The Queens’ Quarrel. Highlights on the Depiction of Kriemhild and Brunhild in Arts and Literature
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“The song of the Nibelungs” depiction Kriemhild Brunhild body illustrations image Nibelungs picture

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Grimm, G. (2021). The Queens’ Quarrel. Highlights on the Depiction of Kriemhild and Brunhild in Arts and Literature. Corpus Mundi, 2(1), 68-122.


The main heroines of the German heroic epic "The Song of the Nibelungs" are the Burgundian princess Kriemhild, who became the wife of the protagonist Siegfried, and the Icelandic heroic maiden Brunhild, whose hand Siegfried wins in a fierce battle in order to give Brunhild over to the Burgundian king in exchange for his lover’s hand. Jealousy, a sharp dispute about social status and personal hostility between the two heroines result in a fierce quarrel at the gate of the Worms Cathedral. In this key scene, one heroine blames the other for the alleged premarital loss of virginity and shows her rival a belt as an evidence. The acute, tense conflict of characters and wills, outlined in this scene, has long been of interest to writers and artists. The scene of Queens’ Quarrel has become the subject of numerous works of art. This article examines the peculiarities of female characters’ visualization: how their bodies, clothes, appearance are depicted in works of literature, fine arts and cinema. The article is richly provided with illustrations and figurative examples.
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