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'

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…