I emphasized in Chapter One that literary genres and conventions are complex creatures whose often changeable characteristics tend to exasperate, baffle or even elude critics. This is particularly the case with medieval romance, where the generic contention is so great that some critics are unhappy with the very appellation ‘romance’, considering it an arbitrary or otherwise unsatisfactory classification which we employ for lack of a better word. Other scholars argue that the essential characteristics of medieval romance cannot actually be realized and that the genre ‘is impossible adequately to define’.1 Ad Putter and Helen Cooper likewise emphasize romance’s malleability and argue that the genre should consequently be approached on the basis of Ludwig Wittgenstein’s ‘family-resemblance’ theory rather than via any strict and formal definition.2 A slight modification of this view claims that romance is not a genre at all, and that we should instead conceive of it as a mode.3