Title Background

<i>Guy of Warwick</i> and the Active Life of Historical Romance in <i>Piers Plowman</i>

Guy of Warwick and the Active Life of Historical Romance in Piers Plowman

This essay contributes to the ongoing conversation on L and romance, arguing that PPl‘s engagement with the genre extends beyond the kind of courtly pastiche that characterizes the Christ-Knight allegory of passūs 16-18. Rather, the insular heroes of historical romance, and that of the Middle English Stanzaic Guy of Warwick in particular, model a relationship between the individual subject and the production of national (or even universal) history that impacts L’s own exploration of lay piety. PPl becomes a framework in which to view the transformation of romance from a literary genre to a historical temper exerting itself on other forms of medieval fiction.