The Nibelungenlied

by

Anonymous

Teachers and parents! Struggling with distance learning? Our Teacher Edition on The Nibelungenlied can help.

The Nibelungenlied: Chapter 32 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
Bloedelin takes his squires to the quarters of Giselher’s vassal and Hagen’s brother, Dancwart. Dancwart welcomes him warmly, but Bloedelin replies that Hagen slew Siegfried and that he and many others must pay for this. He calls on the “wretched foreigners” to defend themselves.
It needs hardly be said that confronting and threatening foreign guests in their own quarters is a blatant breach of hospitality. It’s also clear that Kriemhild considers her own family to be implicated in Hagen’s deed, too—she has to expect that once Giselher’s vassal is involved, Giselher’s life is at risk, too. It’s another proof of just how far Kriemhild has gone.
Themes
Idealized and Deviant Womanhood Theme Icon
Civilization vs. Barbarism Theme Icon
Honor vs. Vengeance Theme Icon
Hospitality, Gifts, and Exchange Theme Icon
Dancwart immediately jumps up and cuts off Bloedelin’s head. Bloedelin’s men immediately spring at Dancwart’s, and bloody fighting ensues. Even before Etzel hears of it, 2,000 Huns slaughter Dancwart’s men. Dancwart survives the fray, fighting his way to the court to warn Hagen of his peril.
It’s worth remembering that the numbers given in medieval epics are meant to convey drama more than accuracy, but still, it’s clear that a large number of Kriemhild’s men are involved and more than willing to slaughter their guests on her command.
Themes
Idealized and Deviant Womanhood Theme Icon
Civilization vs. Barbarism Theme Icon
Honor vs. Vengeance Theme Icon
Hospitality, Gifts, and Exchange Theme Icon