1 Middle English LiteratureGenres 2 Medieval Religious Prose
Sermons and Homilies
Visionary literature accounts and interpretations of individuals visions of encounters with the divine presence of God
Hagiography saints lives
Religious Instruction Ancrene Riwle
Exempla tales told to exemplify good or evil lives
Allegories narratives to be interpreted on a variety of levels often dream visions
The DreamerMS Corpus Christi 201 3 Allegorical Levels
Literal the concrete historical meaning
Typological connection of events in the Old Testament with events of Christs life in the New Testament
Jonahs 3-day confinement in the belly of the whale prefigures Christs 3-day descent into Hell
Moral the abstract symbolic meaning of the literal especially in terms of behavior
Anagogical dealing with the future events of Christian history heaven hell the last judgment prophecies.
Thus the four types of allegory deal with past events (literal) the connection of past events with the present (typology) present events (moral) and the future (anagogical).
4 Basic Conventions of Allegory
Everything on the literal level of the story can be interpreted symbolically characters settings tests etc.
The protagonist an Everyman character usually embarks on a journey symbolic of the journey through life or to death
5 Types of Narrative -Either- Romances Fabliaux Bestiaries Beast Fables
A record of historic or purported historical events
Legendary Histories of Britain
William of Malmesbury
c.1125 Gesta Requm Anglorum (Deeds of the English Kings)
c. 1129 De Antiquitate Glastoniensis Ecclesiaea (a history of Glastonbury Abbey)
Geoffrey of Monmouth
c.1136 Historia Regum Brittaniae.(History of the Kings of Britain)
c.1150 Vita Merlinei (The Life of Merlin)
WaceRoman de Brut c. 1155 Anglo-Norman (French) translation of Geoffrey
Lazamon Brut c. 1190 Anglo-Saxon (English) translation of Geoffrey
Story of heroic adventure often encompassing courtly love a chivalrous heroic knight who abiding chivalrys strict codes fights and defeats monsters and giants thereby winning favour with a beautiful but fickle princess.
The matter of Rome Alexander the Great
The matter of France Charlemagne
The Matter of Britain King Arthur
Romance 8 Major Medieval British Romances
12th c Anglo-Norman c. 1175 Thomas dAngleterre Tristan
13th c Welsh Romances
The Black Book of Carmarthen
Mabinogion final version
14th c English Arthurian Romance
Alliterative Morte Arthur
Sir Gawayne and the Grene Knight
Chaucer The Wife of Baths Tale
Stanzaic Mort Artu
14th c Various Romances
Chaucer Troilus and Criseyde
Gower Confessio Amantis
15th c Malory Le Morte Darthur
9 Breton Lai
Short rhymed tale of love and chivalry
Breton/Celtic troubadour influence
Courtliness and magic
Investigations into the intricacies of love and honor
Exploration of questions of sovereignty in relationships
The Lais of Marie de France 11thc.
10 Middle English Breton Lais
Sir OrfeoSir Degaré Sir GowtherEmaré and The Erle of Tolouse all by anonymous authors
Lay le Freine a translation of Marie de Frances Le Fresne
The Franklins Tale from the Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer.
Sir Launfal by Thomas Chestre (a retelling of a translation of Marie de Frances Lanval)
Lai du Cor by Robert Biket
The novella is defined as a short prose narrative usually realistic and often satiric in tone.
Novella is an Italian word deriving from the feminine form of the word for new. The quality of newness in the novella is perhaps best associated with the subject matter of the stories
Novelle (pl.) are based on current local events -- with a viewpoint that ranges from amorous to humorous and satirical to political or moral.
The characters in a novella are placed in a realistic setting complete with the rhythms of everyday life and conversation.
Novella 12 Fabliau
Originally a French form
A comic bawdy tale with a plot that usually involves a cuckolded husband
Characters include peasants tradesmen greedy clergy restless young wives and young scholars
The plots are realistically motivated tricks and ruses.
The fabliaux thus present a lively image of everyday life among the middle and lower classes.
13 Bestiary and Beast Fable
A bestiary or Bestiarum vocabulum is a compendium of beasts.
Bestiaries were illustrated volumes that described various real or imaginary animals birds and even rocks.
The natural history and illustration of each beast were usually accompanied by a moral lesson.
A beast fable is a short tale with an explicit moral often stated at the end as a maxim.
Characters in beast fables are personified animals
Ram from the Aberdeen Bestiary 14 Secular Lyric Poetry Courtly Love
Ballades poems with at least three stanzas having the same rhyme and metrical schemes and repeating the same last line refrain
Reverdies spring songs
Aubades poem or song about lovers parting at dawn
The Religion of Love
C.S. Lewis 15 Religious Lyric Poetry
16 Medieval Religious Drama
Liturgical tropes gospel dramatizations
Mystery plays Biblical plays
Miracle plays saints lives
Morality plays allegories
17 Medieval Secular Drama
Interludes and farces secular plays performed at court
Folk plays pagan and folklore elements in popular festival performances
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