the king has made a bad decision the first time, the Cid still lets him pick the new husbands for his daughters. This certainly proves that he is loyal and obedient to the king but what does this tell us about how much he values his daughthers. The painting of the scene perfectly shows how much the daughters have to suffer for something that is not even their fault. They are simply the easier target than their strong father, and therefore, they are abused and beaten up because their father has ridiculed their husbands which they cannot tolerate since they are proud men.

Heroes , The Song of the Cid , Thoughts. The Hero and His Men or When Friends become Family El Cid is very similar to all the other epic heroes in the sense that he is too separated from his family for an immense amount of time. He and Jimena have to part already at the beginning of of the epic.

Therefore, the Cid spends most of his time with his closest companions and his whole entourage. His family only plays a marginal role in his life. Although he is trying to gain his good reputation back for his wife too, he seems to do it mainly for himself because he cannot live in dishonor. So he deliberately chooses a life without his wife. Odysseus also spends years away from his wife.

But he obviously suffers. He can hardly stand being away from Penelope and he even breaks out crying in one scene. Indeed, he has female companions throughout his journey Circe and Calypso , with whom he even has sex but it is only because he has to stay alive somehow, and cheating on Penelope is kind of the only way to do it.

He does not enjoy himself while he is away. His only companions are his crew but he even loses them. Gilgamesh as another example does not really have a family to begin with apart from his mother that is. He does not have a romantic interest but he sleeps with all the virgins in town to prove that he is the strongest and basically just because HE CAN. His closest companion, and thus, something like a family is Enkidu. They are extremely close, do everything together, and Gilgamesh beasically dotes on him. Consequently, part of being a hero is living without your family for some time and being surrounded by a bunch of guys which is of course always only a Platonic relationship.

So, if you go on one of your epic journeys you can either be a loner such as Siegfried or you can take all your guy friends and spend a couple of years away from your wife only with them did they not realize that this even SOUNDS wrong??? So the question is if some epic heroes have a homosexual side to them. Slaying People instead of Monsters or What makes the Cid special.

There are no dragons nor cyclopes nor sea monsters. Yet, the Cid has something to fight: The epic is very realistic in terms of the opponents the hero has to fight. The Cid defines his heroism by fighting battles against the Moors and by killing some of them but he also shows mercy and just takes all their money and takes over the cities they occupy.

Therefore, the Cid is a new kind of hero. He does not have to slay monsters, and yet, he is still noble, strong and heroic. In "Das Nibelungenlied" these chivalrous characteristics are also evident ere, triuwe, etc. Nevertheless, the Cid also defines his masculinity by violence.

Apparently, violence is a vital part of being a hero, if not the most unifying characteristic of an epic hero. The degrees to which the hero is violent certainly varies and also the ways in which he is violent but never the fact that he has to commit an act of violence to be heroic. No one gains fame by just being cunning and clever; the hero also has to be strong. The Cid fighting with a Moor. In many epics, the hero has to struggle with the question of who he can trust. In "The Song of the Cid", the Cid entrusts his daughters to the king who are very dear to him.

They function as his weak spot. Nevertheless, he lets the king decide who they marry and does not question his choice at all. The king makes a very poor choice and the daughter's of the Cid end up half dead on the side of a road abandoned and beaten by they treacherous husbands. Yet, even when that happens, the Cid does not blame the king for choosing such unworthy husbands. He even lets the king decide about the same issue for a second time. His loyalty almost seems to be blind faith in his leader.

In "Das Nibelungenlied", Siegfried tells his wife Kriemhild about his vulnerable spot because he is certain that she is never going to tell anybody about this. Kriemhild on the other hand trusts her uncle Hagen, when he is asking her about Siegfried's weak spot. She is naive and tells him about the place between his shoulders where Siegfried can be wounded. Hagen lets her mark the place, attacks Siegfried from behind and kills him. Almost every single epic hero has a weak spot: Achilles has his heel and Siegfried the spot between his shoulders. Arguably, the daughters are the Cid's vulnerable spot and Gilgamesh's is certainly Enkidu.

It is like Superman and the Kryptonite. The only way of wounding the hero or of defeating him is attack his weak spot. Therefore, the hero has a tough decision to make. He either has to keep his vulnerability secret or he has to tell their secret to a trustworthy person. But if he trusts somebody he can, of course, be betrayed. The Daughters of the Cid. Week 7 - Arrogance Posted by sBrandenburg Labels: Epic themes , Heroes , The Odyssey , Thoughts.

The Arrogance of the Epic Hero or You kinda asked for that It is a human flaw that we become increasingly arrogant the more we achieve. After proving that they are strong and heroic for a couple of times, epic heroes become vain and to bold. They just start doing reckless things because they think that t hey can get away with stuff like that. A good example for this kind of behavior is Odysseus. The hero of the Trojan War who came up with the brilliant Trojan horse idea, is struggling to get back into his home country Ithaca and lands on this island which is inhabited by Polyphemus, a cyclops and Poseidon's SON.

Knowing how vengeful ancient Greek gods can be you should be really alarmed already. But what is our brilliant hero doing? He tricks the cyclops so that he and his men can escape from the cave. He is more than just successful in doing so. Polyphemus ends up blind and screams that Nobody has hurt him. But then suddenly, as Odysseus is reaching his ship, he starts bragging and gives away his name. If that isn't arrogant, then I don't know what is. So it is not surprising that Poseidon eventually takes revenge for his son.

Another smart guy is Gilgamesh. First off, he starts out as this very arrogant guy who sleeps with every virgin in town because he is the most powerful man. This goes on until Enkidu challenges him and tells him that he disapproves of his practice. The second time Gilgamesh proves his hubris is when he kills Humbaba the monster who was put in the Cedar Forest by the gods to terrify men.

He just disregards the gods will. On top of that, he proves his arrogance when Ishtar tries to make him her lover. He does not just reject her but he humiliates her. But all of these deeds can, of course, not go unpunished. Therefore, his best friend Enkidu has to die. Thus, arrogance is certainly another characteristic of the epic hero. However, after the hero is punished for his arrogant behavior, he grows and changes that.

So this is part of the hero becoming mature. In many cases, heroes in the epic are tempted. Most often it seems that temptation is presented as a sexual offering and the seductresses are most often goddesses or mythical creatures. However, it is unclear whether it is better to pass or fail these tests because not giving in to a goddess' advances almost always seems to end badly.

Particularly in the Odyssey, we meet a bunch of seductresses. They appear in very different shapes: First, he gives in to the nymph Calypso and then he becomes the lover of the enchantress Circe. He cannot resist the temptation.


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But it seems to be the wiser decision to make because he gains a lot of advantages out of being their lover. Both help him to go on with his journey and give him advice. The only time he does resist, he is tied to a ship's mast and this is probably for the better. He only does not jump into the water when he hear the song of the Sirens because he is prevented from doing so.

Therefore, Odysseus proves that he can resist but that most often it is the wiser decision to give in. In contrast to Odysseus, Gilgamesh is able to withstand the sexual advances of the goddess that is tempting him: Instead of giving in to her offers, he humiliates her. However, his arrogant rejection of her wish as well as the fact that he ridicules her, have terrible consequences for him. He is punished with the loss of Enkidu. Ishtar takes revenge on him. So either way, it seems to be unfortunate if you have to deal with Ishtar for men always end up miserable after dealing with her.

Thus, in comparison it seems to be the wiser decision to give in to temptation, i. Giving in to a temptation is not necessarily a weakness of the hero but can also show his strength: Odysseus for instance does not like being Calypsos lover but he endures that because it is what he has to do.

And he benefits from that in the end because she helps him to go home. Week 5 - Dreams Posted by sBrandenburg Labels: Epic themes , The Odyssey , Thoughts. Dreams and Omens or Mr. Sandman, Bring Me a Dream. Foreshadowing is somehow vital to the epic. The reader knows how the story is going to end mostly from the beginning on.

This knowledge is either provided by a prolog, and invocation or directly through the story. If the story gives away the ending, then this happens mostly through dreams that one of the protagonists has. In "The Epic of Gilgamesh", on their journey to the Cedar Forest Gilgamesh and Enkidu are always performing a dream ritual before they are going to sleep.

Gilgamesh is having five horrible dreams about falling mountains, thunderstorms, wild bulls, and a thunderbird that breathes fire. However, he is unable to understand what these dreams mean. Enkidu is interpreting them, as a good sign and he is certain that they are going to defeat Humbaba. In the Odyssey, the future is given away by omens sent by the gods.

Not everybody, however, can interpret them. Apparently, you have to be skilled in order to be able to read these signs. Helen for instance reads an eagle carrying a goose stolen from a pen swoops down beside him as an omen that Odysseus is about to swoop down on his home and exact revenge on the suitors.

Also there is the scene where the prophet has the vision about the walls of the palace that will be dripping in the blood of the suitors. In "Das Nibelungenlied", Kriemhild has a nightmare about her falcon that is killed by two eagles. Als er Kriemhild, Gunthers Schwester, erblickt, verliebt er sich in sie.

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When he sees Kriemhild, Gunther's sister, he falls in love with her. At the same time, messengers bring the message to King Gunther, that the Saxons have invaded the Burgundy country. Siegfried immediately declares his willingness, with Hagen and the other knights to rush against King Gunther's enemy. In Worms, the Saxon king then swears on his sword eternal fidelity to the king of Burgundy.

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Very old Germanic myths The original source for the story was the Middle High German epic poem Das Nibelungenlied , likely written around the year This in turn was based on motifs from even older Germanic myths. Although a new screenplay was written by Harald G. Petersson , Ladislas Fodor and director Harald Reinl , in many respects it followed the earlier version fairly closely.

In the late s, German producer Artur Brauner had wanted Fritz Lang to remake his own silent film Die Nibelungen and had already informed the press that the project would go ahead. However, in the fall of , Lang energetically resisted this proposal, pointing out that it could be interpreted as Lang "not having anything new to say and being forced to fall back on successes of the past". It took another six years for Brauner to find the right director for his Nibelungen project.

Harald Reinl had been the commercially most successful director of the s and s in Germany. Last of the Renegades - that convinced Brauner that Reinl was the right man for the job. Brauner wanted a disciplined worker who would respect budgets even without constant direct control by the producer, who could deal with large numbers of extras and who had experience shooting in Yugoslavia. Reinl also was fond of impressive landscape shots and, in conjunction with a symphonic music score, these were supposed to add gravitas to the story.

Alberich, loyal to the king of Xanten, and Hagen, the faithful knight of king Gunther, suspect the coming disaster. Then Hagen swears with upraised sword to kill anyone who violates the honour of his king. From jealousy plagued Kriemhild tells the Queen of Burgundy that not her brother Gunther but Siegfried has defeated Brunhild. As proof, she points Brunhild the magic belt. The queens separate in anger and hatred. Both parts were shot back-to-back between 20 April and 20 October Locations included what was then Yugoslavia today's Serbia: To save on costs, the large-scale sets the court at Worms and Etzel's Hall were constructed in the Belgrad studios.

However, this was the limit of the cooperation with Avala and the total cost of Die Nibelungen reportedly came to 8 million DM, which would have made it the most expensive post-war film in West Germany at the time.

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Uwe Beyer , an olympic hammer thrower Bronze medalist in was selected to play Siegfried. He had no prior acting experience and was dubbed by Thomas Danneberg in postproduction. Kriemhilds Rache followed on 16 February Both were released by Constantin Film. The films were very successful commercially. Siegfried was awarded the 'Goldene Leinwand' Golden Screen in for more than 3 million tickets sold within 18 months in West Germany. Critics were unimpressed, however.

In , the film was re-released as a single film of minutes length, also titled Die Nibelungen. It was released again in under the title Das Schwert der Nibelungen. He hates Siegfried because of the unrest and dispute he has brought to the court of Burgundy. Hagen persuades Kriemhild that he wants to protect Siegfried from any danger.