IMC 2005: Sessions

Session 217: Literary Images of Youth and Medieval Heroes, I

Monday 11 July 2005, 14.15-15.45

Sponsor:Oswald von Wolkenstein-Gesellschaft / Universität Kassel
Organiser:Sieglinde Hartmann, Oswald von Wolkenstein-Gesellschaft, Frankfurt am Main
Moderator/Chair:Siegrid Schmidt, Institut für Germanistik, Universität Salzburg
Paper 217-aWisdom's Youth: Old and Young Protagonists in Courtly Epics
(Language: English)
Claudia Brinker-von der Heyde, Fachbereich II, Germanistik, Universität Kassel
Index terms: Language and Literature - Comparative, Language and Literature - German
Paper 217-cImages of Childhood and Youth in Wolfram's Parzival
(Language: English)
Cordula Böcking-Politis, Department of Germanic Studies, Trinity College, University of Dublin
Index terms: Language and Literature - German
Abstract

Heroes of courtly epics seem to enjoy eternal youth. Except for Wolfram’s Parzival, heroes like Erec, Tristan or Wigalois therefore embody the paradoxical characteristics of a ‘puer senex’ since they possess both the beauty of youth and the wisdom of old age. Up to now, there has been no systematic research about the rise and spread of this literary ideal. Therefore, the two sessions intend to open up new approaches to understanding the courtly ideal of ‘immortal’ heroes in contrast to other medieval conceptions of cyclical life and also in contrast to images of mortal heroes in heroic epics.