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Chivalric Romance is a type of narrative that developed in twelfth-century France, spread to the literatures of other countries, and displaced the earlier epic and heroic forms. Romances were at first written in verse, but later in prose as well. The romance is distinguished from the epic in that it does not represent a heroic age of tribal wars, but a courtly and chivalric age, often one of highly developed manners and civility. Its standard plot is that of a quest undertaken by a single knight in order to gain a lady's favor; frequently its central interest is courtly love, together with tournaments fought and dragons and monsters slain for the damsel's sake; it stresses the chivalric ideals of courage, loyalty, honour, mercifulness to an opponent, and elabourate manners; and it delights in wonders and marvels. Supernatural events in the epic had their causes in the will and actions of the gods; romance shifts the supernatural to this world, and makes much of the mysterious effect of magic, spells and enchantments. (Source)

First of all, I wonder if there is any difference between the following...

for the damsel's sake

for the damsel

Secondly, I am wondering what the bold and underlined part means, as well.

Finally, could you explain what the following means in simpler language?

together with tournaments fought and dragons and monsters slain

  • books.google.co.uk/… – Richard Mar 6 '15 at 21:42
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    When quoting from text, please attribute that quote. – Richard Mar 6 '15 at 21:42
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    For the damsel's sake = for the sake of the damsel = for the benefit of the damsel. Which in practice means the same as for the damsel anyway. To make much of something is an idiomatic usage meaning to "big it up" = (over-)inflate the importance of something. – FumbleFingers Mar 6 '15 at 21:58
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    A Tournament was a competition between knights. The slaying of mythical beasts was another way for a knight to prove his worth. – Chenmunka Mar 6 '15 at 22:13
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Question 1: Difference between for the damsel's sake and for the damsel?

The two phrases have very close meanings. Using "sake" provides more specificity:

  • for the damsel's benefit
  • for the cause of the damsel
  • in the name of the damsel

The knight isn't slaying the dragons simply for the damsel in any generic sense. The knight is slaying the dragon in the name of the damsel to show his reverence and love for her.

Question 2: Meaning of sentence.

Original: Supernatural events in the epic had their causes in the will and actions of the gods; romance shifts the supernatural to this world, and makes much of the mysterious effect of magic, spells and enchantments.

A hierarchical parsing of the original:

    **Supernatural** events  
        in the epic
        had their causes in 
            the will and actions of the gods;

    Romance (as opposed to the epic)
        shifts the **supernatural**
            to this world
        and
        (in relation to the **supernatural**) makes much of 
            the mysterious effect of 
                magic, spells and enchantments. 

Simplification: The Epic attributed the (causes of) supernatural to the will and actions of the gods; Chivalric Romance shifts the (causes of/phenomenon of) supernatural to this world, focusing on the mysterious effect of magic, spells and enchantments.**

More Simple: The epic described the supernatural as the will and actions of gods; the Chivalric Romance described the supernatural muchly as the mysterious effect of magic, spells, and enchantments.

In the last two examples, focusing on and muchly are the counterparts to "makes much of".

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    +1 Perfect answer- especially for the first question. Since this is vocabulary being used in a literary context, usage isn't necessarily literally. – Gary Mar 7 '15 at 0:37
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    @Gary thanks! I want to clarify my explanation of sake is intended to show it's (literal) denotation. For example, Oxford Dictionaries: sake: Out of consideration for or in order to help someone. For example, 1. I have to make an effort for John’s sake. What kind or purpose of sake is meant? That still must be understood from context. It could be 2. I have to make an effort for the sake of John’s health. or 3. I have to make an effort for the sake of John’s honor. What you're calling non-literal language, I'm calling contextual semantics. :) – CoolHandLouis Mar 7 '15 at 5:02
  • Really I appreciate your taking the time. As usuall your explanations are invaluable. Thanks all, especially CoolHandLouis – nima Mar 23 '15 at 18:30

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