These are cleverly employed in order to heighten the impression of its instability.
The 16th Aventiure, describing this hunt and the murder of Siegfried, is perhaps the most powerful scene in all medieval epic. To heighten the effect of the tragic climax the poet begins with a description of the hunting, and describes the high spirits of Siegfried, who captures a wild boar, rides back with it to camp, and there lets it loose to the great discomfiture of the cooks.
Its criminal employment is usually intended to heighten sexual desire, and has frequently led to death.
The basis of this growth is partly the story-telling instinct innate in all men, which loves to heighten an effect, sharpen a point or increase a contrast - the instinct which breathes in Icelandic sagas like that of Burnt Njal; partly the instinct of idolization, if it may be so called, which leads to the perversion into impossible greatness of an approved character, and has created, in this instance, the legendary figures of Peter the Hermit and Godfrey of Bouillon (qq.v.); partly the religious impulse, which counted nothing wonderful in a holy war, and imported miraculous elements even into the sober pages of the Gesta.
A similar series of works was projected and begun about the same time as that of Le Vaillant by Audebert and Vieillot, though the former, who was by profession a painter and illustrated the work, was already dead more than a year before the appearance of the two volumes, bearing date 2802, and entitled Oiseaux dores ou a reflets metalliques, the effect of the plates in which he sought to heighten by the lavish use of gilding.