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Medieval Literature

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Medieval Literature Romance, Romantic Hero, conventions, and background information – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Medieval Literature


1
Medieval Literature
  • Romance, Romantic Hero, conventions, and
    background information

2
Medieval Romance
  • A tale of High Adventure. Can be a religious
    crusade, a conquest for the knight's leige lord,
    or the rescue of a captive lady or any
    combination.

3
Medieval Romance
  • The word romance comes from the Old French term
    "romans," which was used to differentiate the
    language of the people from the language of the
    Church.

4
Medieval Romance
  • The Church wrote and spoke Latin, a language
    little changed from classical times. The lay
    population spoke French, which was continuously
    evolving from Celtic and Germanic influence
    "romans" was the term for this language.

5
Medieval Romance
  • These literatures were loosely-based historical
    accounts from the beginning the authors who used
    the vernacular realized that they must please as
    well as edify, that history would not be
    acceptable to their patrons unless made
    entertaining.

6
Medieval Romance
  • Legends, folk-lore, superstitions, etc. were
    added to the mix to please the audience, and
    historical truth became almost entirely lost. Any
    declarations of "historical truth" were simply
    for convention.

7
Medieval Romance
  • Romance flourished in France from 1150-1250
    those composed at later dates were usually
    re-imaginings of the first efforts.

8
Romantic Hero
  • Birth of a great hero is shrouded in mystery

9
Romantic Hero
  • He is reared away from his true home in ignorance
    of his real parents.

10
Romantic Hero
  • For a time his true identity is unknown

11
Romantic Hero
  • After meeting an extraordinary challenge, he
    claims his right

12
Romantic Hero
  • His triumph benefits his nation or group

13
Characteristics
  • Medieval romance usually idealizes chivalry
  • Chivalrous conduct, arising from the feudal
    system and Christian morals, were a strong force
    within romances.
  • Such conduct included loyalty to duty, courtesy,
    and service to the oppressed. Loyalty was
    paramount in a hierarchical social system,
    courtesy and service to the oppressed was the
    ideal in a religious system focused on humility
    and godliness.

14
Characteristics
  • Medieval romance Idealizes the hero and his noble
    deeds

15
Characteristics
  • An important element of the medieval romance is
    the knight's love for his lady
  • The love element, while not necessary for a
    romance (adventure alone can be considered
    romantic), is nearly always present in medieval
    versions, and of a particular kind. What we now
    consider courtly love began in the middle of the
    twelfth century, when a "woman-worship" arose,
    stemming from the worship of the Virgin Mary.
    What the "courtly" designation did to love was
    elevate it to an art form. No longer was love
    merely an emotion. Women were supreme, and the
    essence of love was not passion or regard but
    devotion. Love could not be exaggerated, since it
    was the lover's role to satisfy every whim of his
    lady. Fidelity and service were the ultimate
    goals of love.

16
Characteristics
  • The settings of medieval romance tend to be
    imaginary and vague

17
Characteristics
  • Medieval romance derives mystery and suspense
    from supernatural elements
  • Although romance took on an unrealistic focus it
    still followed certain conventions drawn from
    real life. Christian morals find their way into
    most romances, even though often intermingled
    with pagan belief systems.

18
Characteristics
  • Medieval romance uses concealed or disguised
    identity

19
Characteristics
  • Repetition of the mystical number "3."
    (Repetitions of the number or multiples of 3)

20
Chevrefoil
  • Marie de France (12th Century)
  • Drew inspiration from Celtic tales
  • Perhaps because she was female (we believe) she
    tended to focus on the personal lives of both the
    male and the female characters.

21
Nibelungenlied
  • Considered the national epic of Germany

22
Chanson de Roland (Song of Roland)
  • National epic of France
  • An example of a chansons de geste or songs of
    deeds (an epic poem relating the heroic deeds of
    Charlemagne)

23
The Grail
  • Chrétien de Troyes
  • Part of the Arthurian Legend
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