"Take no heed of her...She reads a lot of books."
~Jasper Fforde

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

On the Concept of Courtly Love

Up until this year, my opinions of the cult of "Courtly Love" were pretty consistent with those of the people from Sir Thomas Malory's day, in the 1400s, namely that it was a cute and comical concept used as a lighthearted and amusing literary plot device, but nothing more. Courtly Love doesn't exist, and if it ever did, it surely did not survive until now. Well, this year, I've had a bit of a rude awakening, and this poor, tormented English Major learned the hard way that there really is such a thing as Courtly Love!

To start this off, I would like to give you a quick run down of what Courtly Love even is. Basically, its what happens when you have a young man fall headfirst into love with a woman who probably doesn't even know he exists, and as a result, he starts to display signs of an "illness" that we now know as "love-sickness" :P In my case, however, the roles are slightly reversed, in that I'm the one falling in love with someone else, even though I'm the woman!

I'm not going to burden you with all the details, but I'll give you a quick rundown of some of the signs of Courtly Love (yes, I really do have a handout with them all written down on it :P Thank you, English classes!)

3. No one can be bound by a double love
15. Every lover regularly turns pale in the presence of his [or her] beloved
17. A new love puts flight to an old one
23. He [or she] who the thought of love vexes eats and sleeps very little
30. A true lover is constantly and without intermission possessed by the thoughts of his beloved

Eesh...right? So, I'm sure you'll understand my predicament. The wonderful "lover" in question is my dear Willoughby from "Walking in the Rain (Sense and Sensibility)" As the wonderful roomie and I were reading over the list the other day, we were both amused and slightly worried by the fact that I really did display most of the traits of Courtly Love. I guess its just one of those amusing karma kicks in the pants...don't doubt or you will be punished, lol. :P

(So, is this why I've had butterflies in my stomach ALL day, and I can't get him out of my mind? Being in a relationship with him was not healthy for me, but even so, it doesn't mean that I don't love him.) CURSE YOU, COURTLY LOVE!!!!!! /:-c

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