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.
1. Medieval romance usually idealizes chivalry
2. Medieval romance Idealizes the hero-knight and his noble deeds
3. An important element of the medieval romance is the knight's love for his lady.
4. The settings of medieval romance tend to be imaginary and vague.
5. Medieval romance derives mystery and suspense from supernatural elements.
6. Medieval romance uses concealed or disguised identity.
7. Repetition of the mystical number "3." (Repetitions of the number or multiples of 3)
Characteristics of the Hero-Knight
1. Birth of a great hero is shrouded in mystery
2. He is reared away from his true home in ignorance of his real parents.
3. For a time his true identity is unknown
4. After meeting an extraordinary challenge, he claims his right
5. His triumph benefits his nation or group.
Point out to the students that Arthur himself is a Hero Knight and the events surrounding his rise to power as King is a Medieval Romance. "The Tale of Sir Gareth" is an excellent example of the Medieval Romance because it contains all elements. (Some romances do not contain all elements).
Also point out that this genre is still exciting for people today. The new interest in Stars Wars is wonderful because the first trilogy (Episodes 4-6) is a perfect contemporary Medieval romance. George Lucas explains how and why he chose this form in TLC's Great Book Series film, "Le Morte D'Arthur: The Legend of the King." That video is an excellent resource. Also there is room for a great discussion about other film, comic book or literary figures (Superman, Batman, Conan and with a stretch-- Indiana Jones). The students really enjoy this discussion because they see the tales in a different light and enjoy understanding another connection between people in the Middle Ages and now. People are people and a terrific adventure is always going to be welcomed.