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Code of behavior
Courtly Love, code of behavior that defined the relationship between aristocratic lovers in Western Europe during the Middle Ages. The Idea of courtly love developed among the higher classes of Europe during the late-1100s. The idea of courtly love was that a man passionately devoted himself to a lady who was married or engaged to another man. Because medieval marriges were made up of little more than business contracts, courtly love was dubed as the only true romance in the lives of many Europeans. Knights used courtly love as a way to rember their home land and to give them a reson to get back to there land. Knights were not the only ones that believed in courtly love. Medieval artists, troubadors, and authors used courtly love as a bas or a theme in much of their work. Influenced by contemporary chivalric ideals (see Chivalry) and feudalism, courtly love required adherence to certain rules elaborated in the songs of the troubadours (see Troubadours and Trouvres) between the 11th and the 13th centuries and stemming originally from the Ars Amatoria (The Art of Loving) of the Roman poet Ovid.
According to these conventions, a nobleman, usually a knight, in love with a married woman of equally high birthor, often, higher rankhad to prove his devotion by heroic deeds and by amorous writings presented anonymously to his beloved. Once the lovers had pledged themselves to each other and consummated their passion, complete secrecy had to be maintained. Because most noble marriages in the Middle Ages were little more than business contracts, courtly love was a form of sanctioned adultery, sanctioned because it threatened neither the contract nor the religious sacrament of marriage. In fact, faithlessness of the lovers toward each other was considered more sinful than the adultery of this extramarital relationship.
Literature in the courtly love tradition includes such works as Lancelot, by Chrtien de Troyes; Tristan und Isolt (1210), by Gottfried von Strassburg; Le Roman de la Rose, by Guillaume de Lorris and Jean de Meun; and the Arthurian romances (see Arthurian Legend). The theme of courtly love was developed in Dante Alighieri's La vita nuova (The New Life) and La divina commedia (The Divine Comedy), and in the sonnets of the Italian poet Petrarch. Troubadours and Trouvres (Provenal trobar,"to find" or "to invent"), lyric poets and poet-musicians who flourished in France from the end of the 11th century to the end of the 13th century. The troubadours, who were active in Provence in southern France, took their inspiration from the ancient Greek conception of the lyric poem as a vocal composition (see Lyric). Written in the Provenal language (see Occitan), the lyrics of the troubadours were among the first to use native language rather than Latin, the literary language of the Middle Ages. These poems incorporated new forms, melodies, and rhythms, either original or borrowed, from the informal music of the people. The earliest troubadour whose works have been preserved was Guillaume IX of Aquitaine (1071-1127). Of the more than 400 troubadours known to have lived, the majority were nobles and some were kings; for them, composing and performing songs was a manifestation of the ideal of chivalry. Troubadour music gradually disappeared during the 13th century as the courts of southern France were destroyed in the religious wars that ended in the defeat of the Albigenses by the papal power.
Originally, the troubadours sang their own poems to their assembled courts and often held competitions, or so-called tournaments of song; later, they engaged itinerant musicians, called jongleurs, to perform their works. The subjects included love, chivalry, religion, politics, war, funerals, and nature. The verse forms included the canso (stanza song), tenso (dialogue or debate), sirvente (political or satirical canso), planh (complaint or dirge), alba (morning song), and serena (evening song). The musical accompaniments were generally played on stringed instruments such as viele (medieval fiddle) or the lute. The notation of the songs indicated pitch but not time value or rhythm. About 300 melodies and about 2600 poems of the troubadours have been preserved. The music of the troubadours is considered one of the major influences in the development of medieval secular music (see Music, Western).
The trouvres were ... more
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Eves apology in defense of wom
In one of Aemilia Lanyer's poems, "Eve's Apology in Defense of Women," a reinterpretation of the past has been presented as a means to demand a better present, and future, for women. Though Lanyer lived when the world frowned upon women writers, she managed to be "one of the few published woman poets of the Renaissance" (p 1059). This fact of such a great accomplishment for a woman in the world did not, however, changes the forms in which it was acceptable for a woman to write. Therefore, because Lanyer was limited to write in the form of a journal, letter or devotation, her cry for sexual equality needed to be disguised in one of these forms. Thus, as a devotation to God, Aemilia Lanyer pushed her work to new heights within a feminist point of view. To accomplish this push, while staying within the accepted forms of women's writing, Lanyer discusses a few important biblical events. The earliest of said events being the fall of Adam and Eve from the grace of God. Another of Lanyer's topics is the sentencing and crucifixion of Christ by Pilate. Also while speaking on Pilate, Lanyer mentions Saul, who sought the death of David, however briefly. Aemilia Lanyer has provided a very strong argument, within the confines of her society, for the reasons why women deserve and have earned the right to equality with men.
Amongst Aemilia Lanyer's arguments towards equality, she includes the fall of Adam and Eve from the grace of God. It is Lanyer's belief that the blame should not have landed solely upon Eve's shoulders for this fall, but instead Adam should be held most responsible. Lanyer claims: "But surely Adam cannot be excused" (p 1060 ln 33). However, Lanyer has been open-minded enough to acknowledge Eve's guilt as well when she says: "Her (Eve's) fault though great," (p 1060 ln 34). Regardless of Lanyer's admission to Eve's share of the guilt, she continues this thought by stating: "yet he (Adam) was most to blame" (p 1060 ln 34). To support her blame of Adam for such tremendous faults, Lanyer makes certain that her readers understand the reasons why Eve is innocent. According to Lanyer, Eve cannot be held accountable because, firstly, she was naive. She was naive enough to allow herself to be persuaded by the serpent to taste the forbidden fruit. Eve "had no power to see/ the after-coming harm" (p 1060 ln 21-2). Lanyer shows that Eve was merely performing her submissive duty towards Adam, by sharing all that she had. She puts forth this idea by saying: "Giving Adam what she held most dear/ was simply good" (p 1060 ln 20-1). Therefore, according to Lanyer, Eve's flaw was that she loved Adam enough to be subjective to his power over her and all things. Eve, Lanyer says, "whose fault was only too much love/ which made her give this present to her dear" (p 1060 ln 57-8) is innocent. It was within Adam's power to resist Eve's forbidden apple, while she could not; "What weakness (Eve) offered, strength (Adam) might have refused" (p 1060 ln 36). By Lanyer's claims, Adam should have known better than to eat the apple because unlike Eve, it was Adam that "from God's mouth received that strait command" (p 1060 ln 43). Lastly, and most importantly, Lanyer states that "if any evil did in her remain,/ Being made of him, he was the ground of all" (p 1061 ln 65-6). Meaning that any evil and fault that was in Eve originated from Adam, as she had come herself from him, the "ground of all" (p 1060 ln 66). Therefore, the evil which is actually Adam's releases women of the blame for the fall from grace.
The sentencing and crucifixion of Christ by Pilate is another of Lanyer's main topics. Throughout "Eve's Apology in Defense of Women" she pleads with Pilate to follow his heart about Jesus' faultlessness. She cries "don not in innocent blood inbrue thy hands" (p 1059 ln 6). Continually Eve's mistake, that of a naive, simple woman is compared with the great evil that Pilate is about to make as he refuses to ... more
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