Arthurian comedy: The simpleton-hero in sir Perceval of Galles

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Abstract

The simpleton-hero blunders his way into the literary world of Arthurian romance in the comic first episodes of Chrétien’s Conte del Graal,1 which present the adventures, and misadventures, of a country bumpkin’s first encounter with chivalry. In Chrétien’s poem, as in the other continental versions that succeed it,2 the rusticity of the hero is a characteristic limited to the enfances section and gradually discarded as he is initiated into and absorbed by the courtly society which is his proper milieu. In the English Sir Perceval of Galles,3 however, the hero retains characteristics of the country fellow from beginning to end; though he makes a triumphant excursion into the world of chivalry, he then seeks the forest again, resuming his childhood identity and his goatskin garments. His rusticity, which is not superseded, seems to be his defining trait.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationPerceval/Parzival
Subtitle of host publicationA Casebook
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Pages237-252
Number of pages16
ISBN (Electronic)9781136509933
ISBN (Print)0815307810, 9780815307815
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2012

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All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Arts and Humanities(all)

Cite this

Eckhardt, C. D. (2012). Arthurian comedy: The simpleton-hero in sir Perceval of Galles. In Perceval/Parzival: A Casebook (pp. 237-252). Taylor and Francis. https://doi.org/10.4324/9780203054185-16