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St. Augustine

St. Augustine

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St. Augustine

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Presentation Transcript

  1. St. Augustine • The human being is the center of warring elements: the unclean body and the purified soul • Visible world is an imperfect reflection of the divine order • Medieval literature, then, becomes allegorical (a literary device in which characters and events stand for abstract ideas, principles, or forces).

  2. Matter, then, was the matrix in which God’s message was hidden • In Scripture, as well as in every natural and created thing, God’s invisible order might be discovered • For example, the medieval romance would be a cloaked message of divine revelation

  3. Interpretation • Reaching love and its purifying grace is worth the pain of an earthly death, dishonor, or severe pain • In love, one would wander aimlessly • Couldn’t concentrate on anything but the mental image of the beloved • Would lose appetite • Would lie awake at night

  4. Crusades begin in 1090: • Bring back new ideas from Islam • Literature • Architecture • Trade -- all those things in the film • Heroic stories of the war that chronicle • Historical fact • Christian Lore • Exciting fiction • New literate audience ready for exciting tales of Crusades in their own language (the vernacular)

  5. Medieval Romance • Medieval romances started in 12th C: written in the vernacular while Church used Latin for services • Fiction, tale of love and adventure popular between 1100 and 1500 • 12th century France was first romance in rhymed verse

  6. The World of Chretien De Troyes Lancelot 1170

  7. Audience • Small, courtly audience • Mostly women of the court • New dependence on written instead of oral tradition

  8. Madonna Enthroned1280-1290 by Cimabue 500 CE Byzantine

  9. Madonna and Child Enthroned with Saints 1305-1310 by Giotto

  10. Illicit Relationship • Stories based on illicit relationship between man and woman of upper class • Arranged marriages to gain land • Romantic love was outside marriage

  11. 12th Century Verse Romance Lancelot • Written in vernacular French • Belongs to a cycle of stories re: semilegendary 6th century Welsh Chieftain named Arthur • Lancelot was first • Filled with bloody combat, supernatural events, and romantic alliances • Code of courtly love

  12. Courtly Love • Cultivated in the courts of medieval nobility • Nobleman longs for unattainable woman • Establishes the courtly love tradition with rules of wooing and winning a lady • Laid the basis for romantic love in Western literature and life • Started manuals of conduct for European aristocrats

  13. Code • Love had a purifying and ennobling influence on the lover • To love was to suffer • Courtly love associated with distressing symptoms: inability to eat or sleep

  14. Required of the Knight • Prove his love for his lady • Perform daring and often impossible deeds • Willing to die for her • Creates the feminization of the chivalric ideal • Earlier: field battle with heroic idealism and loyalty between men

  15. New Direction • Arthurian romance redefined qualities of heroism in the direction of sentiment and sensuality • Lancelot fights not for country, nor for his lord, not for glory, but for love of his mistress • Contrast Gilgamesh, Achilles, Odysseus

  16. Conflict • Kinds of love: • Fealty to King Arthur—his lord • Official state [arranged] marriage • Love of his lady • True love • Love of Jesus/Virgin Mary • Allegorical because of St. Augustine

  17. The love of woman equated in Christian mind with love for the Virgin Mary • As Mother of Heaven and of Christ, mediator between Judgment seat and horrors of hell, • Mary was recognized in the 12th century as spiritual equivalent of lady of chilvary and crowned as Queen of Heaven • Songs sung to her; cathedrals dedicated to her • Cult of the Virgin developed