Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Modern & Classical Languages

First Advisor

Dr. Stephen Mark Carey - Chair


This paper examines Wolfram von Eschenbach’s juxtaposition of contrary things in Parzival as the beginning of the road to spiritual salvation for Parzival. Men’s quest for fame and honor in the material, Arthurian world is compared to the divine Grail kingdom and the godlike women who shed compassionate, Christ-like tears. Wolfram’s message of peace and love for brother is examined through his use of symbolism, particularly through womens’ tears and turtledove imagery. Parzival, Gâwân and Feirefiz are compared in order to show that the love and quest for personal honor in the Arthurian world is a necessary step on the path to God’s divine love and salvation. Compassion and love for one’s neighbor must be learned before Parzival attains his destiny. How marriage teaches Parzival triuwe and how he demonstrates this characteristic are examined. Romantic love, emulation of women and divine love lead Parzival to his destiny.