SMC226H1 Lecture Notes - Lecture 5: Wolfram Von Eschenbach, Hartmann Von Aue, Robert De Boron

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The Grail: The Celtic Arthurian background, translatio and invention
Middle High German the Matter of Britain in Germany
Hartmann von Aue started the trend of Arthur in Germany, 1170-1215
Strassbourg’s Tristan, 1210
Wolfram von Eschenbach, Parzival, 1200-1210
- Learn much more about his family
- Parzival is the German of Perceval
- Originally in Octosyllabic couplets, same as in French
- Wolfram compares the Welsh to his own people, the Bavarians, but Welsh are
denser; salt of the earth, and not necessarily well born but will blossom which is
exactly what Parzival does
- Love: when Parzival is reminded of his lady by the blood in the snow: fin’ amor,
Parzival is in pain due to the love
- Gahmuret: Par’s father, in love with the queen of France – fin ‘amor;
- Wolfram talks about himself a lot when the lady takes over Parzival’s mind, Wolf
claims that a lady is oppressing him? the poet is invested in the story because he is
himself an aristocratic professional knight, but Chretien is more of an aristocratic
o Wolf was likely illiterate which was common, so he would have dictated
mostly only clerics and priests were literate
o Wolf describes how he understands how hard it is to be a knight, that he
doesn’t have enough to eat (unlikely)
Wolf’s Gral procession
- 7 elements: Lance; candelabra; ivory trestles; precious stone; knives; Gral;
- neither here nor in Chretien is it certain what the gral actually is
- “Gral” is not a German word, so not as determined as what it is in this story, readers
would not know…
o it’s something that makes food appear at will.
o The Hermit knows more about it: the Gral is also called “lapsit exillis”, and it
is apparently a stone, may mean something like “has fallen from heaven” but
only vaguely. Don’t have a translation.
The Gral Question
- Chretien introduces the grail question, when the scary woman tells him he messed
- Wolf continues the question about the Grail, but Par realizes it as he leaves the
- The Grail family
o Robert de Boron: an Angel to Joseph, to Bron the fisherman, to his grandson
Petrus, who resides in Avalon
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