Percival

From Academic Kids

This article is about Percival of the Arthurian legend. For the British aircraft manufacturer of the same name, see Hunting Aircraft

Percival or Perceval is one of King Arthur's legendary Knights of the Round Table. In the Welsh language his name is Peredur. He is most famous for his involvement in the quest for the Holy Grail.

There are many versions of Percival's birth. In most accounts he is of noble birth; his father is either King Pellinore or another worthy knight. His mother is usually unnamed but plays a significant role in the stories. His sister is the bearer of the Holy Grail, she is sometimes named Dindrane.

Percival is often portrayed as an innocent who was raised ignorant to the ways of men in the Welsh forests until he was 15. After meeting some knights, he decides he wants to be one and travels to King Arthur's court. After proving himself to be an excellent warrior he is knighted and invited to join the Knights of the Round Table.

Even in the earliest stories he is connected to the Grail Quest. In Chrtien de Troyes' Perceval, le Conte du Graal, he meets the crippled Fisher King and sees the Holy Grail, but he fails to ask the question that would heal the injured monarch. Upon learning of his mistake he vows find the Grail castle again and fulfill his quest.

In later accounts, the true Grail hero is Galahad, Lancelot's son. But though his role in the romances had been diminished, Percival remained a major character and was one of only two knights (the other was Sir Bors) who accompanied Galahad to the Grail castle and completed the quest with him.

In early versions, Percival's sweetheart was Blanchefleur and he became the King of Carbonek after healing the Fisher King, but in later versions he was a virgin who died after achieving the Grail. In Wolfram's version, Percival's son is Lohengrin, the Knight of the Swan.

In modern times his story has been used in such varied retellings as T.S. Eliot's epic poem The Waste Land, Richard Wagner's opera Parsifal, and the film The Fisher King.

While some scholars once believed that Percival, along with the legend of the Holy Grail, was of Persian origin, those theories have been rejected by the weight of scholarly opinion.

Chrtien wrote the first story of Percival; Wolfram von Eschenbach's Parzival, Sir Thomas Malory's Le Morte d'Arthur, and the theoretical Perceval of Robert de Boron are other famous accounts of his adventures.

bg:Персивал de:Parzival fr:Perceval it:Parsifal nl:Parsifal

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