The Challenge of the Medieval Text: Studies in Genre and Interpretation

By W. T. H. Jackson; Joan M. Ferrante et al. | Go to book overview

idea of converting the heart does, of course, recall Christian imagery, but the idea of God's sending the heart, now separated from the poet-persona, to a place where it will be well treated as it has been by the poetpersona is forced, since it implies that God will aid a rebellious heart in its struggle against Him. Yet the last three lines of the strophe imply that the poet has recognized the heart's difficulty in its constancy to the lady and would wish God to help it.

It is hard to understand the last strophe, normally attached to the poem, as a suitable conclusion. It shows none of the stylistic subtlety of its predecessors and it is hard not to agree that it should be regarded as a separate strophe. The use of imagery can sometimes be a clear indication of the integrity of a poem or its reverse.

Contrast imagery is an essential, perhaps the essential feature of Friedrich von Hausen's style. He uses the associations already firmly established by French poets to provide reinforcements of his statements about love but much more frequently he juxtaposes these images to provide contrasts, often ironical contrasts, which cause the audience to reassess their views and ideals of love. This type of contrast imagery is most effective when the standard verbal imagery of love is used in a Christian as well as in a secular sense, so that the whole problem of devotion to the lady, with its dubious or non-existent rewards must be compared with the certain rewards of the devotion of the Christian soul to God. The problem is deliberately left unresolved. The imagery leaves us with the impression that the lady may yet prove to be more powerful.


NOTE
1.
I have used the text of Des Minnesangs Frühling, Karl von Kraus, ed., although I have consulted both the text and the commentary of D. G. Mowatt, Friderich von Husen: Introduction, Text, Commentary, and Glossary ( Cambridge: University Press, 1971).

-48-

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The Challenge of the Medieval Text: Studies in Genre and Interpretation
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Introduction vii
  • Publications xiii
  • One Courtly Love 1
  • I - The De Amore of Andreas Capellanus and the Practice of Love at Court 3
  • Notes 12
  • 2 - Faith Unfaithful--The German Reaction to Courtly Love 14
  • Notes 33
  • Two - Lyric 35
  • 3 - Contrast Imagery in the Poems of Friedrich Von Hausen 37
  • Note 48
  • 4 - Persona and Audience in Two Medieval Love-Lyrics 49
  • Note 65
  • 5 - The Medieval Pastourelle as a Satirical Genre 66
  • Notes 79
  • 6 - The Politics of a Poet: The Archipoeta as Revealed by His Imagery 81
  • Notes 101
  • Three - Epic and Drama 103
  • 7 - The Epic Center as Structural Determinant in Medieval Narrative Poetry 105
  • Note 124
  • 8 - Time and Space in the Ludus De Antichristo 125
  • Notes 142
  • Pyrgopolinices Converted: The Boasting Soldier in Medieval German Literature 144
  • Notes 153
  • Four - Allegory and Romance 155
  • 10 - Allegory and Allegorization 157
  • Note 171
  • II - The Nature of Romance 172
  • Notes 182
  • 12 - Problems of Communication in the Romances of Chrétien De Troyes 185
  • Note 196
  • 13 - The Arthuricity of Marie De France 197
  • Notes 217
  • 14 - The Progress of Parzival and the Trees of Virtue and Vice 218
  • Notes 225
  • 15 - The Literary Views of Gottfried Von Strassburg 226
  • Notes 246
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