Volsunga Saga


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Volsunga Saga

cycle of Scandinavian legends, major source of Niebelungenlied. [Scand. Lit.: Benét, 1064]
See: Epic
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In his "Lecture on Dragons," presented to an audience of children at the University Museum in Oxford, on 1 January 1938, (shortly after the publication of The Hobbit) besides discussing the dragon fight in Beowulf and the fight between Sigurd and Fafnir in the Volsunga Saga, Tolkien also related the legend of Thor and the Midgard Serpent, and briefly referred "to Chinese dragons, to Merlin and the red and white dragons in Geoffrey of Monmouth's History of the Kings of Britain, and to St.
Similarly, in the Saga of Ragnar Lodbrokk ('Shaggy-Breeks'), which follows the Volsunga Saga in the unique surviving manuscript containing both, the hero boiled his clothes in pitch and rolled in sand before doing battle with the dragon.
15) Although in the Volsunga Saga Sigurd eats the heart of Fafnir, thereby acquiring magical knowledge, only in Farmer Giles of Ham (22-23, 27) and Roverandom (33) is dragon's tail considered a delicacy.
At this point, a brief comparison of the Volsunga Saga and the Nibelungenlied is warranted, as it contains the seeds of the historical development that Tolkien's narrative represents.
The characters of the Volsunga Saga are at times very alien to us.
In his third year at Oxford Tolkien was awarded the Skeat Prize for English, and spent his five pounds prize money on three of Morris's works: The Life and Death of Jason, Morris's translation of The Volsunga Saga, and The House of the Wolfings (Carpenter 69).
Morris's translation of The Volsunga Saga led Tolkien into the world where he was to spend most of his academic life: he was to specialize, as undergraduate and later as professor, in Anglo-Saxon and Middle English and he had a passion for the Icelandic sagas.