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.This sophisticated concept of love is Wolfram’s contribution to eternal respect, love, and peace.Willehalm could have concluded with a happy ending reminiscent of fairy tales, but the older Wolfram sought a more realistic solution, one which recognized that life’s brief joys are often outweighed by horrendous tragedy and sadness.Despite obvious similarities, the significant differences between Parzival and Willehalm concern the appearance of this new reality, akin to the modern concept of existential angst.These differences are partly the result of the differences in the two distinct literary forms, the romance, which calls for a reliable reassuring order, and the battle epic, which draws attention to the fragility of human existence.In Willehalm, Wolfram demonstrates that courtly convention is precisely that: a formality that does not protect the individual from the vicissitudes of life.Here it becomes evident how far Wolfram has strayed from the Augustinian attitude.His literary creation, Willehalm, is no missionary zealot, possessed with exterminating the heathens.He is a defender of Christian values as embodied in the Holy Roman Empire, though his martial duties are as painful to him as his enforced separation from his wife, Gyburg.However, she, too, plays an important role in this new vision of Christian tolerance, for in this character Wolfram has created perhaps the most vivid portrait of a woman in all medieval literature.Though Gyburg, as a woman, has no recourse to such knightly philosophy, she represents in her person the admirable traits of humanity, piety, mercy, and love, which are a reflection of God’s grace.Like Willehalm, Gyburg is proclaimed a saint at the story’s conclusion.Out of a desire for symmetry or the aforementioned sentimentality, most scholars would find it especially fitting if Willehalm—this mature, noble, and modern work—were Wolfram’s last testament.His Parzival will continue to inspire readers with its idealism, but it is Willehalm which offers the most hope to humankind through its thoughtful and realistic portrayal of tolerance and universal love as antidotes to the eternal curses of prejudice, hate, and aggression.BIBLIOGRAPHYGibbs, Marion E., and Sidney M.Johnson.“Wolfram von Eschenbach.” In German Literature of the High Middle Ages, edited by Will Hasty.Rochester, N.Y.: Camden House, 2006.Briefly discusses what is known about Wolfram and contains sections on his best-known writings, as well as his songs.Groos, Arthur.Romancing the Grail: Genre, Science, and Quest in Wolfram’s “Parzival.” Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press, 1995.With roots in the critical theory of Russian scholar Mikhail Bakhtin, this study examines the narrative discourse of one of Wolfram’s major poems.Unfortunately, Groos is not especially successful in applying a critical theory that was designed to interpret modern novels to this major work of medieval poetry.Moreover, he does not pay enough attention to Wolfram’s other major works.Hasty, Will, ed.A Companion to Wolfram’s “Parzival.” Columbia, S.C.: Camden House, 1999.Essays provide analysis of the popular vernacular work as well as social and cultural context.Hughes, Jolyon Timothy.Wolfram von Eschenbach’s Criticism of “Minnedienst” in His Narrative Works.Lanham, Md.: University Press of America, 2009.Examines Parzival and Schionatulander and Sigune for Minnedienst (“love service”) and how it negatively affects female characters.Jones, Martin, and Timothy McFarland, eds.Wolfram’s “Willehalm”: Fifteen Essays.New York: Camden House, 2001.Jones and McFarland provide fifteen essays on Wolfram’s epic of the Christian-Muslim conflict, placing it in historical and literary context and elucidating the epic’s main themes, characters, and techniques.Murphy, G.Ronald.Gemstone of Paradise: The Holy Grail in Wolfram’s “Parzival.” New York: Oxford University Press, 2006.Murphy examines the Holy Grail, which Chrétien de Troyes had described as a golden serving dish set with jewels, large enough for a fish, and linked to Celtic traditions, and which Robert de Boron had described as a chalice and associated with Christianity.Wolfram instead asserts that the grail is a green stone, with special powers.Poag, James F.Wolfram von Eschenbach.New York: Twayne, 1972.A useful introduction with quotations in both English and German [ Pobierz całość w formacie PDF ]