Germanic Folklore and Mythology

Answer all questions with at least 3-5 scentences. I have attached the readings where answers should mostly come from.

The Nibelungenlied Saga

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“How Gunther Won Brunhild” & “How Gunther and Hagen and Kriemhild were Slain”

  1. What aspects of the chivalric code do we see in the stories?
  2. What aspects of courtly love?
  3. What do the stories say/show about the roles and behavior for nobility? For knights?
  4. In what ways does “How Gunther Won Bruhild” combine the Christian and the old mythology/the “pagan?”
  5. How is the hero and the heroic quest shown in this story?
  6. What role does the idea of honor/dishonor play in “How Gunther and Hagen and Kriemhild were Slain?”
  7. How are women characterized in the stories? Men?

The Wild Hunt Myths

  1. How is Wod/Odin characterized in these myths? How does it differ from that found in the Norse mythology?
  2. What role does class play in these stories? How does that seem to determine the “outcome” of encountering the wild hunt?
  3. What do the myths show us about peasant life? The peasant view of nobility?
  4. In what ways do the stories mix the old/pagan and Christianity?

Grimm’s Fairy/Folk Tales

“The Blue Light”

  1. How does the story mirror a heroic quest? How does it differ from the traditional, heroic quest?
  2. What does the story illustrate about class?

“The Gifts of the Little People”

  1. In what ways does this story resemble others that you’ve read this semester?


  1. Compare and contrast the heroes and their quests across the different stories that contain them. How are they the same? How do they differ? What do you think accounts for those differences?
  2. What view of class do we get across the different stories? What about the stories helps determine who the original “writers” might have been and who the intended audience was?
  3. Disobedience occurs in many of the stories. How is disobedience treated when it occurs? What factors contribute to the level of punishment incurred for disobeying?
  4. There are several stories that contain magical beings—the wild man, the witch, and the dwarf. How are these magical beings characterized? What role do you think gender plays in this characterization?
  5. What are your own thoughts and opinions about the stories?

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