E 326K // Literature of the Middle Ages in Translation: Mysteries of the Grail


Medieval romance is also called chivalric romance, and usually referred to episodic French or German poetry that concerned chivalry and adventure, especially of kings, knights in warfare, and the rescue of women. 

Highly developed manners or civility, courtly love, and properties aristocratic courtship (especially marriage and adultery) were concepts often enacted or embodied in the romance genre. Specifically, a literary method called interlacement was utilized to accomplish the storytelling of these romances. 

Examples of interlacement
Beowulf and The Book of Kells
J.R.R. Tolkien interlaced his narratives/fiction with key medieval figures 
(Eowyne as The Virgin Mary)

‚ÄčOrigins of the Term and Other Applications
Anglo-Saxon scholars use the word "interlace" to compare formulaic repetition; however, it can also be used to describe linear patterns, specific to lines/words, or themes and ideas. It can also be used in reference to the interlacement between romance and hagiography (the study of saints/sainthood). For example, achievement and setback is present in both. This motif, usually ending in a union by marriage for the resolution in romance, can instead end with God int he saint's life in hagiography. Certain lines in the Anglo-Saxon poem repeat and interweave with the narrative material. The idea came from the concept of weaving- artwork can repeat and weave within itself to create patterns that eventually make up something very large, complex, and beautiful. The same concept can apply to literature. This was the basis for motif, and which gave way to interlacement in particular in reference to Medieval Romance. 


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