The Role Of Courtly Love In Medieval Literature

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A valiant knight who rides his noble steed while a damsel dreams for the one who will rescue her. This plot which continually inspired modern works started during the medieval era and was known as the courtly love. Many historians have analyzed how the courtly love ideal was formed. From the several factors that could have influenced the creation of this ideal, this essay presents how courtly love was a product of the sociological aspects but not the religious aspects of medieval culture. The different sociological factors surrounding medieval society helped form the idea of courtly love. Feudalism was one main reason why the courtly love ideal flourished during that time. Its influence was presented in the works wherein a knight promised his service to his lady which was similar to a servant’s obedience to his lord. Because of the increasing popularity of courtly love works, serving women became a highly admired practice for men. …show more content…

Some believed that the constant admiration for St. Bernard of Clairvaux or the Virgin Mary prompted the creation of the courtly love ideal. But courtly love works have been created even before the popularity of St. Bernard and there were hardly any courtly love works that directly praised the Virgin Mary. Additionally, loving God varies from loving someone because doubts or uncertainties could still occur when loving another person unlike loving God. Lewis also mentioned that the church does not focus on the passionate kind of love which was prevalent in most courtly love poems. Courtly love works focused more on either the physical or emotional aspect of love rather than a spiritual or virtuous kind of love. Generally, loving God seems to be more rewarding than loving another person because there could still be difficulties when you love

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