Abstract

The often-noted lack of chivalric concerns in the Middle English Havelok results in a tale whose homely qualities have made it difficult to classify as a medieval romance. This article examines Havelok's generic features, including the classification of gest in the conclusion and vita in the incipit, to argue that the poem is indeed a romance. It is further suggested that romance can best be defined as a fictional narrative whose essential generic features are adventure, love, women, and a happy ending. As Havelok makes clear, although chivalric adventures are the romance norm, they need not be the only type.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1832-8334
Print ISSN
0313-6221
Pages
pp. 21-46
Launched on MUSE
2013-04-03
Open Access
No
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