by Brian Edward Rise

In Wolfram's Parzival, he is the Grail King and uncle to the hero knight. Failing his sacred obligations, he is wounded by a spear point that can only be healed when questioned by his nephew. Kept alive by the Grail, he lives in constant torment and pain. On Parzival's first visit to the castle, he fails to ask any questions and Anfortas remains near death. After having learned compassion on his quest, Parzival, upon returning, inquires of the wound and Anfortas is healed.

In the opera, Wagner changes the spelling to Amfortas and makes the nature of his ordeal more complex and psychological. He is eventually healed when Parzival returns the Holy Spear to the Grail Brotherhood.