Volume 25, Issue 2, 2004

An Old French Romance and its Adaptations

Albrecht Classen
Pages 225-252

The Struggle Against Fear as a Struggle for the Self in Konrad von Wurzburg's Partonopier Und Meliur

Magic appears frequently in medieval narrative, offering both danger and opportunity to the individual. The link between magic and fear is one of the most intriguing aspects of courtly romance, and this phenomenon is extremely well-developed in Konrad von Wiirzburg's Partonopier und Meliur. Konrad displays remarkable skill in developing the psychological aspects of his protagonists, and this paper demonstrates that the process of personal growth for the hero of this text is reflected in multiple manifestations of fear Partonopier is initially afraid of the strange forest, the supernatural ship, the deserted city, the dark night and the invisible Meliur; later he fears losing both Meliur's love and God's grace. Fear proves to be the basic element of his entire life, but it provides him with the opportunity to search for himself; his path towards maturity is directly linked to his ability to overcome it.