Women In The Nibelungenlied

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Sexual Abuse and Maltreatment Represented in the Nibelungenlied In the Nibelungenlied, there is a sharp contrast between the roles of men and women, which demonstrates the treatment of both groups in society. Women are treated as objects who are passive and obedient, and their identity is based on their male partner’s idea of self and social status. Women have no individuality and this causes them to conform to the rigged perceptions of society and the expectations set forth by their male partners. In the Nibelungenlied text, there is a vicious cycle of men abusing women and the rare case of women abusing men. Overall, the Nibelungenlied reveals that sexual abuse and misconduct is apparent throughout the text, therefore physical and emotional …show more content…
It is apparent in the direct quote “My body hath smarted for it, that ever I troubled her with my words. Siegfried, the good knight hath seen to that” (NL 68). This quote unmasks the physical assault of Kriemhild by Siegfried, which is ironic considering how Siegfried is titled the “ideal knight” who upholds love before the ideals of the court. Due to Kriemhild having a lose tongue, which is considered unacceptable for women of the Nibelunglied story, Siegfried beat Kriemhild and demonstrated his male superiority over her. Men believed it was justifiable to beat woman and cause them physical harm in order to exert their power, and Siegfried no matter how much he adored Kriemhild, she was no exception to the rule. Apparently, love has no precedent over the male authoritative rule and the female subservient …show more content…
Women became pawns for male satisfaction, and if they disobeyed the male authority imposed on them, they face different forms of abuse. Even though, Brunhilde and Kriemhilde were two different women with different social status, they were both physically, mentally, and sexually abused. Their different social statuses became of no importance under the hands of male control. Therefore, women suffered abuse constantly due to their biological makeup, and men continued to exert their dominance over women for decades

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