Tuesday, January 7, 2020

Women and Maturity in Eschenbachs Parzival Essays

Women and Maturity in Eschenbachs Parzival Through the course of Wolfram von Eschenbachs epic romance Parzival, it becomes abundantly clear that the main characters, Parzival and Gawan, must attain some level of maturity or growth before they will be able to persevere in their personal quests. While their paths to maturity involve a great deal of combat and contests of knightly skill, it is their encounters with noble women that truly redefine their characters. Parzival is undeniably a romance. It contains all the typical components of an early romance: extravagant characters, remote and exotic places, highly exciting and heroic events, passionate love, and mysterious or supernatural experiences. As a romance alone, indeed,†¦show more content†¦Herzeloyde, having lost her beloved husband Gahmuret to knightly combat, shelters Parzival in an attempt to prevent him from entering knighthood. This sheltering forms the core of Parzivals initial innocence. His mothers attempts to hide knighthood from him results in his also knowing little to nothing about society, proper social behavior, and the class structure he must conform to. Thus, while Parzivals decision to enter the knighthood after meeting with several knights would seem to be the key event in establishing the initial plot of the tale, his mothers sheltering is truly the underlying theme for the first step in Parzivals growth. The next woman Parzival encounters in his quest is the Lady Jechute. Whereas Herzeloyde provided the forum for establishing Parzivals innocence, Jechute is clearly the forum for displaying his innocence. Prior and during their encounter Parzivals garb and speech are largely representative of his innocence: his poor clothing and plain language presents him as little more than an unlearned peasant. When Parzival encounters Jechute alone in her tent, he misinterprets advice given to him by his mother and rather violently wrestles with her before ultimately stealing her ring. In the course of their encounter, albeit brief, we see that Parzivals innocence, in part, manifests itself in a literal

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