Date: August 1997
Creator: Straughn, Greg, 1972-
Description: The story of Parsifal is presented in two manners: through action and through narrative. Using the formalist theories of Vladimir Propp, the overall narrative is articulated in three narrative episodes. This thesis interprets the structure of narrative episodes in Parsifal on the basis of expectation. Propp's theory of functions provides labels for an interpretive analysis. Levi-Strauss' reconstruction of Propp's functions into paired structures identifies key points in the drama as moments of "functional" saturation. This "functional" saturation coincides with Wagner's practice of Leitmotivic saturation. The semiotic theories of Charles Sanders Peirce, specifically his notion of sign, clarify the dense accumulation of meanings accrued by the Leitmotifs. Finally, Parsifal, as a "quest" for the unobtainable object, fits into the matrix of desire as formulated in the theories of Jacques Lacan.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries