The Middle English poem Pearl is a mixture of a number of genres. Opening
like an elegy, with its initial stanzas heavily indebted to courtly love
poetry, it proceeds towards a dream vision that launches into a theological
debate concluded by an eschatological vision of the city of New Jerusalem.
Pearl is obviously a religious poem, but, as Ad Putter has observed, the
kind of religious and dreamscape imagery it contains, based on biblical
sources, may also have influenced the writers of medieval romances such
as Sir Orfeo or Thomas of Erceldoune in the construction of their secular
otherworlds (2007: 237–41). The two romances in question are tales of
fairy encounters, and the following article aims to identify major areas
of convergence with the genre of fairy romance in Pearl.