For Short answer, Everyone is responsible for (a) basic terms and big ideas from Burkert, and (b) key characters and plot outline from Volsunga Saga. A) Key terms from Burkert: V. Propp--catalogued Russian folktales Quest pattern, all follow regular sequence of 'functions' of typical turns of action. Malinowski--explained myth and ritual as rooted in 'social charter'; myth explains how social institutions, such as marriage and lawcourts, came about. C. Levi-Strauss--pioneer of structuralism, explained Oedipus and Theban saga as a clash of 'binary oppositions' such as man/monster, kinship/ conflict. K. Lorenz--study animal 'ethology' with human implications: ritual is a pattern of behavior adapted for communication (no longer serving survival or reproduction) like the triumph greeting of geese adapted from attacking intruders. Burkert's 'biological perspective' proceeds on from Lorenz's premise, that human ritual evolves in the same way. In myth 'programs of action'--the sequence of figures and events-- have a powerful appeal because they are rooted in our evolution, parallel behavior that was once essential to survival. Key features are: 'crystalization'--"interplay of multiple structures" such as contrast and symmetry; and 'collective importance'-- myth is about something that matters to the community. Herms (from stone heap to square statue of Hermes-with-genitals) thus derive from primitive instinct for marking territory; phallic imagery originated in demonstration that 'males are at home,' to scare off intruders. Sacrifice ritual, both first-fruits (of harvest) and animal sacrifice originated in behavior to defuse the conflict that would otherwise arise over division of the food (don't fight; god gets his first). Scapegoat ritual involves driving out an animal victim or human outcast (pharmakos) to carry away disease or evil besetting the community. B. suggests this originates in giving up one (marginal) member of the group to save the others when threatened by predators or enemies. Much of the Heracles saga (and heroic quest stories like it) develop from the paleolithic quest of the shaman to find the lost herds, esp. to recover them from the Mistress of Beasts. Burkert challenges 'Frazerism'--the theory that much of the myth and ritual surrounding dying gods and the Great Goddesses who attend them (such as Inanna/Ishtar and Dumuzi/Tammuz)] find resurrection in the cycle of vegetation; such is Jacobsen's approach. B. points out, the most ancient versions have little to do with resurrection or the vegetation cycle (more with ecstatic ritual lament. B links this pairing of the Great goddess and doomed hunter with early hunting societies. B) Short outline of Volsunga Saga (central episodes (11-32): Sigmund weds Hjordis, but is slain by Lyngi Hjordis pregnant with Sigurd, is taken in by Alf and wed to him Regin is tutor to Sigurd,tells him of Fafnir's hoard and refashions for him the sword Gram Sigurd avenges his father by killing Lyngi and slays Fafnir (with Odin's help) then slays Regin, takes the hoard and 'Andvari's loom' and goes to find Brynhild for heroic wisdom Sigurd and Brynhild 'plight troth' At the house of Giuki, Sigurd is given a drug by queen Grimhild that makes him forget Brynhild Sigurd marries Gudrun (daughter of Giuki and Grimhild) Her brother Gunnar goes to win Brynhild, but Sigurd wins her for him, disguised as Gunnar (they exchange rings) Gudrun and Brynhild quarrel over which has the better man Gudrun insults Brynhild with the tale of her love with Sigurd Brynhild betrayed urges Gunnar to kill Sigurd; Gunnar and Hogni call on their younger brother Guttorm who murders Sigurd in his bed, and is slain himself. Brynhild is heartbroken, stabs herself and demands common pyre with Sigurd.