Wolfram von Eschenbach: Parzival

(2131 words)
  • Marion E. Gibbs (University of London)

The best known work of Wolfram von Eschenbach is his Parzival, and at almost 25,000 lines in rhyming couplets, it is also the most substantial. At its core is a courtly romance with many of the ingredients familiar to the audience of Chrétien de Troyes and, in Germany, Hartmann von Aue. The source for his tale of the hero's quest for the Grail is Chrétien's unfinished Perceval or Li Contes del Graal of about 1185, but Wolfram has extended and deepened the material and given to the traditional theme of the knight's quest the spiritual significance of man's search for his identity and his destiny. He has placed this story centrally in a multi-faceted work that stands alone in Middle High German literature and is …

Please log in to consult the article in its entirety. If you are not a subscriber, please click here to read about membership. All our articles have been written recently by experts in their field, more than 95% of them university professors.

Citation:
Gibbs, Marion E.. "Parzival". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 09 January 2004
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=13213, accessed 17 April 2014.]