Originally published in 1920, this book provides a theory of the dramatic origin of the older Eddic poems. Whilst the Eddic collection in general can be seen to contain a variety of unrelated elements, there is an essential unity to the older poems on native subjects. This can be seen in their special metre, their dialogic or monologic form, bearing traces of improvisation by one or more speakers, their stage directions, their stock scenes, their taste for disguised or theriomorphic characters, and their fixed traditional plots. In analysing this unity, the text brings forth observations on the relationship between the poems and the socio-cultural context in which they were written. This is a highly informative volume that will be of value to anyone with an interest in Old Norse literature and literary criticism.