Chapters (Layout Features)

Chapter 5: Adventure

Crane, Susan

Adventure is the critical term most specific to romance, indicating the arbitrary, the random, and the unmotivated that divide the experience of romance from the clear necessities of epic struggle, the transcendent assurance of hagiography, and the instructive designs of chronicle. The French noun aventure has from before the twelfth century implications of fate and foreordination, as does its use in English, but its dominant later medieval meanings revolve around chance and accident (see Godefroy, Kurath). Romance draws on both senses of the noun in foregrounding the unexplained strangeness of adventurous encounters yet intimating that they have a hidden design.


Also Published In

Gender and Romance in Chaucer's Canterbury Tales
Princeton University Press

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Academic Units
English and Comparative Literature
Published Here
December 8, 2009