Love and Marriage in Renaissance Literature

1228 Words Mar 4th, 2006 5 Pages
In medieval Europe, the troubadours (poets of the southern part of France), like Guilhem IX, or Cercamon, first began to write poems about humble men falling in love with women who were admirer and adored by their lovers. Furthermore, intense love between men and women became a central subject in European literature, like between Tristan and Iseult, Lancelot and Guinevere, or Aeneas and Dido. But it was not question of marriage. Actually, marriage and love did not match very well together but then Renaissance literature developed the concepts of love and marriage and recorded the evolution of the relation between them. In the Renaissance poetry, Donne, in The Good Morrow, celebrate love and sexuality in marriage. However, the aspects of …show more content…
In Shakespeare 's play entitled A Midsummer Nights Dream, in the couples, the mates were chosen on their own will. Theseus, at the beginning of the play, is talking with his wife, Hippolyta, about their upcoming marriage. He so, demonstrates that the marriage was not a forced duty but that he wants it and even Hippolyta shows her happiness to marry him. Shakespeare went against societal norms and showed love as the only desire of a couple. And this began his central and favourite theme: the lovers who cannot be together because that goes against their families ' will. Besides, the societal norms of the marriage were quite strict in regard to the church. Indeed, before a couple could officially be considered married by the church and common law, there were four basic requirements. First, the bride 's family had to consent and a dowry had to be offered. Second, both parties had to be of equal social class. The third requirement was for the parties to publicly declare the wedding and to have witnesses. Finally, the couple had to consummate the marriage. In Shakespeare 's Measure for Measure, Claudio and Juliet are, thus married by common law standards -- however, their marriage was secret and so, not considered as a legal marriage. Actually, it was very important that the marriage was witnessed. And in this play,