An Analysis of the Classic Medieval Fantasy Genre

by | Feb 11, 2021 | Fantasy | 0 comments

A whole lot of readers find that the fantasy genre offers much-needed escapism so that they can deal with the challenges of daily life. And when concocted protagonists reside in a familiar universe and talk about the human experience, fictional plots will drag audiences outside of their very own minds. This influence is much more noticeable in the category of fictional mythology.

Detached from the rules of science and culture, and constrained only by the scope of all things possibly imaginable, fantasy writers pursue concepts by constructing their original realms, where legions of mythical beings conquer fictional kingdoms of grandiose power, and interstellar agents attempt to preserve harmony among galaxies, and mysterious beings coexist alongside us human beings in our very own realm.

An example of this is M.A. Haddad’s “The Shadow of the Staff” –  a modern iteration of this classic genre enriched with an original twist of fate that highlights the book’s amazing storytelling in a fashion that lovers of the genre would surely appreciate.

With that in mind, let’s make an analysis of the classic medieval fantasy genre today.

What is the Initial Experience Most People Will Get?

The initial experience that most individuals have had with the concept of the middle ages, or at best a period that seems classical or renaissance-inspired, is through childhood fairy tales or even early video games. From a very young age, Western myths, legends, and the Grimm Brothers have exposed us to goddesses and charms, goblins and dwarves, and of course – knights and monsters.

Other analysis of the classic medieval fantasy genre shows that traditional fantasy epics all draw conclusions to a certain degree from these pieces. In particular, the renaissance era was designed to act as a venue of exploration.

Medieval fantasy is a type of fiction that incorporates mystical and mythical aspects which are not possible within the confines of our current reality. While some authors contextualize an existing or familiar setting with awesome features, others construct completely fictional realms that possess their own respective rules and reasoning, and has communities of fictional beings and animals inhabiting it.

Fantasy, which is speculative in essence, is not related to science or to empirical evidence. Fantasy fiction is mostly distinguished by the middle ages or perhaps some type of Westernized culture dating back to the 19th century. Empires, demons, and witches are the classes one can find in fantasy.

Why is it that Medieval Fantasy is Popular as a Genre?

A multitude of reasons explain why this specific theme of literature and the medieval renaissance trope is so commonly and continuously connected in all forms of media and content – one of which being the significant and undying influence of the unforgettable works of art conjured by J.R.R. Tolkien, H.P. Lovecraft, J.K. Rowling, and the likes.

Brilliantly diverse and mystically colorful dimensions of ancient mystery, hidden powers, and triumphant champions have long been a staple of conjuring an immersive story, as demonstrated by the deities, fearsome creatures, and sorcery depicted in historical superstitions, myths, and theological scriptures across the planet.

Fantasy, as a cultural phenomenon, is much more modern and distinguishes from its contemporaries. Its creators are quite popular and carry achievements in the literary community, mainly due to the fact that both they and their readers acknowledge the creations to be imaginary.

How is the Fantasy Genre Different from Others?

What really differentiates the fantasy genre from other categories is its separation from nature.

Narratives may talk about the real human experience, but this perspective is told with a touch of mystical elements. Sorcery (the presence or lack of which may influence a major plot aspect in storytelling); premonitions of the “appointed one” or imminent armageddon; pagan myths and legends from across the entire planet; re-imagined renaissance; and the development of completely new universes, cultures, and beings. These are elements video game developers use to their advantage.

While all literature involves creativity, fantasy fiction is a sandbox for all readers and writers to persevere beyond the box of possibility and reality – a form of expressive escapism and imaginative exploration of mystical themes.

It is through the love and dedication of the writing community, the film community, and even the videogame, card game, and board game community that we may continue to enjoy and support the creation of modern fantasy fiction, as well as provide an analysis of the classic medieval fantasy genre in all forms of media while appreciating the hallmarks of the genre’s history.


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