Höfisch-heroisch-Fragmentiert: körpergebundene Kommunikation im 'Nibelungenlied'
This study analyzes the different models of physicality together with the modes of non-verbal interaction related to these models in Nibelungenlied. In this epic, the bodies of the protagonists display characteristics which reflect two different models of physicality: the 'heroic' and the 'courtly' model. At the same time, the protagonists represent the values of these models. The non-verbal interaction of the protagonists differs from their verbal communication. The non-verbal interaction not only mirrors the sphere generated by verbal communication but also constitutes a separate stratum that actively influences the events that finally lead to the tragic end of Nibelungenlied.In order to provide a framework for differentiating between the courtly and the heroic bodies, this study not only examines the representation and interaction of the protagonists' bodies focusing on the significance of clothing and gestures, but also takes the bodies' creation and fashioning into consideration.According to medieval physiological discourses, the human body is non-distinct and malleable with regard to gender, character and destiny. Heroic and courtly literary discourses programmatically offer strategies for fashioning the distinct, aristocratic body. In Nibelungenlied, the courtly bodies of the Burgundians are fashioned through strict bodily discipline, whereas Siegfried's immense physicality marks him not only as a foreign element at court, but also undermines and even endangers the existence of the Burgundian courtly society. His death leads to a heroic re-fashioning of the courtly bodies that are not only destroyed in the end of the epic but fragmented along with the values they represent.The fall of both the courtly and heroic model and the fragmentation of the bodies in Nibelungenlied are neutralized in Diu Klage. Here, the body parts of the dead are gathered together and the corpses are literally re-constructed. This macabre moment in Diu Klage can be read as an attempt to redeem the individual protagonists and to preserve the values they embodied.
- German