Chivalric Romance or Medieval Romance
Chivalric Romance or Medieval Romance
‘Chivalric Romance’ or ‘Medieval Romance’ is a form of narrative literature mostly in verse (either rhymed or unrhymed) few in prose that deals with the themes of chivalric love, courtly virtues as- courage, honour, mercifulness, dutifulness, truthfulness, etc. The hero of which is a warrior of history or legends who fights against some foul or evil powers as- monsters, giants, or witches and undertook an adventurous and thrilling journey to a romantic, mysterious, and wonderful fairyland in the rescue of a fair lady in distress or peril, the purpose of composing which was to provide entertainment to the audience or readers.
Medieval Romance originated in France in the Medieval Ages (1050- 1450) and was imported to England by the Normans. In the English Language, there are more than sixty Romances but some of them have gotten lost in course of time.
The materials of Romances were taken from various sources, especially from legends and history. On the basis of the sources taken for the tales of the Romances, they may be classified into four types as-(1) The Romances of France Sources, (2) The Romances of Greek Sources, (3) The Romances of English Sources and (4) The Romances of Eastern Sources.
The Romances of France Sources dealt with the tales and legends of France mainly concerned with the heroic exploits of the great France peer Charlemagne and his followers. These romances are called Romances of Charlemagian Cycles. There are many romances (tales) of these cycles, among which ‘Chanson de Ronald’ is the chief. It celebrates the heroism of Ronald in his last fight against the Saracens. The romance fully bears out the chivalric ideals of the Medieval Ages.
The Romances of Greek or Roman Sources dealt with the legends and tales from classical sources. For instance, this class of Romances dealt with the heroic exploits of Alexander the Great and the sensational seizure of Troy by the Greeks.
The Romances of the English Sources dealt with native legends and tales, for instance, this class of romance takes the exploits of Arthur the King and his Knights into account. There are many romances concerning Arthur and his Knights which are called Arthurian Cycles of Romances. Among these Arthurian Cycles, ‘Sir Gawayne and the Greek Knight’ is worth reading.
The Romances of the Eastern Sources dealt with the legends and tales from India and the tales of The Arabian Knights. Among the romances of the Eastern Sources, ‘The Flares and Blanchester’ is well known. It deals with the theme of love of a young pair of lovers who are separated for a certain period of time.
Most of the romances were written in metrical verse to meet the demand of the laymen as there was hardly any literary institute to provide the laymen with education. The illiterate common people had to be contented with listening to these romances sung by minstrels because literature of that age was invariably a matter for the ears than for the eyes. 0 0 0.
N. B. The article ‘Chivalric Romance or Medieval Romance’ originally belongs to the book entitled ‘Menonimus Dictionary of Literary Terms‘.
Books on Literary Criticism by M. Menonimus:
- World Short Story Criticism
- World Poetry Criticism
- World Drama Criticism
- World Novel Criticism
- World Essay Criticism
- Indian English Poetry Criticism
- Indian English Poets and Poetry Chief Features
- Emily Dickinson’s Poetry-A Thematic Study
- Walt Whitman’s Poetry-A Thematic Study
- Critical Essays on English Poetry
- Tawfiq al-Hakim’s Novel: Return of the Spirit-An Analytical Study
- Tawfiq al-Hakim’s Novel: ‘Yawmiyyat Naib Fil Arayaf’-An Analytical Study
- Analytical Studies of Some Arabic Short Stories
- A Brief History of Arabic Literature: Pre-Islamic Period (500 AD-622 AD)
- A Brief History of Arabic Literature: Early Islamic Period (622 AD-661 AD) …