This article discusses the question of how complex the narrations of Arthurian romances are by comparing them to the ‘simple form’ of fairy tales. In order to achieve this, we identify properties of the European folktale, which we then compare with an Arthurian text corpus consisting of Hartmann von Aue’s ‘Erec’ and ‘Iwein’ as well as Wolfram von Eschenbach’s ‘Parzival’. The typological investigation is carried out using data-driven methods, primarily Social Network Analysis, and focuses on various aspects of characters. By doing this, we gain an in-depth understanding of the relationships between Arthurian romances and fairy tales and of the differences within the genre of the Arthurian romance itself. We show that the results of statistical analysis refuse clear interpretation, thus providing new insights into the well-known objects.
© 2019 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Boston