Excerpt from The Dusk of the Gods (Götterdämmerung): A Dramatic Poem
As to the sources, we may remember that The Ring, as we have it in Wagner's dramas, is not taken from the ancient Nibelungen Lied, to which it bears some resemblance, but it is an independent composition. It... was derived by Wagner from various ancient songs and sagas, composed by many old bards, and Wagner wove it into one great harmonious story. Its main features, and also innumerable details, are from the old Norse and German myths, but there has been selection and rearrangement of the ma terial. The principal source of The Ring was the Volsunga Saga, a Scandinavian epic, pre served ih the Icelandic literature. Lesser parts of the story are taken from the Elder Edda and the Younger Edda, old Norse sagas. Other parts are taken from the Nibelungen Lied, the Eckenlied, and other Teutonic folklore.
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