Thursday, July 19, 2007

Medieval Courtly Love...


...was connected to the heresy of the Cathars. (see Rougemont's Love in the Western World) It glorified love outside of marriage as being superior to married love. Since most people, even peasants, had arranged marriages with spouses who had sometimes been chosen for them in childhood, it was not unheard of for them to later fall in love with someone other than their spouse. Divorce was out of the question; annulments happened but they were rare. Once you were married, you were married. Adulterous wives incurred severe penalties, if caught. Therefore, it should not be surprised that courtly love gained such a hold upon people, for it helped them to deal with difficult situations by romanticizing relationships that had no legitimate expression. The Christian way, of course, is to offer it up, and take up the cross. Share

2 comments:

Marissa said...

+JMJ+

What a fascinating article! The Medieval era is a favourite setting of Romance authors, so you've just given more grist to my mill. :P Thanks, Elena!

elena maria vidal said...

It is interesting how it is all connected, Marissa.