13th century German literature is fascinated by illegitimate love. Repeatedly, the hero has to overcome danger in order to see his lover; he often proves his cunning through masking himself. These masks vary but one of the more successful ones is the mask of a fool. This paper will enquire German medieval literature about heroes using disability to mask and hide themselves. It will look at heroes who open up new rooms of action through disability and how disability might enable them.
Wolfram von Eschenbach is regarded as a breaker of rules – treating in surprising ways subjects such as doubt, tolerance, and the human relationship with God. His stylistic features are also problematic, not following our ideas of proper medieval style. Examining Wolfram’s work carefully can be both surprising and perplexing. His themes can surprise an audience expecting dichotomies and simple arguments, presenting ideas which intrigue a modern audience as they must have intrigued his contemporaries. In like manner, his unique style, though difficult, bears its own logic, perhaps hidden from us yet visible to his medieval audience.
In the Middle Ages holding council was a daily occurrence as well as a central part of life. Nevertheless, the course, forms, and rules of royal-princely consultations have not been scrutinised yet. In the course of such an analysis selected works of courtly epic poetry play a decisive role, for their descriptions of royal consilia are far more specific, elaborate and vivid than the accounts given by contemporary historians. This paper analyses narrative strategies employed by 12th century authors to delineate the king’s council – while also investigating the correlation between the literary representation of holding council and the factual circumstances of the outside world’s political practice.