WiSe 12/13: S-Medieval English Literatures II: Medieval Romance
Arthurian Romance - the so-called 'Matter of Britain' - is probably the medieval genre whose traditions have best survived into twenty-first century (popular) imagination. Not only do romance ... Lesen Sie weiter
Arthurian Romance - the so-called 'Matter of Britain' - is probably the medieval genre whose traditions have best survived into twenty-first century (popular) imagination. Not only do romance narratives feature characters that are nowadays perceived as "typically medieval", like the chivalric knight, the dragon, or the damsel in distress. In addition, the narratives' structure of adventure and final return as well as different plot elements still inspire writers and film-makers to create works such as Tolkien's Lord of the Rings or Harry Potter.
But the genre of Middle English romance is hard to define: it spans several centuries (from the 13th to the 15th century), it comes in different forms (prose, alliterative, tail-rhyme etc.), and it incorporates other genres (saints' lives, travel narratives, historical accounts and others). Precisely because Middle English Arthurian romance is so diverse, and in some cases even odd, does it give us a remarkable insight into the tastes and habits of thought of a broad segment of the late medieval English reading/listening public and, thus, into the various aesthetic, ideological and cultural uses to which Arthurian romance could be put.
In this seminar, we will read and discuss a cross-section of Middle English Arthurian romances, which will be made available online at the beginning of the semester.