“The Story of Sigurd the Volsung and the Fall of the Niblungs” was written by William Morris and is actually a tragic epic poem. It was published in 1876 and is based on the Volsunga Saga. The most important character is Sigmund, who is a Norse hero, and his son and his wife. Morris had been attracted to the Volsung legends since his childhood, and he had done much work with these legends earlier, but even Morris himself said that “The Story of Sigurd the Volsung and the Fall of the Niblungs” was his favorite work.
The epic has four parts, divided into Book 1: Sigmund, Book 2: Regin, Book 3: Brynhild, and Book 4: Gudrun. Sigmund is the hero, Regin is a clever old man who raised Sigurd, Brynhild is a maiden who is being punished for being disobedient, and Gudrun is the Niblung king’s daughter. Each part contains many murders and deaths, but as a whole “The Story of Sigurd the Volsung and the Fall of the Niblungs” explores and develops the themes of revenge, family, honor and dignity, and maturity.