Courtly Love In Chretien De Troyes

Chock, Teresa L.
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University of Hawaii at Manoa
We live today under the influence of a concept known as courtly love. L'amour courtois was recognized in literature as a definite and very snecial kind of sentiment with its own customs and modes of behavior in the lyric poetry of the south of France toward the end of the eleventh century. The Western world has been under the influence of this revolutionary idea for so long that the extent and depth of love's influence are often taken for granted as having a.lways existed. However, if we compare the major motivating forces found in the literature since that period with the passions that moved men to action before the twelfth century, we see that there is simply no concept of passionate romantic love as a sentiment worthy of serious treatment prior to that time. Our courting behavior and traditions, our attitudes toward adulterous love as something forbidden and exciting, and our whole idea of a society where the ladies are accorded a certain amount of deferential treatment find their beginnings in the poems of those Provenca1 troubadours, and later, in the courtly literature of northern French writers.
French, Courtly Love, Medieval Literature
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