Love and Marriage in Renaissance Literature Essay

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Love and Marriage in Renaissance Literature

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
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Besides, the widows had a large common law right which became very well protected in the 16th century. So the financial need to marry was present, it meant that the alliance was a possibility to increase the families' richness.

However, a certain link between marriage and love began to appear in the Renaissance period, with the great William Shakespeare, for example. Indeed Shakespeare created lovers whose main concern was not what they would inherit, but rather the love thy felt for each other. In many of his plays, Shakespeare created couple who sometimes were not allowed to love each other and above all whose main concern was not the well being of their families. Thus, Lysander and Helena (in A Midsummer Nights Dream) Romeo and Juliet, or Othello and Desdemona, married for love rather than financial conveniences and inheritances.

In Shakespeare's plots, there were usually two forms, but the lovers were always disapproved by their families and societies. Anyway, in one of these two forms, the families tried to select the future wife thanks to economic features mainly. It did not represent a forced marriage because the family wanted them to be well together that was why they brought the couple together. And the concept of freedom of choice was developing. However it was not equally dispensed