Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1946/22597
The aim of this thesis is to examine the relationship between religion and shame as portrayed by characterizations of Perceval in the original French text of Le Conte du Graal (Perceval) by Chrétien de Troyes and in the Norwegian translation Parcevals saga (author unknown). This will provide an examination of how shame is represented, what its portrayal means for the narrative itself and why it may be represented this way due to religious and cultural influences in Norse and French society. The main focus will be on the association of shame and sin and how the relationship between the two is viewed in both cultures as depicted in the two narratives. The portrayal of emotions other than love in the romances has not often been examined by scholars, particularly in a psychological context. Leah Tether´s Master´s thesis, “Beyond the Grail: The Roles of Objects as Psychological Markers in Chrétien de Troyes´ Conte du Graal,” examines Perceval´s perception of objects in the story and their gradual acquisition of deeper, symbolic interpretation as he matures. Sylvester George Tan similarly explores the idea of unconscious sin and asks whether or not Perceval is unfairly castigated for his actions within the narrative in his article, “Perceval’s Unknown Sin: Narrative Theology in Chrétien’s Story of the Grail.” However, these works do not consider theology and its psychological influences on an individual and, by extension, his culture as represented in literature. I will examine Perceval´s psychological state as it relates to his shame in two versions of the narrative in order to argue that the Norse-Icelandic audience placed much less importance on religion in general and on shame at committing a sin specifically. In conclusion, this project will examine the emotional and mental trials of Perceval in the French and Norse-Icelandic versions of the story after committing a great sin in order to shed new light on this element of Parcevals saga and the Scandinavian culture it represents.
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