Love and Literature Essay

877 Words 4 Pages
"Love is an inborn suffering proceeding from the sight and immoderate thought upon the beauty of the other sex, for which cause above all other things one wishes to embrace the other and, by common assent, in this embrace to fulfill the commandments of love. . . ." once said Andreas Capellanus, the twelfth century French author of a well-known but skeptical book, The Art of Courtly Love. Despite Capellanus’s attempt to provide others with an accurate definition of love, he fails in doing so; trying to achieve the impossible; Capellanus is unaware in composing a meaning of love that with its great ambiguity, love cannot ever be defined as a single phrase; its true meaning, which lies in the eyes of each different individual, includes a vast …show more content…
While the Merriam-Webster dictionary defines the concept of courtly love, a notion dealing with the affection men and women felt for each other, as “a late medieval conventionalized code prescribing conduct and emotions of ladies and their lovers,” the Oxford English dictionary defines courtly love as “a highly conventionalized medieval tradition of love between a knight and a married noblewoman, first developed by the troubadours of Southern France and extensively employed in European literature of the time . The love of the knight for his lady was regarded as an ennobling passion and the relationship was typically unconsummated.” Said to have been practiced first in the year 1702, courtly love seems to exemplify dignified and sophisticated culture, and offers what might have been the origin of romanticism, a word defined by the Encarta Dictionary as “the quality of being romantic or having romantic inclinations.”
The practice of courtly love, one that derived from the group known as the troubadours, or musicians of the early twelfth century encouraged a formalized new system of paganism called Gai Saber, meaning literally “the happy wisdom”. Troubadours, imaginative people from the Provence region of southern France successfully challenged and attempted to redefine the customary Christian ideals of love, including: marital relationships, masculine and…