A Companion to Gottfried von Strassburg's Tristan by Will Hasty

By Will Hasty

The legend of Tristan and Isolde -- the archetypal narrative concerning the turbulent results of all-consuming, passionate love -- accomplished its such a lot entire and profound rendering within the German poet Gottfried von Strassburg's verse romance Tristan (ca. 1200-1210). with his nice literary rival Wolfram von Eschenbach and his flexible predecessor Hartmann von Aue, Gottfried is taken into account considered one of 3 maximum poets produced by way of medieval Germany, and over the centuries his Tristan has misplaced none of its skill to draw with the wonderful thing about its poetry and to problem -- if no longer galvanize -- with its sympathetic depiction of adulterous love. The essays, written via a dozen top Gottfried experts in Europe and North the United States, supply definitive remedies of vital features of this most vital and difficult excessive medieval model of the Tristan legend. They study elements of Gottfried's extraordinary narrative artistry; the real connections among Gottfried's Tristan and the socio-cultural state of affairs within which it used to be composed; and the reception of Gottfried's difficult romance either by way of later poets within the center a long time and through 19th- and twentieth-century authors, composers, and artists -- relatively Richard Wagner. the quantity additionally includes new interpretations of vital figures, episodes, and components (Riwalin and Blanscheflur, Isolde of the White fingers, the affection Potion, the functionality of affection, the feminine figures) in Gottfried's progressive romance, which provocatively elevates a sexual, human like to a summum bonum. Will Hasty is Professor of German on the college of Florida. he's the editor of significant other to Wolfram's ''Parzival,'' (Camden condo, 1999).

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The humanism emanating from Italy in the early modern period was seen to mark the end of the Middle Ages and the beginning of a new epoch. In the meantime developments in historical research have suggested that humanism made a much earlier appearance. The critical discussion of humanism, which has increasingly shown itself to be a very complex historical phenomenon, was stimulated especially by Charles Haskins’s book The Renaissance of the 12th Century, but this discussion continues to the present day to be largely shaped by Jakob Burckhardt’s problematical conception of the Renaissance, and Gilson’s contribution on medieval humanism in 1926 could do very little to change the traditional view of humanism as a post-medieval development (see Gilson 171–96, Leclercq 69–113, and Southern 29–135).

During a great festival of Arthur’s court, messengers arrive from Rome bearing the demands of the Roman emperor, which are justified with a reference to Caesar’s conquests and legal rights connected to them. With Geoffrey of Monmouth we have a scene in the grand heroic epic style. A count jumps up, as might happen in the Rolandslied, and responds with uncompromising warlike utterances: finally the time of testing oneself with war and heroic deeds has returned! Arthur, who speaks next, continues in the same vein.

With Gottfried, the main female figure not only participates in this musical art, but even comes in unexpected ways to embody it. All of these aspects are immediately relevant to the kind of humanism Gottfried represents, the specific features of which we need to examine more closely. Gottfried’s portrayal doubtless opens up a domain of human experience that was not previously accessible to German narrative literature, and to this extent it is justifiable to speak, however generally, of humanism.

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