This book offers a concise introduction to Gottfried von Strassburg's Tristan. The work is approached both through its context and through a close reading of key passages of the text. The contextual reading compares Gottfried with his predecessors Beroul, Eilhart and Thomas in order to reveal his independent response to the problems and possibilities with which he was confronted by his material. The close textual reading builds up a distinctive interpretation of the work, in which particular attention is paid to Gottfried's reworking of literary tradition, his use of religious analogies and his awareness of the fictive potential of literary language. A concluding chapter examines Gottfried's medieval reception through the work of his continuators, Ulrich von Turheim and Heinrich von Freiberg and the Herzmaere of Konrad von Wurzburg.