The Power of Persuasion
Hartmann von Aue’s “The Unfortunate Lord Henry/Heinrich” deals Lord Henry’s battle with Leprosy and his fight for life. He makes attempts to please God, including freeing himself of all worldly possessions. After disappointing doctor visits and a lack of miracle from God, he accepts his morbid fate and seeks refuge on a farm to live out his final years. A family of free peasants occupies and farms the land and Lord Henry takes particular interest in the young peasant girl. This innocent interest in the girl develops into a deep love and he soon asks the girl to be his bride. The Lord’s looming death is near and this is what essentially pulls the power of persuasion from the young girl. The peasant family was desperate to find a way to keep their good standing and property even after the Lord’s nearing death. After inquiring with the Lord about treatment, they learn that the Lord isn’t truly incurable, he simply requires a hard to obtain “medicine” The girl knows that she has the ability to save the Lords life and in return, secure her family. She accepts this as the only thing she can do and devotes her time to convincing her parents to let her fulfill her “destiny”. The girl uses many techniques in an attempt to persuade her parents. She begs and pleads with them to let sacrifice her own life to save the Lord’s. She uses tears and hysterics for means of persuasion and this proves to be successful. The girls age appears to pose no barrier because her cause is so important to her. Although the girl is still quite young, she has the ability to arrange and present her argument in such a way that her parents agree to let her be the sacrifice. It is the young girls power of words that ultimately leads to her parents decision. Because of her ability to persuade, she is able to convince her parents to do something that would be considered absolutely ludicrous by today’s standards. The girl’s strength with persuasion could be thanks to the...
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