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Archetypal Patterns in the Parzival Myth

NOA Community Centre (Ferry Centre)
Summertown, Oxford

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For the mythologist Joseph Campbell, the Grail myth was the beginning of Europe, and Wolfram von Eschenbach's Parzival in particular was for him "the first sheerly individualistic mythology of the human race". Parzival's quest for the Grail may be seen as a hero myth of our time. The function of the hero myth is to carry the human spirit forward, offering the model and guide by means of which people may be assisted across those difficult thresholds of transformation that demand a change in the patterns not only of conscious but also of unconscious life. Parzival's journey follows the archetypal pattern of Separation, Initiation and Return, bearing the gift of new vision.

Wolfram's tale was much illustrated in the 15th century, and this talk will tell the story of Parzival through slides of some of these early pictures, whose simplicity depicts the essence of his journey from innocence through alienation to compassion.

Jules Cashford has a longterm love of Wolfram's Parzival and has lectured on the story many times. She has a background in philosophy and literature and lectures on mythology and Jungian psychology. She is co-author, with Anne Baring, of The Myth of the Goddess (1991), and author of The Myth of Isis and Osiris (1994) and The Moon: Myth and Image (2003).

6.00 (Friends 3.00)