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

ward and upward had become part of the common stock of knowledge of any educated man. What I do believe is that Hugh set out clearly what Wolfram felt and what he strove to express in his romance, that is, a definite progression in man, during which only failure can result from the wrong direction of virtues, however great they are, and attainment of the highest good of charitas can come only from humilitas. This is the lesson which Parzival had to learn and the question of his failure to ask the question on his first visit to the Grail castle becomes academic. His failure to ask reflects a state of mind, a spiritual immaturity. Only when he has passed through the fire can he realize the meaning of charitas and hence of compassio. It is here that Wolfram rises far above his model Chrétien. For whatever the theological background of his ideas may have been, he sets out to show a spiritual pilgrimage in accordance with a definite plan of descent from innocence through half-understood instruction to despair and thence an ascent firmly based on humility to the glory of full participation in God's purpose and of charity to all men.


NOTES
1.
E.g., in Gregory Moralia and the pseudo-Aristotelian De Virtutibus et vitiis. See Morton Bloomfield, The Seven Deadly Sins (East Lansing: Michigan State University Press, 1952).
2.
Gregorius Magnus, Moralium Liber XXXI, cap. xlv, section 88 f (Migne, PL, 76: 621).
3.
Peter Wapnewski, Wolframs Panzival ( Heidelberg, 1955), pp. 15 ff.
4.
The reference here is to Heinrich Ostler, Die Psychologie des Hugo von Sankt Victor, Beiträge zur Geschichte der Philosophic des Mittelalters, ( Münster, 1909), 6: 117. Hugh's actual words are: "et dicitur aliquando cupiditas; quando scilicet ad mundum. est, quando vero ad Deum, est charitas." This distinction appears in the De sacramentis, 2: 13 ( PL, 176: 527 ff.) but is implicit in many other passages. Guillaume de Conches calls attention to the problem in the Moralium dogma philosophorum, in the section de cautione: cautio est distinguere a virtutibus virtutum speciem praeferentia ( John Holmberg, ed., Arbeten utgivna med understöd av Vilhelm Ekmans Universitetsfond, Uppsala, No. 37).

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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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