An Essay on Hartmann von Aue's "Erec"
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In this essay on Erec I have traced Hartmann's development of his theme: from the daring deeds of a Celtic hero to the courtly problems of an Arthurian might to the religious ethic propounded in the climax of Hartmann's tale: Christian love and mercy. His sources were varied; his background broad; his style an innovation. The result was an Arthurian romance differing from those lighthearted French contes which the troubadours spread. Hartmann presented the inner emotions of his characters, he appealed to the individual with his universal themes of maze and erbarmde, and though his ideal world resembled that presented in the French tales, he at times pointed out faults in this courtly system.