2023 Author: Leah Sherlock | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-11-27 12:28
Knightly romances of the Middle Ages appeared in the 12th century: it was then that writers began to move from the heroic epic to a more understandable and interesting genre for most readers. This section of literature primarily included works written in one of the Romance languages, and not in Latin (hence the name "novel"). The heroic epic, popular until that time, was associated with the legends and myths of peoples, but the new genre became more like a fairy tale, combining two components: fantasy and love.
All chivalric novels have one thing in common - the main character in them is always a noble knight. He fully corresponds to the ideal by the standards of the courtesy, traveling alone, with his faithful squire or with a small group of warriors. The knight performs various feats, fights with monsters, robbers or "infidels" - it all depends on the plot and the author's imagination. In most cases, writers endow heroes with personal motives, which distinguishes this genre fromheroic epic. A warrior fights in the name of the lady of the heart, personal gain and glory, but not in the name of religion, country or people.
The chivalrous medieval novel in the 12th century was written in verse (8-syllable with paired rhyming), but there were exceptions. So, the "Roman about Alexander" was written in 12-complex verse with a pair of rhymes. Thanks to this work, a new form of versification appeared - Alexandrian verse. In this form, a huge number of French comedies and tragedies were written in the XVII-XVIII centuries. Also, Alexandrian verse was used by neoclassicists, romantics and neo-romantics of France, Russia and other countries.
Prose chivalric novels appeared only in the 13th century, at the same time this literary genre is going through hard times. Most of the works clearly parody courtly values and norms, but despite this, this literary genre has long remained a favorite reading of the people of France.
The genres of the chivalric novel differ from each other depending on the region, the origin of the work and what formed its basis. In those days, a huge number of small narrative forms and folklore foundations appeared. Celtic oral literature should be singled out as a separate genre. The source of the novels was the Christian world - such literature gained popularity during the Crusades, because the knights could feel moral unity, understand the importance of their mission.
Knightly novels differ from the heroic epic in that the main character in them is an understandable, familiar person to the reader, and not a fictional character with supernatural abilities. In such works one can often meet Alexander the Great, King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table. Also, the names of other real personalities fit into the novel: bishops, popes, cardinals, etc. Despite the fact that so many centuries have passed since this literary genre appeared, chivalric novels still find their readers, because sometimes you really want to feel the era of brave knights and beautiful ladies, a romantic world where every story has a good ending.
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