«Friendship and Love in the Middle English Metrical Romances» groups together a representative cross-section of the genre, according to variants of love relationships, and to ideas of friendship. The horizontal and the vertical structure of the relatonship are tripartite. The horizontal stages are attraction, separation-testing-trial, and reunion, the vertical spheres are the personal, social/political, and religious. All relationships fail into two types, the restorative-concordant and the innovative-discordant. These are defined by the relative position of the partners in the social-political sphere of their relationship. The groups of relationship are defined by the initially more active partner: forward heroine, fairy mistress, forward hero, mutual love, married love; friendship, lords and retainers. Surveys of the Insular understanding of courtly love, and of Caxton's prose romances, complement the findings.
Frankfurt/M., Bern, New York, Paris, 1991. 249 pp.
Contents: Categorisation of Middle English metrical romances - Friendship and love in Middle English narrative poems - Insular
background/context of Middle English romances - Insular development of function of narrative literature - Insular courtly
love - Prose romances.