Metrical romance is a type of narrative poem that deals with the story of adventure, love, chivalry, and deeds of derring-do. It is also called Chivalric poems. They quite often contain an element of mystery and the supernatural. A popular form of entertainment from the Middle Ages until the 19th c. when the prose romance, already established in the previous century, gradually superseded it. Metrical romances do not need to have a consistent rhyme or meter – although some do.
Famous examples of metrical romance include Roman de Troie (c. 1160); Roman de la Rose (13th c.); Sir Orfeo (mid-14th c.); Sir Gawain and the Green Knight (14th c.); John Milton’s Paradise Lost(1667), Walter Scott’s Lay of the Last Minstrel (1805) and The Lady of the Lake (1810); Lord Byron’s Giaour (1813) and The Corsair (1814); S.T.Coleridge’s The Rime of the Ancient Mariner(1834), Alfred Lord Tennyson’s Idylls of the King (1842–85) and The Lady of Shalott (1852); William Morris’s The Earthly Paradise (1868–70).
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