Courtly Love And Marriage By Marie De France Essay

1001 Words Nov 24th, 2015 null Page
Courtly love and marriage in the medieval time period were often two contradicting forces. Whether courtly love or marriage was viewed as right or wrong always depended on the situation the lovers were in, or the person telling the lover’s tale. Marie de France paints these two opposite views in two of her lays— the “Lay of Yonec”, and the “Lay of the Werewolf.” She also shows readers how the two opposite views on courtly love are sparked due to varying situations. Courtly love is seen in some cases to be just and beautiful while marriage is selfish and cold, but Marie flips these ideals showing also the “bad” side to courtly love and the good of marriage—all while giving her own personal opinions on the appropriate time for courtly love. Marriage in the “Lay of Yonec” is portrayed as a cruel and unpleasant experience. The stereotypical setting of marriage is laid out, an old man jealous of any young lovers after his young beautiful bride. However, this situation is escalated by the man when he decides to lock his lovely bride inside a tower, effectively “locking” her in their marriage and not allowing her a chance to leave, always having her guarded by his sister. The wife then falls into depression that worsens her physical and mental state each day. She begins to loath the tower she lives in, the beauty she once had, and the husband she married, saying “Great is a man’s folly always to have it in mind that he may be deceived.” This entire situation sums up what many…

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