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Chaucer’s Use of “Courtly Love”

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“ Courtly Love ” Essay, Research Paper

Chaucer ’ s Use of “ Courtly Love ”

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Chaucer admired and made usage of the medieval “ courtly love ” love affair tradition, although he did non to the full “ purchase into it. ” The “ courtly love ” codification is based on the adult female as the centre of attending. The mediaeval knight suffers greatly for his love, who is frequently person else ’ s married woman. He will make anything to protect and honour her, staying faithful at all costs. Adultery and secrecy qualify these relationships.

The knight positions a adult female and experiences true love. The knight fears that he will ne’er be accepted by his love ; hence, she is worshiped at a distance.

Elementss of courtly love can be seen in both “ The Book of the Duchess ” and “ The Knight ’ s Tale. ” In “ The Book of the Duchess ” the Black Knight represents the courtly love character, who falls hopelessly in love with Lady White. Following the courtly love tradition, Lady White becomes the most of import thing in the Black Knight ’ s life.

He describes her as the one true love that struck his oculus with arrant beauty.

“ Among these ladies fair and bright,

Truly one there struck my sight,

Unlike the others, I declare,

Because for certain I can curse

That, as the Sun of summer bright

Is fairer, clearer, has more light

Than any other planet in Eden,

More than the Moon, or the starry seven,

Merely so for all the universe did she

Surpass those others absolutely

In beauty, courtesy and grace,

In beaming modestness of face,

All right bearing, virtuousness every way-

What more, therefore briefly, can I state? ” ( lines 816-830 )

The courtly love tradition brings a powerful love affair to “ The Book of the Duchess. ” The Black Knight has found his true love ; nevertheless, she has died. Her decease is his deepest sorrow. The reader is made to experience for the Knight ’ s great loss. The repeat of the lines: “ Thou woost ful litel what thou menest: I have lost more than 1000 weenest ” ( lines 740-743 ; 1136-1142 ; 1300-1309 ) represents a patterned advance of hurting and sorrow ; no 1 can understand the true sorrows of the knight or how much he has truly lost.

“ The Book of the Duchess ” was written as an lament, honouring and observing Lady Blanche. In Chaucer ’ s lament, the Black Knight represents John of Gaunt, while the White Lady represents Lady Blanche. In the deeper significance of the verse form the lovers are married, non in an adulterous relationship. This does non follow the traditional form of the courtly love love affair. Chaucer strays from the traditional function of the courtl

y love love affair to do the point that matrimony is a sacred thing. John of Gaunt genuinely loved his married woman. There is no happy stoping to the verse form. In the lament, Chaucer does non seek to soothe John of Gaunt. Rather, he honors Lady Blanche, supplying a sense of immortality and recollection through his poesy

In “ The Knight ’ s Tale ” there are besides elements of the courtly love love affair. However, this grounds is slightly hypocritical. In the narrative, both Palamon and Arcite fall profoundly in love with Emelye, who is rather out of their range because they have been imprisoned by Theseus, King of Athens. The two work forces pine over Emelye, declaring their love for her, but realize that neither will of all time hold her.

“ For Goddes love, tak Al in pacience

Our prisoun, for it may non other be ;

Fortune hath yeven us this adversitte.

Som wille facet or disposcioun

Of Saturn, by sum constellacioun,

Hath yeven us this, although we hadde it sworn:

So stood the hevene whan that we were born.

We moste digest it ; this is the short and pleyn ” ( lines 226-33 ) .

“ Possibly no characters in The Canterbury Tales are less courtly in their attitude to adult females than the two rule lovers, Palamon and Arcite ” ( Jones 156 ) . The reader is to presume that the defect in the narrative serves a intent. “ It is more sensible to say Chaucer is stating the narrative in the character of the Knight and that it is the Knight-narrator who misunderstands the nature of courtly gallantry ” ( Jones 154 ) . Both Palamon and Arcite display a passion for Emelye that is highly egoistic. This egoism is atypical of courtly love.

Chaucer ’ s Arcite is released from prison and banned from Athens. However, he returns disguised so that he can stay in contact with Emelye. Arcite has suffered and has expressed sorrow for his agony.

“ Allas, the wo! allas, the peynes stronge,

That I for yow have suffered, and so longe ” ( lines 1913,14 ) .

This excessively is atypical of the courtly love love affair. The egoistic passion of Palamon and Arcite distracts the reader from any true feelings of love. The knights ’ position love in a barbarian manner. Chaucer strays from the courtly love form to demo the reader how selfish love and lovers can be.

The courtly love love affair tradition was widely used by Chaucer. However, Chaucer did non to the full embrace this codification. In “ The Book of the Duchess ” and “ The Knight ’ s Tale, ” Chaucer uses facet of the courtly ideal. His absence of certain features and elements of the codification leaves the reader thought, and construing on his/her ain.

Cite this Chaucer’s Use of “Courtly Love”

Chaucer’s Use of “Courtly Love”. (2018, Apr 18). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/chaucers-use-of/

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