ITA332H1 Lecture 2: ITA332 Lecture 2

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17 Oct 2019
ITA332 Lecture 2:
Troubadours: ‘composers/finders’ at the service of feudal lords
born in southern France, end of 11th century/beginning of 12th century
made in the feudal courts of Provençal
celebrated intensely idealized sexual passion
done in an elaborate aristocratic code of behaviour
composed the poetry, set it to music, performed it
clever, witty, worldly, sophisticated, highly educated, skillful
forged a new poetic diction with subtlety, complex abstraction, metaphors
wrote about love and women
love celebrated in quasi-religious terms
beloved = object of worship
person they wrote about was typically the wife of their lord
goal of spiritual/idealized love with physical aspects almost always present
poems were a status symbol
honour/worth given to the poet (status/patronage) and woman (status/fame)
Andreas Capellanus wrote the Art of Courtly Love in second half of 12th century
attempts to unite passion/spiritual love with sexuality
lovers seek ecstasy
requires discipline, fortitude, single-minded purpose
celebrated sexuality that is enriched by Christian notion of passion
Latin = the art of loving nobly (de arte honeste amandi)
codifies courtly love
man always socially inferior to the beloved
social heirarchy but parity of the sexes
requires mutuality because it occurs outside of marriage
active role for women - managed/could inherit wealth, gave last name to children
name for lover in Provencal = mon ami, (my friend), presupposes some parity
many sensual/sexual illusions, does not deny sexuality of love
society nurtured by feudal values, made for and consumed by the very elite
first 2 books = series of rules that he gives a potential lover, describes effects
i.e. keep the name of your beloved a secret, be obedient in all things
i.e. turns pale, fast heartbeat, eat/sleep little, fearful/obsessed by image of beloved
must be jealous, must spend money
true love and marriage always incompatible, used as a business partnership
third book = long retraction of what he said
love outside of marriage is immoral and disobedient to God’s law
love enslaves man
leads to selfishness, solitude, jealousy, poverty, loss of reputation, crimes
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love is a mortal sin that leads to eternal damnation
entire book is problematic due to juxtaposition
first 2 books based on idealized reality, last based on ordered rules avoiding chaos
marriage was social necessity for the aristocracy, done for political reasons
celibate state was always better than the uncelibate state in the medieval church
needed no clergy to marry in medieval times
sufficient just for the couple to say vows to each other
sacrament = need of direct intervention from God
Catholic church came up with sacraments during the council of Trent
made to counter reformation, clean house
Passion from latin passus, past participle of pati (to suffer)
passion became positive and good through Christianity
Madonna (lady in Italian) from mia donna, donna from latin dominus (lord)
dominus > dominus > domna > donna
love and sexuality were separate for a long time
love as passion for good contributed to by Arabic poetic tradition and church
passion in Christian tradition = intense suffering
Christ redeemed humanity from original sin
Christian tradition says we only owe love to God
love for a woman vs. love for God coexist and contrast
2 kinds of love mutually exclusive, all Troubadors were christians
in love with woman = neglect duties to God
Palinode: recantation or retraction
poem or series written to retract something said in previous poems
part of tradition of courtly love
write about their love for a woman and neglect their love for God
add in palinode to repent and ask for forgiveness
Occitania: south of France
classified by Dante in De vulgari eloquentia
Oc language = south France, Oil language = north France, Si language = Italy/Spain
culture destroyed in first half of thirteenth century
Pope Innocent 3 proclaimed a crusade against it in 1209
charged with being heretical
overpopulated poor north fought against rich south
last stronghold Fortress of Monsegur taken in 1244
Church silenced Troubadour poetry forever due to its offensive nature
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