Characteristics of Romance Literature

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What is a medieval romance?. A tale of high adventure. Can be a religious crusadea conquest for the knight's liege lordor the rescue of a captive lady or any combination. . Characteristics. Idealizes the hero-knight and his noble (daring) deeds the knight's love for his lady (quest for love or adventure)settings of medieval romance tend to be imaginary and vague (faraway setting).

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Characteristics of Romance Literature

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1. Characteristics of Romance Literature English IVA Mrs. Tomlin

2. What is a medieval romance? A tale of high adventure. Can be a religious crusade a conquest for the knight's liege lord or the rescue of a captive lady or any combination.

3. Characteristics Idealizes the hero-knight and his noble (daring) deeds the knight's love for his lady (quest for love or adventure) settings of medieval romance tend to be imaginary and vague (faraway setting)

4. The Romance Tradition Earliest French romances date to the mid-12th century, c. 1150-60 Earliest English romances date to c. 1240 The earliest of these romances for a courtly audience would have been in French. Anglo-Norman was the dominant literary language in England from 1066-1300. Finest English romances date to the 14th and 15th centuries

5. Characteristics cont. Medieval romance derives mystery and suspense from supernatural elements Medieval romance uses concealed or disguised identity Daring deeds Codes of honor or chivalry Light hearted tone Loose structure

6. A Noble Hero-Knight Birth of a great hero is shrouded in mystery He is reared away from his true home in ignorance of his real parents. For a time his true identity is unknown After meeting an extraordinary challenge, he claims his right His triumph benefits his nation or group

7. Sir Gawain and the Green Knight

8. I. Manuscript Written between 1375-1400 Also contains Pearl, Patience, and Purity

9. II. Poetic form and devices Alliterative Revival Bob and Wheel Bob: one line of two or three syllables Wheel: four three-stress lines Entire structure rhymes = ababa

10. III. The Structure of the Poem Three Gawains: Courteous and brave brother of Round Table Flawless exemplar of Christian chivalry Flawed everyman

11. IV. Departures from Romance Hero is one of us, not superior to us/environment Gawain fails the test because he is human/sinful Realism may result from 13th-14th century “penance campaigns,” new “moral psychology.” Mixture of romance and realism leaves the reader wondering what rules govern this world.

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