Big things are expected of Prince Sigurd. His father died before he was born, but left him the pieces of a hero’s sword. His mother believes that he will grow up into one of the greatest heros of all times. That’s called “pressure”. His first quest is set by his Tutor. He has to kill a dragon.


Sigurd was the son of a King. That’s a good start in life, but before he was even born, his father was killed in a war. That was not so good. The night after the dreadful battle, the King’s wife, crept over the field where the poor soldiers lay. By the moonlight, she collected the shattered pieces of the king’s old sword and she kept them safely. You see, it was a magic sword, and the king had told her that it would belong to their son, and that he would grow up into one of the greatest heroes of all time.

Sigurd’s mother went to live with another King, and I think she married him. This new King looked after her, and her son, very well. But life was not easy for young Sigurd. He knew that his mother expected a lot of him. It is one thing to have a go at being a hero, and quite another when everyone is waiting for you to grow up into the greatest hero who ever lived. That’s called Pressure.

Big things are expected of Prince Sigurd. His father died before he was born, but left him the pieces of a hero’s sword. His mother believes that he will grow up into one of the greatest heros of all times. That’s called “pressure”. His first quest is set by his Tutor. He has to kill a dragon.


Sigurd was the son of a King. That’s a good start in life, but before he was even born, his father was killed in a war. That was not so good. The night after the dreadful battle, the King’s wife, crept over the field where the poor soldiers lay. By the moonlight, she collected the shattered pieces of the king’s old sword and she kept them safely. You see, it was a magic sword, and the king had told her that it would belong to their son, and that he would grow up into one of the greatest heroes of all time.

Sigurd’s mother went to live with another King, and I think she married him. This new King looked after her, and her son, very well. But life was not easy for young Sigurd. He knew that his mother expected a lot of him. It is one thing to have a go at being a hero, and quite another when everyone is waiting for you to grow up into the greatest hero who ever lived. That’s called Pressure.

I had it in my head to write an epic of it, but though I still hanker after it, I see clearly it would be foolish, for no verse could render the best parts of it, and it would only be a flatter and tamer version of a thing already existing. [15]

Morris visited Iceland in 1871 and 1873. Also in 1873 he was aware that Richard Wagner was writing Der Ring des Nibelungen , and wrote:

I look upon it as nothing short of desecration to bring such a tremendous and world-wide subject under the gaslights of an opera: the most rococo and degraded of all forms of art – the idea of a sandy-haired German tenor tweedledeeing over the unspeakable woes of Sigurd, which even the simplest words are not typical enough to express! [16]


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