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Medieval Period Expressions of Love

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Submitted By ANickles
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During the Second Crusade, Eleanor of Aquitaine and 300 ladies joined King Louis in battle in the Middle East with sole intent on aiding the injured (Sayre, 2010). This selfless commitment to a greater cause showed the determination that these women of this era had; thus, opening a world of change for women of the Medieval Era. After Eleanor’s and the other 300 ladies great tribute to their cause, women began to explore reading and writing which opened a new wave of ideas in the form of self-expression; ergo, birthing the troubadour (men) and trobairitz (women) poets. Using a lyre or lute, these poets used conventions and terms to describe their idea and feelings of romantic love; however, coming from different point of views, in terms of gender troubadour poems focused on a knight or nobleman longing for a woman while trobairitz poems focused on the woman longing for the knight or nobleman (Sayre, 2010). Both poems convey one message: to love is to suffer: thus, one will lose oneself mentally because of not having the one they love.
Aren’t these expressions of love the same as many displayed in the entertainment industry? For example, the courtly love tradition has the knight or nobleman performing a deed to win his lady’s favor (Sayre, 2010). Many movies display a man or woman willing to give it all to win his or her lover back. The only difference is the way the words are noted. As with many women, I find these expressions of love thrilling and sad. True, the content is a little surprising considering that it was from medieval times where one would think that people were more secretive about their feelings and extra-marital endeavors. How these individuals expressed their sexual ideas and their willingness to commit adultery is shocking; however, the beauty of these expressions weighs out any negativity that may be put out by the poem.
After reading Contessa de Dia’s Cruel are the Pains I’ve Suffered, one can assume that the women of Medieval Times had a boldness that many held within before this era. This poem was beautiful and demonstrated how the women had to hide their true feelings for someone they loved; thus, suffering a cruel fate of pain. It also shows how after these women were given the opportunity to express themselves they chose to let their pain out in the words that they wrote regardless of whom the poem may have caused pain too.
Sayre, H.M. (2010). Discovering the Humanities [Online version]. Retrieved from AIU Online Virtual Campus. Topics in Cultural Studies: HUMA215-1201A:03 website.

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