The portrayal of zorn in Hartmann von Aue's Arthurian Romances and in Wolfram von Eschenbach's Parzival
This thesis examines the portrayal of zorn in Hartmann von Aue’s Erec and Iwein, and in Wolfram von Eschenbach’s Parzival. The opening chapter provides an insight into the meaning of zorn and examines the physical signs, symptoms, and symbols of anger, as well as its theological, moral, and social significance in the Middle Ages. Chapter 2 is devoted to the analysis of zorn in Erec, then in Iwein. Comparison of the two shows how Hartmann’s attitude to anger changes: whereas, in Erec, the hero’s anger can be seen in a positive light, in Iwein, anger is almost always problematic, particularly when associated with female characters. Chapter 3 examines zorn in Parzival under four main headings: the stories of Gahmuret, Parzival, Gawan, and the Narrator. Many of the issues surrounding zorn that surface in the main body of the work are foreshadowed in Books I and II. Anger is not a major issue for Gahmuret, who himself falls prey to a cycle of violence that can be seen to extend forward into the lifetime of his son. Whilst Parzival must learn to control his zorn and appreciate its proper use, Gawan is shown to be exemplary in this respect and to exhibit the qualities of patientia, restraint, and discretion essential to controlling zorn. The zorn of the narrator, which can be glimpsed at various points in the narrative, hints at Wolfram’s personal concern with this emotion, particularly in the context of minne. Finally, a comparison between the two authors shows that Hartmann’s focus is relatively narrow by comparison with Wolfram’s.