CUP Undergraduate Research


From Parzival to Percival: A Study of the Development of Sir Percival and his Role as the Grail Hero

Date of Award


Document Type

Restricted Access Thesis


College of Theology, Arts, & Sciences



Degree Name

English, BA

First Advisor

Dr. Richard Hill


In this thesis, I will compare the archetype of Percival in Perceval, Parzival, Peredur, and Le Morte D’Arthur. I will examine the transformation of the portrayal of Percival’s character as it has transformed through different cultures. I will use the depiction of his role as the Grail hero, his heritage, and chivalry in order to highlight the changes that have been applied to him by these various cultures. As cultures change, so does the archetype of Percival. Lastly, I will point to a few contemporary sources to demonstrate how Percival’s character is largely absent from modern interpretations of Arthurian legends and the Grail story. Percival, the original Grail hero with a rich character arch and the embodiment of chivalry, has dwindled into a vague, dim-witted character only valued for his skill in battle in modern pop culture. Lastly, I will examine why Percival’s character has endured for over eight hundred years and why there is still value in studying his story.

Honors: Thesis with Distinction Award

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