Hartmann von Aue: Der arme Heinrich [Poor Henry]

(2293 words)
  • William McDonald (University of Virginia)

Der arme Heinrich (Poor Henry) is a vernacular tale of some 1,520 rhymed couplets by Hartmann von Aue, a German knight and author of Middle High German narrative poems (Erec, Iwein, Gregorius), as well as lyric poetry. The apex of the Attic style in German medieval verse, Der arme Heinrich possesses a purity and simplicity of expression that set the standard for Hartmann’s courtly contemporaries and successors. Adaptations of the story appeared as late as the twentieth century in Germany, in the play Der arme Heinrich by Gerhart Hauptmann (1902). In the English-speaking world, two nineteenth-century adaptations deserve mention: the poem The Golden Legend by Henry Wadsworth …

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McDonald, William . "Der arme Heinrich". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 31 July 2013
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=13999, accessed 27 November 2015.]