Courtly Love. By: Wanju Yu, David Putvin, Avi Devan. History. Term Courtly love was coined by Gaston Paris in 1883 The practice of courtly love developed around 1099 in the regions modern day France.
Wanju Yu, David Putvin, Avi Devan
Courtly love motifs:
“And she repeated her petition and pleaded anew,
And he granted it, and gladly she gave him the belt,
And besought him for her sake to conceal it well,
Lest the noble lord should know – and, the knight agrees
That not a soul save themselves shall see it thenceforth with sight.”
(pg. 200, Gawain with lady)
From Sir Gawain and the Green Knight:
“The two eyes and the nose, the naked lips,
And they unsightly to see, and sorrily bleared.
A beldame, by God, she may well be deemed, of pride!
She was short and thick of waist,
Her buttocks round and wide;
More toothsome, to his taste,
Was the beauty by her side.
“ ‘By heaven,’ said he, ‘you have answered well,’
But threats never throve among those of my land,
Nor any gift not freely given, good though it be.
I am yours to command, to kiss when you please;
You may lay on as you like, and leave off at will.’”
(pg. 193, Gawain to lady)
While Courtly Love may not have the strongest concrete evidence to prove its historical existence, one could argue that these stories existed as a form of “media” to perpetuate ideas of male dominance, that is to say, he should go out and win the heart of a woman. And in addition, that woman should be accepting of this form of affection.
This form of “media” then spread and men took it into their concept that they then had the privilege and right to pursue women, plus that men were thought to be more masculine and powerful then women at the time. Thus, the idea of courtly love could have developed into a fantastical idea of romantic love in which men believed that with winning the heart of women, they could assert their dominance and status as men. And even control surrounding with their newfound power.
David, Alfred and James Simpson. The Norton Anthology of English Literature: Volume A: The Middle Ages. Eighth Ed. New York: W.W. Norton & Company, Inc., 2006.
Delahoyde, Michael. “Courtly Love.” Washington State University. 10 Oct 2008. <http://www.wsu.edu/~delahoyd/medieval/love.html>.
“The Wife.” Utah Valley University. 10 Oct 2008. <http://research.uvsc.edu/mcdonald/Anglo-Saxon/wife'slament/wifepeacew.html>.
Thompson, Diane. “World Literature I: Courtly Love Study Guide.” Nova. 10 Apr 2007. 10 Oct 2008. <http://novaonline.nvcc.edu/eli/eng251/amourstudy.htm>.
NORTHROP, DOUGLAS A. "'The Ende Therfore of a Perfect Courtier' in Baldassare Castiglione's The Courtier." Philological Quarterly. 77.3 (Summer 1998): p295. Literature Resources from Gale. Gale. UNIV OF WASHINGTON LIBRARIES. 16 Oct. 2008<http://go.galegroup.com.offcampus.lib.washington.edu/ps/start.do?p=LitRG&u=wash_main>.