The Chaucer Review: An Indexed Bibliography (Vols. 1-30)Return to the Subject List
Finlayson, John. "Definitions of Middle English Romance." 15 (1980): 44-62.
The term "romance" is highly confusing for medieval scholars. A useful distinction can be made between French romance and chansons de gestes on which English writers based their works. Romance and chanson de geste can be differentiated on the basis of the treatment of the hero, direct speech, and description of behavior. The chanson hero fights publicly; the romance hero fights for something personal. Romances have educational value: they demonstrate courtly behavior. Adventures and supernatural elements are also important to romances. Love, however, is not essential.