The Barrow-Downs Discussion Forum


Visit The *EVEN NEWER* Barrow-Downs Photo Page

Go Back   The Barrow-Downs Discussion Forum > Middle-Earth Discussions > The Books
User Name
Password
Register FAQ Members List Calendar Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read


Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 07-27-2012, 01:43 PM   #1
Idril
Newly Deceased
 
Idril's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 5
Idril has just left Hobbiton.
The Afterlife, Reincarnation, and Courtly Love

Hello! I posted this question to War of the Ring a short time ago and was met with limited response. Hopefully my luck will be better over here. : )

Essentially, at its bare bones, my question is- Is the Fellowship reunited in the Afterlife?

I understand the complexity and separation of Edain and Eldar in the Hall of Mandos, but what happens after Frodo, Sam, and Gimli's mortality is again drained in Aman? Where is this place Mandos sends the souls of the Edain? Gandalf, a Maia, and Legolas, an Immortal, obviously stay in Valinor. Word on the street is Tolkien alludes to a place where Edain and Eldar are reuinted after Arda's end (similar to the Judeo-Christian Paradise/Heaven) in "Morgoth's Ring." I have only read chapters available on the internet, so please feel free to enlighten me on what he actually says!

--And I actually have two more questions, bear with me.
1) Is it at all possible that Legolas is the reincarnation of his grandfather, Oropher, who died in the Last Alliance? I've seen several forms that discuss Legolas' heritage, but not Oropher and reincarnation. According to Tolkien in "Morgoth's Ring" (Laws & Customs Among the Eldar), elves who choose to be reincarnated are born again into their immediate family and never take the name they had before they died. It's a stretch, but Legolas fits the description.

2) I am also curious as to why male Edain and female Eldar always fall in love. For example, Beren and Luthien, Tuor and Idril, Aragorn and Arwen. Why not vise versa? I have a hunch this was Tolkien incorporating courtly love (a Medieval idea originating from the French Troubadours) into Middle Earth, but I don't know for sure. I personally would find it more romantic if an immortal male Eldar fell in love with a mortal female. The male would have to give up (or should give up) his immortality (granted by Eru Illuvatar) for his lover, disrupting the societal gender roles constructed in Middle Earth (Medieval Ages and early 1900's Europe). M.E. is, after all, modeled after a male-dominated power structure. I wonder how things would play out.
Idril is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-27-2012, 02:22 PM   #2
Galadriel55
Blossom of Dwimordene
 
Galadriel55's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: The realm of forgotten words
Posts: 9,813
Galadriel55 is lost in the dark paths of Moria.Galadriel55 is lost in the dark paths of Moria.Galadriel55 is lost in the dark paths of Moria.Galadriel55 is lost in the dark paths of Moria.
Welcome Idril! I like your nickname!

I can't claim to be the History of ME expert (though some here are), but I'll try to give my two cents on this.

The souls of Men may leave the world upon death, which means that they leave the Halls of Mandos. I don't know where they go, probably to the Void since it's the only place we know about outside Ea. It is said that they will be in Iluvatar's "choir" and will make the second Music after Dagor Dagorath.

I am not sure if the souls of Elves will also leave the world after it is broken and remade. I think that when Finrod died he told Beren something that would suggest that perhaps they would meet again in another world, or something that is just as confusing. I don't have the books with me to quote, but I will do so when I have them.

As for your 1) question, I don't think so. I think Tolkien changed his mind after what you read in Morgoth's Ring (I don't know, I never read it), because there are examples of the opposite. Finrod is one. Some time after his death , he, reincarnated, walked with his father Finarfin in Valinor (which suggests that he was not reborn as someone else). And the more obvious one, Glorfindel. He is the very same one in LOTR as in The Sil. He reincarnated and was sent back to ME.
__________________
You passed from under darkened dome, you enter now the secret land. - Take me to Finrod's fabled home!... ~ Finrod: The Rock Opera
Galadriel55 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-27-2012, 03:37 PM   #3
Puddleglum
Wight
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 145
Puddleglum has just left Hobbiton.
The "Fea" of men (spirit) do leave "Ea" ("The World that Is") after death.

Tolkien has repsented "Ea" as the embodiement and living out of a Grand Theme of music (cf "Music of the Ainur") - essentially a Drama or Story, designed by Eru and adorned by the actions of his created beings (from Ainur to Quendi, Atani, Dwarves, etc). Thus, he talks in some of his Letters (eg #200) about the Valar being required to "remain in it 'until the story was finished'".

Men (and Hobbits as a branch of Atani) have a special gift to be able to leave the story and step OUTSIDE (where they, perhaps, can watch the story unfold). Given that Tolkien was a devout Christian (& Catholic) it seems a fair presumption that, upon leaving Ea, they would dwell in the Halls of Eru (the "Void" simply being the places outside Ea that are not dwelling places of Eru and the Ainur).

Saying Mandos "sends" the spritis of Men, etc "may" not be fully accurate. I've thought that their Fea depart the world (by the gift of Eru) and their destination thereafter is no longer in the hands of the Valar. Whether they travel on their own, or are escorted by Ainur (or by Eru himself) is speculation - I've not heard/read anything about that by Tolkien.

On their time in Aman, Tolikien (in Letter 246) states of Frodo that "he went to both a purgatory and to a reward, for a while: a period of reflection and peace and a gaining of a truer understanding of his position in littleness and greatness, spent still in Time amid the natural beauty of 'Arda Unmarred'." To "be healed - if that could be done, before he died." Sam, presumably, would have a similar experience.

Gimli, being a Dwarf, is a bit of an odd case. Aule made the Dwarves (tho Eru gave them a place in his creation) but there are uncertain reports or beliefs by Dwarves and others about their fate after "dying". They believe they go to Mandos and their wait the end when they will aid Aule in the remaking of Arda. But it is never said certainly whether that belief is accurate or not.

Silmarillion says that it is believed (by the Valar) that Atani (Men) will join in the Second Music of the Ainur after the end of Ea, but that Eru has not revealed what he has in store for Quendi (Elves). "Morgoth's Ring" has a section "Athrabeth Finrod ah Andreth" which discusses this in some detail and especially how this requires a special Trust and Hope (Estel) of the Eldar. They know they will live till the end of Ea, but have NO PROMISE of surviving after that, while Men have the promise of dwelling eternally with Eru (tho they live only a short time with Ea before "dying").

About Legolas being Oropher? I've never read anything by Tolkien that suggested such was the case. And, as Galadriel55 noted, Tolkien shifted to going with the rebodying of slain Eldar - which meant they were rebodied by the Valar in Valinor. Only in very unusual cases would they then manage to travel back to Middle Earth (Glorfindel is the only such case I'm aware of).

For your Q2, I think it's important to consider you are working from an extremely small sample-set. You mentioned three cases (Beren/Luthien, Tuor/Idril & Aragor/Arwen). I can think of exactly Two other cases in the whole history of Arda ...
  • Imrazor and Mithrellas. Imrazor was, per legend, the father of the first lord of Dol Amroth. Mithrellas was a maiden companion of Nimrodel.
  • Aegnor (brother of Finrod) and Andreth (women of the house of Beor)
The latter was never consumated, but the Athrabeth makes clear Aegnor's love for Andreth was real, and only wisdom led him to forbear - for Andreth's sake (a whole other discussion).

So, only 5 cases in all of history. And one of those was a male Elf loving a Female Human. Not purely according to odds of pure chance, but if you flipp a coin 5 times - there will be occasions when you get 4 heads and 1 tail.

Then, too, it could be a simple case of Human Men (in such times of unrest and war and danger) tend to travel to seek out Elves more than either human women traveling or any elves seeking out men. Thus there will be more meetings between Human Men and Elvish Females than the opposite.
Puddleglum is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-28-2012, 02:08 AM   #4
Mumriken
Banned
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 78
Mumriken is still gossiping in the Green Dragon.
The only ones who are sure to be meeting eachother again are, Aragorn, Merry, Pippin, Frido, Boromir. Gimli will help Aule rebuild Arda and the elves...who knows. I'm not sure what Gandalf will be doing either.
Mumriken is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-28-2012, 04:38 AM   #5
Galadriel
Ghost Prince of Cardolan
 
Galadriel's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: In Eldamar beside the walls of Elven Tirion
Posts: 551
Galadriel has just left Hobbiton.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mumriken View Post
The only ones who are sure to be meeting eachother again are, Aragorn, Merry, Pippin, Frido, Boromir. Gimli will help Aule rebuild Arda.
I don't think there's any evidence for that.
__________________
"Hey! Come derry dol! Can you hear me singing?" – Tom Bombadil
Galadriel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-28-2012, 08:51 AM   #6
Mumriken
Banned
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 78
Mumriken is still gossiping in the Green Dragon.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Galadriel View Post
I don't think there's any evidence for that.
That is if they can find eachother after death. There must be many dead "man" spirits flying around out there in the void.
Mumriken is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-28-2012, 09:09 AM   #7
Galadriel55
Blossom of Dwimordene
 
Galadriel55's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: The realm of forgotten words
Posts: 9,813
Galadriel55 is lost in the dark paths of Moria.Galadriel55 is lost in the dark paths of Moria.Galadriel55 is lost in the dark paths of Moria.Galadriel55 is lost in the dark paths of Moria.
How do you know that Gimli will help Aule rebuild Arda?
__________________
You passed from under darkened dome, you enter now the secret land. - Take me to Finrod's fabled home!... ~ Finrod: The Rock Opera
Galadriel55 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-28-2012, 10:29 AM   #8
Puddleglum
Wight
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 145
Puddleglum has just left Hobbiton.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Galadriel55 View Post
How do you know that Gimli will help Aule rebuild Arda?
Well, I didn't say "I" know. I said it is "their" belief. That comes from Silmarillion (Of Aule and Yavanna).
"Aforetime it was held among the Elves in Middle Earth that dying the Dwarves returned to the earth and the stone of which they were made;
yet that is not their belief. For they say that Aule the Maker, whom they call Mahal, cares for them, and gathers them to Mandos in halls set apart; and that he declared to their Fathers of old that Illuvatar will hallow them and give them a place among the Children in the End.
Then their part shall be to serve Aule and to aid him in the Remaking of Arda after the Last Battle."
So, nothing more than that this is the belief of the Dwarves about their fate.
Puddleglum is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-28-2012, 06:31 PM   #9
Galadriel55
Blossom of Dwimordene
 
Galadriel55's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: The realm of forgotten words
Posts: 9,813
Galadriel55 is lost in the dark paths of Moria.Galadriel55 is lost in the dark paths of Moria.Galadriel55 is lost in the dark paths of Moria.Galadriel55 is lost in the dark paths of Moria.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Puddleglum View Post
Well, I didn't say "I" know. I said it is "their" belief. That comes from Silmarillion (Of Aule and Yavanna).
I was asking Mumriken. Sorry about that. I should not be so lazy and actually quote what I am arguing about.
__________________
You passed from under darkened dome, you enter now the secret land. - Take me to Finrod's fabled home!... ~ Finrod: The Rock Opera
Galadriel55 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-28-2012, 10:32 PM   #10
Belegorn
Shade of Carn Dûm
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Henneth Annûn, Ithilien
Posts: 462
Belegorn has just left Hobbiton.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Idril View Post
Where is this place Mandos sends the souls of the Edain?
The Edain go to one of the halls in Mandos, "whence none can escape, neither Vala, nor Elf, nor mortal Man. Vast and strong are those halls" [Sil, p. 52] but unlike the Elves they are not summoned, or given a choice to come back. Only one instance in Beren occured where someone was brought back. I'm not sure if those halls are actually part of Aman though. Then again since the souls of Elves are bound to the world maybe they are. It is said, "the sons of Men die indeed, and leave the world" and that "Death is their fate, the gift of Illuvatar, which as Time wears even the Powers shall envy." [p. 38] Some like Finrod debated Man's fate but it is said, "What may befall their spirits after death the Elves know not. Some say that they too go to the Halls of Mandos; but their place of waiting there is not that of the Elves, and Mandos under Illuvatar alone save Manwe knows wither they go after the time of recollection in those silent halls beside the Outer Sea." [p. 121]

Among the Edain of old there was the belief that Melkor had corrupted their nature because in their beginnings they were not short lived. "Men are not now as they were, nor as their true nature was in the beginning." [MR, p. 309] This was probably due to Melkor causing strrife that these legends came about. Andreth was one of the Wise among the Edain and she was learned in the lore of the houses of Beor and of Marach who say, "plainly that Men are not by nature short-lived, but have become so through the malice of the Lord of the Darkness... the Wise among Men say: 'We were not made for death, nor born ever to die. Death was imposed upon us.'... we knew that in our beginning we had been born never to die... born to life everlasting, without any shadow of any end." [p. 309, 314]. She said that the difference between death for the Eldar and Men is that, "dying we die, and we go out to no return... an uttermost end... it is abominable; for it is also a wrong that is done to us." [p. 311] Finrod claimed that such a thing would be an amazing feat, "to change the doom of a whole people of the Children, to rob them of their inheritance: if he could do that in Eru's despite, then greater and more terrible is he by far than we guessed... to doom the deathless to death, from father unto son, and yet to leave to them the memory of an inheritance taken away, and the desire for what is lost: could the Morgoth do this?... I do not believe your tale. None could have done this save the One... How did ye anger Eru?" [p. 312-313]. Finrod said that the Eldar percieve that, "the fëar of Men are not, as are ours, confined to Arda, nor is Arda their home." [p. 315] Finrod said they are guests in Arda, like one visiting a country seeing new things, whereas Arda was the home of the Eldar, and they live in that country and always must.
__________________
"For believe me: the secret for harvesting from existence the greatest fruitfulness and the greatest enjoyment is - to live dangerously!" - G.S.; F. Nietzsche

Last edited by Belegorn; 07-28-2012 at 10:36 PM.
Belegorn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-29-2012, 03:22 PM   #11
Idril
Newly Deceased
 
Idril's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 5
Idril has just left Hobbiton.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Galadriel55 View Post
"Welcome Idril! I like your nickname!

I can't claim to be the History of ME expert (though some here are), but I'll try to give my two cents on this.

The souls of Men may leave the world upon death, which means that they leave the Halls of Mandos. I don't know where they go, probably to the Void since it's the only place we know about outside Ea. It is said that they will be in Iluvatar's "choir" and will make the second Music after Dagor Dagorath.
Thank you and mae govannen! I appreciate every two cents I can get since I am (obviously) no expert either. ; )


Quote:
Originally Posted by Puddleglum View Post
Tolkien has repsented "Ea" as the embodiement and living out of a Grand Theme of music (cf "Music of the Ainur") - essentially a Drama or Story, designed by Eru and adorned by the actions of his created beings (from Ainur to Quendi, Atani, Dwarves, etc). Thus, he talks in some of his Letters (eg #200) about the Valar being required to "remain in it 'until the story was finished.
Forgive me if this question is redundant or has already answered in another form (it's been a while since I've read either The Silmarillion or The Lost Tales), but would the Valar cease to exist in the Second Music after Dagor Dagorath? I recently read "Athrabeth Finrod ah Andreth" where Finrod describes the Eldar as being tethered to Arda (unlike Men), and Arda to the Valar. If the Valar/Arda cease to exist surely the Eldar will as well?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Puddleglum View Post
Men (and Hobbits as a branch of Atani) have a special gift to be able to leave the story and step OUTSIDE (where they, perhaps, can watch the story unfold). Given that Tolkien was a devout Christian (& Catholic) it seems a fair presumption that, upon leaving Ea, they would dwell in the Halls of Eru (the "Void" simply being the places outside Ea that are not dwelling places of Eru and the Ainur).
As a practicing Christian it seems to me that the Void is an allusion to Purgatory, a sort of in between worlds. Tolkien, a Catholic, would have certainly believed in the existence of Purgatory (I personally am Methodist and do not). If the Void is Purgatory, between Arda/Aman, point A, and the Beyond, point B, what is point B? The time of Second Music-- a tertiary world equivalent to the Judeo-Christian "Heaven"? From the information you have given: Frodo, Sam, Merry, Pippin, Boromir, and Aragorn will be seeing each other in the Afterlife. Gimli has a fighting chance since Eru granted the Dwarves a place in his Grand Music, as do Legolas and Gandalf, Immortals.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Puddleglum View Post
About Legolas being Oropher? I've never read anything by Tolkien that suggested such was the case. And, as Galadriel55 noted, Tolkien shifted to going with the rebodying of slain Eldar - which meant they were rebodied by the Valar in Valinor. Only in very unusual cases would they then manage to travel back to Middle Earth (Glorfindel is the only such case I'm aware of).
The inconsistency in canon is addressed by Christopher in the prologue to "Laws & Customs Among the Eldar." Is there an updated account of things that are set-in-stone canon published by C.T.? Thank you for your insight on Legolas and Oropher!


Quote:
Originally Posted by Puddleglum View Post
For your Q2, I think it's important to consider you are working from an extremely small sample-set. You mentioned three cases (Beren/Luthien, Tuor/Idril & Aragor/Arwen). I can think of exactly Two other cases in the whole history of Arda ...
  • Imrazor and Mithrellas. Imrazor was, per legend, the father of the first lord of Dol Amroth. Mithrellas was a maiden companion of Nimrodel.
  • Aegnor (brother of Finrod) and Andreth (women of the house of Beor)
The latter was never consumated, but the Athrabeth makes clear Aegnor's love for Andreth was real, and only wisdom led him to forbear - for Andreth's sake (a whole other discussion).
I had forgotten about Aegnor and Andreth. In "Laws & Customs" Tolkien makes note that marriages/consummation among the Valar only happen during times of peace. So yes, their love was real enough, but unfortunately destined to fail because of the Siege of Angband. My actual question which I failed to communicate: Is the love between female Eldar and male Edain an example of courtly love? Tolkien incorporated several customs of the Medieval Ages and literary devices of Epic poetry into his work (weregild is actually name-dropped by Boromir in FotR). I am curious if anyone else saw the correlation.
__________________
"Learn to hold loosely all that is not eternal."
-A.M. Royden
Idril is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-29-2012, 08:37 PM   #12
Puddleglum
Wight
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 145
Puddleglum has just left Hobbiton.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Idril View Post
would the Valar cease to exist in the Second Music after Dagor Dagorath?
Short answer, I would say, is No. The Valar "are 'divine', that is, were originally 'outside' and existed 'before' the making of the world." (LoT #133) and "this condition Illuvatar made" (referring to the Valar coming in) "or it is the necessity of their love, that their power should thenceforward be bounded in the World, to be within it forever, until it is complete." (Music of the Ainur). More is said that could be taken ambiguously, but I think this is the essence that Eru won't allow them to bow out of their task - no matter how long it is. THAT IS THE ESSENCE OF LOVE. But, having being before and distinct from Ea, when it's story is over they would (I believe) still "be".

Elves are a bit different in that they have their being in and from Arda (being both Fea, spirit, AND Hroa, physical body). Estel would say that Eru must have a plan and purpose for all his children beyond the "full making" - but Estel (hope) is all they have in that regards.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Idril View Post
it seems to me that the Void is an allusion to Purgatory, a sort of in between worlds.
The Ainulindale says that "Melkor ... had gone often alone into the void places seeking the Imperishable Flame ... and he was impatient of the emptiness of {the Void}" and also "Illuvatar went forth from the fair regions that he had made for the Ainur ... But when they were come into the Void..."

From these, and other, statements it seems that the Void is less a Purgatory (a place for the dead to go and await judgement) than simply the places OTHER THAN the places where the Ainur were to dwell. Also, that it existed (if that is even the right term) before Ea.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Idril View Post
Is the love between female Eldar and male Edain an example of courtly love?
It could be. I think it's a great observation and question, but I fear I'm not up enough on the Medieval concept (as far as details) to contribute much. Hopefully others can chime in.
Puddleglum is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-29-2012, 10:22 PM   #13
Morthoron
Curmudgeonly Wordwraith
 
Morthoron's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Ensconced in curmudgeonly pursuits
Posts: 2,467
Morthoron is lost in the dark paths of Moria.Morthoron is lost in the dark paths of Moria.Morthoron is lost in the dark paths of Moria.Morthoron is lost in the dark paths of Moria.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Idril View Post
My actual question which I failed to communicate: Is the love between female Eldar and male Edain an example of courtly love? Tolkien incorporated several customs of the Medieval Ages and literary devices of Epic poetry into his work (weregild is actually name-dropped by Boromir in FotR). I am curious if anyone else saw the correlation.
Courtly love, in the medieval literary sense, is guilty love: Tristan and Isolde, Lancelot and Guinevere, the Breton Bisclavret, Le Roman du Châtelain de Coucy et de la Dame de Fayel, and even Chaucer's Canterbury Tales and Boccaccio's Decameron, all deal with adulterous or illicit love. Tolkien does not condone such unions and the Eldar/Edain courtships are not at all in the style of medieval courtly love.

You will find more detail from epics of the early Middle Ages present in Tolkien's work, as opposed to the high Middle Ages when courtly love was in fashion. Weregild, for instance, is mentioned in Beowulf, and Isildur refers to the One Ring as "weregild" in payment for the death of his father, Elendil. So too, the naming conventions for many of the Dwarves (and Gandalf) come from the Völuspá, and many of the plot points in the story of Turin Turambar were derived from the Kalevela, both drawn, like Beowulf, from oral tradition that came from the early Middle Ages, or perhaps predates it altogether.

One might as well throw in other literary works such as the Old Testament, the Welsh Mabinogion, Plato's Dialogues, and the Icelandic Eddas and the Volsunga Saga, as far as veins of literature that Tolkien mined.
__________________
And your little sister's immaculate virginity wings away on the bony shoulders of a young horse named George who stole surreptitiously into her geography revision.

Last edited by Morthoron; 07-29-2012 at 10:26 PM.
Morthoron is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-30-2012, 05:03 AM   #14
Galadriel
Ghost Prince of Cardolan
 
Galadriel's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: In Eldamar beside the walls of Elven Tirion
Posts: 551
Galadriel has just left Hobbiton.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mumriken View Post
That is if they can find eachother after death. There must be many dead "man" spirits flying around out there in the void.
'If's' and 'must be's' are rather unreliable words.
__________________
"Hey! Come derry dol! Can you hear me singing?" – Tom Bombadil
Galadriel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-31-2012, 10:35 PM   #15
Idril
Newly Deceased
 
Idril's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 5
Idril has just left Hobbiton.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Morthoron View Post
Courtly love, in the medieval literary sense, is guilty love: Tristan and Isolde, Lancelot and Guinevere, the Breton Bisclavret, Le Roman du Châtelain de Coucy et de la Dame de Fayel, and even Chaucer's Canterbury Tales and Boccaccio's Decameron, all deal with adulterous or illicit love. Tolkien does not condone such unions and the Eldar/Edain courtships are not at all in the style of medieval courtly love.
You seem to be knowledgable about the concept of courtly love. Although I am a history major with a concentration in the Medieval Ages I must admit I've never heard it being bluntly described as "guilty." I'm 20, I'm young, I have a lot to learn, and I'll trust your judgement on this. : )
My impression of courtly love is that a love based on admiration bordering on idolatry, if "love" can exist under the circumstances. For instance, a knight who has fallen for a lady far above his station. He understands he will never be able to be with her but continues to harbor illicit feelings regardless. The lady is put upon a pedestal as a sort of otherworldly creature --unattainable, divine. That seems more in the vein of Aragorn and Arwen's relationship, does it not? A Mortal (albeit one of royal lineage) who has fallen in love with the Immortal Evenstar, his foster-sister.
Courtly love of the High Middle Ages did have a certain element of sadomasochism that Aragorn and Arwen's relationship lacks, and that I in no way imply it possesses. In my opinion, their love (Aragorn's), while pure, did include a near-idolatrous edge to it at first. If I remember correctly, Aragorn fell to the ground in awe when he first met Arwen because he believed her to be the vision of Luthien Tinuviel. Arwen was charmed by his mistake but chose not to return his love until some time later. In comparison to other couples in LoTR: Sam and Rosie and Faramir and Eowyn, their love doesn't quite appear balanced.

Perhaps the lack of balance is due to Aragorn's (Estel) age when he first met Arwen. Some 20-odd years, was it not?
__________________
"Learn to hold loosely all that is not eternal."
-A.M. Royden
Idril is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-01-2012, 04:36 AM   #16
Mumriken
Banned
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 78
Mumriken is still gossiping in the Green Dragon.
Quote:
You seem to be knowledgable about the concept of courtly love. Although I am a history major with a concentration in the Medieval Ages I must admit I've never heard it being bluntly described as "guilty." I'm 20, I'm young, I have a lot to learn, and I'll trust your judgement on this. : )
My impression of courtly love is that a love based on admiration bordering on idolatry, if "love" can exist under the circumstances. For instance, a knight who has fallen for a lady far above his station. He understands he will never be able to be with her but continues to harbor illicit feelings regardless. The lady is put upon a pedestal as a sort of otherworldly creature --unattainable, divine. That seems more in the vein of Aragorn and Arwen's relationship, does it not? A Mortal (albeit one of royal lineage) who has fallen in love with the Immortal Evenstar, his foster-sister.
Courtly love of the High Middle Ages did have a certain element of sadomasochism that Aragorn and Arwen's relationship lacks, and that I in no way imply it possesses. In my opinion, their love (Aragorn's), while pure, did include a near-idolatrous edge to it at first. If I remember correctly, Aragorn fell to the ground in awe when he first met Arwen because he believed her to be the vision of Luthien Tinuviel. Arwen was charmed by his mistake but chose not to return his love until some time later. In comparison to other couples in LoTR: Sam and Rosie and Faramir and Eowyn, their love doesn't quite appear balanced.

Perhaps the lack of balance is due to Aragorn's (Estel) age when he first met Arwen. Some 20-odd years, was it not?
lol...there is no lack of balance. Beren had to face Thingol and Aragorn Elrond...that is the only unbalance there is if any. Also wasn't Aragorn/Arwen's relationship expanded greatly in the movies.
Mumriken is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-01-2012, 06:42 AM   #17
Idril
Newly Deceased
 
Idril's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 5
Idril has just left Hobbiton.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mumriken View Post
lol...there is no lack of balance. Beren had to face Thingol and Aragorn Elrond...that is the only unbalance there is if any. Also wasn't Aragorn/Arwen's relationship expanded greatly in the movies.
I was not basing my argument on the movies. In fact, I think the movies created a more equal relationship than the books.
__________________
"Learn to hold loosely all that is not eternal."
-A.M. Royden
Idril is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-02-2012, 08:16 PM   #18
Morthoron
Curmudgeonly Wordwraith
 
Morthoron's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Ensconced in curmudgeonly pursuits
Posts: 2,467
Morthoron is lost in the dark paths of Moria.Morthoron is lost in the dark paths of Moria.Morthoron is lost in the dark paths of Moria.Morthoron is lost in the dark paths of Moria.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Idril View Post
You seem to be knowledgable about the concept of courtly love. Although I am a history major with a concentration in the Medieval Ages I must admit I've never heard it being bluntly described as "guilty." I'm 20, I'm young, I have a lot to learn, and I'll trust your judgement on this. : )
My impression of courtly love is that a love based on admiration bordering on idolatry, if "love" can exist under the circumstances. For instance, a knight who has fallen for a lady far above his station. He understands he will never be able to be with her but continues to harbor illicit feelings regardless. The lady is put upon a pedestal as a sort of otherworldly creature --unattainable, divine.
Back in the dark ages of last century, I was a lit. major/medieval studies minor - so I am actually living my Middle Ages currently. But my passion over the last few decades has been 14th century research. You are partially right that courtly love placed the intended object of affection on a pedestal, in this case always a noblewoman (never commoners, who were raped, robbed and murdered without compunction by any number of preux chevalier); however, it is not correct to think of this object of love as unattainable. Think of it as a challenge rather than impossibility, a quest for gratification as Jean de Meung allegorized in the famous Roman de la Rose. Instead of defeating a dragon or robber baron, the inevitable conquest is the rose (whose flowery petals and delicate inner parts are a metaphor for a woman's genitalia).

Thus, the concept of guilty or illicit love as a major plot point in tales of courtly love. In the vast majority of courtly love stories, poems, trouvere's ballads, etc., the object of desire is a married or espoused woman, usually a lord's or vassal's wife, many times that of a best friend (as in the case of King Arthur's wife, Guinevere, and her adultery with Lancelot). This heightens the danger and suspense of the story. Being in love with one's own spouse or betrothed is certainly not lurid and exciting enough material for the racy Provençal, Italians or French. You must understand that in the Middle Ages (and all the way up to the 19th century), marriage of the nobility was more a political ploy than a love match, and certain liberties were taken and infidelity often winked at. Even popes had bastards.

If anything, Tolkien bowdlerized the idea of courtly love, keeping the valor, devotion and ardent desire, but utterly removing the main themes of illicit love (and often rape, as in the tale of Lucretia as retold by both Boccaccio and Chaucer), treachery, sexual promiscuity and tragic endings - and nearly all the important tales of courtly love ended tragically (with the heart of the doomed lover sent in a box to his amour).

Oh, and welcome to the Downs, Idril, you bring up some intriguing points.
__________________
And your little sister's immaculate virginity wings away on the bony shoulders of a young horse named George who stole surreptitiously into her geography revision.

Last edited by Morthoron; 08-05-2012 at 08:05 PM.
Morthoron is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-03-2012, 05:06 PM   #19
jallanite
Shade of Carn Dûm
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: Toronto
Posts: 479
jallanite is a guest of Tom Bombadil.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Morthoron View Post
- and nearly all the important tales of courtly love ended tragically (with the heart of the doomed lover sent in a box to his amour).
First, it depends on what one means by courtly love, a term that is never used in the medieval texts themselves. That said, there are certainly many tales of tragic lover affairs that are tragic, but not all are courtly by most definitions. The great Prose Tristan ends tragically but is far more focused on Tristan’s knightly exploits than on the love affair between Tristan and Yseult. It has never been called a courtly romance as far as I am aware.

Indeed I have read commentary on the so-called courtly versions of the Tristan story, those based on the version told by Thomas, which point out that Tristan and Yseult in these versions really don’t fit the supposed model as set forth in The Art of Courtly Love by Andreas Capellanus (which in any case I think to be an obvious parody).

A popular medieval love story that ends happily is Aucassin and Nicolette. More often a love affair is just part of a medieval romance of adventure which tends to end with the marriage of the hero, or may contain a second movement in which the marriage falls into difficulties which are resolved, as in Chrétien de Troyes’ Erec et Enide or his Yvain.

I only vaguely recall any medieval romance in which the heart of the dead hero is sent to his lady love in a box. That is far from being a normal motif in medieval tales.

Tolkien hardly bowdlerizes his sources because he does not follow any sources closely. Rather, he picks and chooses even within the same tale and most often freely invents.

That said, Tolkien was more interested in adventurous tales than in love tales per se. The same is true of the author of Beowulf.
jallanite is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-03-2012, 10:07 PM   #20
Morthoron
Curmudgeonly Wordwraith
 
Morthoron's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Ensconced in curmudgeonly pursuits
Posts: 2,467
Morthoron is lost in the dark paths of Moria.Morthoron is lost in the dark paths of Moria.Morthoron is lost in the dark paths of Moria.Morthoron is lost in the dark paths of Moria.
Quote:
Originally Posted by jallanite View Post
First, it depends on what one means by courtly love, a term that is never used in the medieval texts themselves.
The term "courtly love" (cortez amors in Provençal) appears as early as the 12th century, but the terms fin'amor ("fine love") and cortez' amors de bon aire ("well-spirited courtly love") used by Occitanian troubadours are also cognate with the concept of courtly love, and widely used. That there was such a literary tradition is beyond doubt, and though added emphasis was placed on the specific term "courtly love" in the 19th century, scholars do not consider it neologistic when referring to the tradition.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jallanite View Post
That said, there are certainly many tales of tragic lover affairs that are tragic, but not all are courtly by most definitions. The great Prose Tristan ends tragically but is far more focused on Tristan’s knightly exploits than on the love affair between Tristan and Yseult. It has never been called a courtly romance as far as I am aware.
Then you are not aware of the tremendous amount of scholarly work regarding the courtly love aspects of Tristan and Iseult. A simple Google look-up of "Tristan and Iseult Courtly Love" yields over 47,000 results. Or you can simply read up on it in the works of Joseph Campbell, who used Tristan and Isolde to illustrate the conventions of courtly love.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jallanite View Post
A popular medieval love story that ends happily is Aucassin and Nicolette. More often a love affair is just part of a medieval romance of adventure which tends to end with the marriage of the hero, or may contain a second movement in which the marriage falls into difficulties which are resolved, as in Chrétien de Troyes’ Erec et Enide or his Yvain
Have you even read any Chrétien de Troyes? In Le Chevalier au Lion, Yvain is a landless hero who kills a knight and then marries the dead knight's widow and takes his lands and titles (after several pages of protestation of his adoration for the lady). That is hardly an acceptable moral convention of the time, but more an apsect of courtly love. Le Chevalier de la Charette (The Knight on the Cart) is one long swooning mess of courtly love, where Lancelot undergoes all sorts of melancholy, ridicule and embarrassments to prove his ardor to Guinevere (again, like Isuelt, a married woman). Chrétien de Troyes' work is one of the earliest and clearly defined examples of fin' amour. de Troyes was influenced by Marie of Champagne (daughter of the sexually uninhibited Eleanor of Aquitaine), and through her, de Troyes remade the Arthurian romances in the image of courtly love.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jallanite View Post
I only vaguely recall any medieval romance in which the heart of the dead hero is sent to his lady love in a box. That is far from being a normal motif in medieval tales.
On the contrary, "Le Roman du Châtelain de Coucy", which I mentioned previously, was the favorite and most widely known in the courts of 14th century dukedoms in France and in Italy (retold there by Boccaccio in The Decameron). The hero, the châtelain of the castle Renault, falls madly in love with Dame de Fayel. The jealous husband of the Dame tricks the hero into joining the Third Crusade, where he covers himself in glory but is fatally wounded by a poisoned arrow. The dying châtelain composes one last love song and a farewell letter for the Dame, and in his will requests that his heart be embalmed and sent in a box with the song, the letter and a lock of the lady's hair. The box is duly dispatched to the Dame, but is intercepted by the jealous husband, who has the heart cooked and served to his wife. When he informs her what he she has eaten, she swears that she will never eat again after having had such noble food. She starves herself to death.

In addition, it was quite common for medieval nobles to send body parts to different places after death. At his request, Robert the Bruce's embalmed heart was placed in a silver casket and carried to the crusades in Spain by Sir James Douglas. When Sir James died gloriously in battle, Muhammed IV, with as much chivarly as the Christian knights, sent Sir James' body with an honor guard back to his enemy, King Alphonso. The remaining Scottish knights embalmed Sir James' heart and it is now buried in St. Bride’s Kirk, and the silver casket with the Bruce's heart was buried in Melrose Abbey. French nobles often requested the body, heart and entrails to be buried in three separate places, while English lords preferred only the body and the heart be buried separately. The Holy Roman Empire also had such post-mortem extractions for separate burial. The practice had chivalric, political and religious implications.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jallanite View Post
Tolkien hardly bowdlerizes his sources because he does not follow any sources closely. Rather, he picks and chooses even within the same tale and most often freely invents.
I used the qualifier "If anything", as in, had Tolkien paid any attention to the conventions of courtly love at all, he bowdlerized it beyond recognition. There are really no elements of courtly love as I have heard it defined in Tolkien's work.

Referencing Barbara Tuchman from her book A Distant Mirror she states the following:

Quote:
"Courtly love was understood by its contemporaries to be love for its own sake, romantic love, true love, physical love, unassociated with property or family, and consequently focused on another man's wife, since only such an illicit liasion could have no other aim but love alone...As formulated by chivalry, romance was pictured as extra-marital because love was irrelevant to marriage, was indeed discouraged in order not to get in the way of dynastic arrangements."
This is the antithesis of Tolkien's view of love. There is no sex outside of marriage, and even forced-marriage in the case of Eol and Aredhel leads to both of their deaths and the doom is visited down up their son Maeglin as well.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jallanite View Post
That said, Tolkien was more interested in adventurous tales than in love tales per se. The same is true of the author of Beowulf.
I agree.
__________________
And your little sister's immaculate virginity wings away on the bony shoulders of a young horse named George who stole surreptitiously into her geography revision.
Morthoron is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-04-2012, 03:03 AM   #21
jallanite
Shade of Carn Dûm
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: Toronto
Posts: 479
jallanite is a guest of Tom Bombadil.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Morthoron View Post
That there was such a literary tradition is beyond doubt, and though added emphasis was placed on the specific term "courtly love" in the 19th century, scholars do not consider it neologistic when referring to the tradition.
From Norris J. Lacy in The New Arthurian Encyclopedia, the article on Courtly Love:
COURTLY LOVE, a term first used by Gaston Paris in an 1883 article. It may well be a misleading designation for the medieval phenomenon it is supposed to identify. A good many scholars criticize the term and propose that it be abandoned. That is unlikely to occur, owing to its familiarity and usefulness. It is often, and probably erroneously, used interchangeably with fin’amors, which is the proper term for a conception of love propounded by the Provençal troubadours. A question that has occupied a good many scholars is whether courtly love, in northern France especially, was a historical and cultural phenomenon or simply a literary convention.
Lacy continues. I realize that most scholars do not deny that the tradition existed, but they do disagree, often vehemently, on what exactly was meant by what they call courtly love by different writers.

Quote:
Then you are not aware of the tremendous amount of scholarly work regarding the courtly love aspects of Tristan and Iseult. A simple Google look-up of "Tristan and Iseult Courtly Love" yields over 47,000 results.
I am so aware. However much of it applies only to works in the Thomas tradition, not to other verse Tristan material and the prose material. You seem not be aware that there were four main streams of Tristan material in European tales: the Welsh tradition, the so-called folk tradition found in the works of Béroul and Eilhart von Oberge, the more refined so-called courtly tradition in the version of Thomas and adaptations into other languages, and the later immense prose romances in four main versions with adaptations into other languages.

Not all tales of adultery need also be tales of what some modern writers call courtly love.

Quote:
Or you can simply read up on it in the works of Joseph Campbell, who used Tristan and Isolde to illustrate the conventions of courtly love.
Campbell unfortunately so greatly oversimplifies that his work in that area is almost useless.

Quote:
Have you even read any Chrétien de Troyes? In Le Chevalier au Lion, Yvain is a landless hero who kills a knight and then marries the dead knight's widow and takes his lands and titles (after several pages of protestation of his adoration for the lady). That is hardly an acceptable moral convention of the time, but more an apsect of courtly love.
Yes, I have read all of extant Chrétien de Troyes. That Chrétien so concentrates on marriage is why many commentators don’t think that Chrétien was much influenced by so-called courtly love, at least in its extreme form. I do not see that marrying the widow of a knight whom one has slain should be seen as an aspect of courtly love. I suspect that you may be seeing something you call “courtly love” when the text only tells of love by one person of another.

Quote:
Le Chevalier de la Charette (The Knight on the Cart) is one long swooning mess of courtly love, where Lancelot undergoes all sorts of melancholy, ridicule and embarrassments to prove his ardor to Guinevere (again, like Isuelt, a married woman). Chrétien de Troyes' work is one of the earliest and clearly defined examples of fin' amour. de Troyes was influenced by Marie of Champagne (daughter of the sexually uninhibited Eleanor of Aquitaine), and through her, de Troyes remade the Arthurian romances in the image of courtly love.
Chrétien comes close to an adulterous relationship in his Cligés and steps over the line in his Lancelot. These, to judge by adaptations into other languages, were the least popular of his poems. Many commentators consider that Chrétien somewhat distanced himself from the morality of his Lancelot when he ascribed both the source material and its treatment to Marie of Champagne and then did not even finish the poem, leaving that to Godfroi de Leigni. This surviving poem by Chrétien alone praises an adulterous hero.

Chrétien’s most popular poems praised married life and dealt with difficulties that arose in marriage. Have you never noticed that only one poem by Chrétien really fits in the courtly love tradition, such as it may be?

Quote:
On the contrary, "Le Roman du Châtelain de Coucy", which I mentioned previously, was the favorite and most widely known in the courts of 14th century dukedoms in France and in Italy (retold there by Boccaccio in The Decameron).
Fair enough. But that is only one story. You indicated more when you wrote:
… and nearly all the important tales of courtly love ended tragically (with the heart of the doomed lover sent in a box to his amour).
One example is not “nearly all”.

I am quite aware of the customs of saving embalmed body parts as relics. But that is not a common motif in medieval adventure romances.

Quote:
I used the qualifier "If anything", as in, had Tolkien paid any attention to the conventions of courtly love at all, he bowdlerized it beyond recognition. There are really no elements of courtly love as I have heard it defined in Tolkien's work.
Nor is there in many medieval poems, including most of Chrétien. And you can’t bowdlerize something which is mainly your own invention, unless you produce a cleaned-up version of your own work. Even Tennyson produced a mostly faithful Victorian version of Chrétien’s Erec et Enide in his two idylls The Marriage of Geraint and Geraint and Enid. He did not need to bowdlerize it in any way. I fail to see how Chrétien is more explicitly telling a tale based on the ideals of courtly love than Tennyson.

Tolkien introduces a version of courtly love only in Gimli the dwarf’s deep love and affection for Galadriel, when Gimli desires only a lock of Galadriel’s hair as a gift.

Quote:
This is the antithesis of Tolkien's view of love. There is no sex outside of marriage, …
What of Beren and Lúthien? From the published Silmarillion:
But as she [Lúthien] looked on him [Beren], doom fell upon her, and she loved him; yet she slipped away from his arms and vanished from his sight even as the day was breaking.
What do you imagine Lúthien was doing in Beren’s arms and on subsequent meetings when she rejoined him again? I admit that this account is not explicit and the verse versions published in The Lays of Beleriand are also not explicit. In contrast, Chrétien has Perceval share a bed for the night with Blanchefleur but explicitly indicates that no sex occurred, not something one would expect in someone pushing courtly love as commonly understood.

Christopher Tolkien in The Book of Lost Tales Part II remarks on page 52:
In the old story, Tinúviel had no meetings with Beren before the day when he boldly accosted her at last, and it was at that very time the she led him to Tinwelent’s cave; they were not lovers.
This implies that in the later story Christopher Tolkien understands that at the same point Beren and Lúthien had become lovers.

Note also in Sir Thomas Malory’s “Tale of Sir Gareth” in his Le Morte d′Arthur there is emphasis on preventing Gareth and Lady Liones from lying with one another until they are properly married. Courtly love is not nearly as common in medieval tales as you think it is, and even where the idea of an adulterous relationship occurs as true love in a story, other more conventional ideas may occur in the same tale without forcing the reader to choose between them.

Last edited by jallanite; 08-04-2012 at 03:15 AM.
jallanite is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-04-2012, 07:50 AM   #22
Bêthberry
Cryptic Aura
 
Bêthberry's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 6,072
Bêthberry is wading through snowdrifts on Redhorn.Bêthberry is wading through snowdrifts on Redhorn.Bêthberry is wading through snowdrifts on Redhorn.
Quote:
Originally Posted by jallanite View Post
What of Beren and Lúthien? From the published Silmarillion:
But as she [Lúthien] looked on him [Beren], doom fell upon her, and she loved him; yet she slipped away from his arms and vanished from his sight even as the day was breaking.
What do you imagine Lúthien was doing in Beren’s arms and on subsequent meetings when she rejoined him again? I admit that this account is not explicit and the verse versions published in The Lays of Beleriand are also not explicit. In contrast, Chrétien has Perceval share a bed for the night with Blanchefleur but explicitly indicates that no sex occurred, not something one would expect in someone pushing courtly love as commonly understood.
There's a great Downs thread on the sexual nature of Beren and Luthien's relationship started by Lush: Ooh la la Luthien. Mark 12_30 provides some relevant quotations on elven marriage from "Laws and Customs of the Eldar" (HoME, Morgoth's Ring).
__________________
I’ll sing his roots off. I’ll sing a wind up and blow leaf and branch away.
Bêthberry is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-04-2012, 01:03 PM   #23
jallanite
Shade of Carn Dûm
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: Toronto
Posts: 479
jallanite is a guest of Tom Bombadil.
The thread http://forum.barrowdowns.com/showthread.php?t=2427 was an excellent one. It indicates what I expected, that you can read into the Beren story that Beren and Lúthien were chaste until they eventually married, or that they began to have sex when they first met.

But, as pointed out, Tolkien does not even bother to relate any marriage of Beren and Lúthien.
jallanite is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-04-2012, 03:49 PM   #24
Bêthberry
Cryptic Aura
 
Bêthberry's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 6,072
Bêthberry is wading through snowdrifts on Redhorn.Bêthberry is wading through snowdrifts on Redhorn.Bêthberry is wading through snowdrifts on Redhorn.
Quote:
Originally Posted by jallanite View Post
The thread http://forum.barrowdowns.com/showthread.php?t=2427 was an excellent one. It indicates what I expected, that you can read into the Beren story that Beren and Lúthien were chaste until they eventually married, or that they began to have sex when they first met.

But, as pointed out, Tolkien does not even bother to relate any marriage of Beren and Lúthien.
Well, if, as he wrote in Laws and Customs of the Eldar,

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark quoting Tolkien
It was the act of bodily union that achieved marriage, and after which the indissoluble bond was complete
,

then he wouldn't have to describe any marriage ceremony, especially given Beren's escape from the gift. He seems to partake of Luthien's elven heritage. When Arwen gives up her elven heritage, she becomes human, like Aragorn, and so their love follows human conventions.

Perhaps it means that elves didn't need rituals but men (and hobbits) did.
__________________
I’ll sing his roots off. I’ll sing a wind up and blow leaf and branch away.
Bêthberry is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-04-2012, 04:57 PM   #25
Morthoron
Curmudgeonly Wordwraith
 
Morthoron's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Ensconced in curmudgeonly pursuits
Posts: 2,467
Morthoron is lost in the dark paths of Moria.Morthoron is lost in the dark paths of Moria.Morthoron is lost in the dark paths of Moria.Morthoron is lost in the dark paths of Moria.
Quote:
Originally Posted by jallanite View Post
From Norris J. Lacy in The New Arthurian Encyclopedia, the article on Courtly Love:
COURTLY LOVE, a term first used by Gaston Paris in an 1883 article. It may well be a misleading designation for the medieval phenomenon it is supposed to identify. A good many scholars criticize the term and propose that it be abandoned. That is unlikely to occur, owing to its familiarity and usefulness. It is often, and probably erroneously, used interchangeably with fin’amors, which is the proper term for a conception of love propounded by the Provençal troubadours. A question that has occupied a good many scholars is whether courtly love, in northern France especially, was a historical and cultural phenomenon or simply a literary convention.
Lacy continues. I realize that most scholars do not deny that the tradition existed, but they do disagree, often vehemently, on what exactly was meant by what they call courtly love by different writers.
So, your source claims the term courtly love "may well be misleading" (strong conviction there!), but he agrees to the term's "usefulness". He agrees that the "tradition existed", but just does not like the term itself. In addition, he uses the utterly weak phrase "probably erroneously" in regards to the interchangeability of "courtly love" and "fin'amors". Bravo! This scholarly gibberish equates to nothing but equivocation. Usually posters use sources to bolster their argument, not weaken it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jallanite View Post
I am so aware. However much of it applies only to works in the Thomas tradition, not to other verse Tristan material and the prose material. You seem not be aware that there were four main streams of Tristan material in European tales: the Welsh tradition, the so-called folk tradition found in the works of Béroul and Eilhart von Oberge, the more refined so-called courtly tradition in the version of Thomas and adaptations into other languages, and the later immense prose romances in four main versions with adaptations into other languages.
I am certainly aware of different Tristan traditions, but I am speaking in context to the subject at hand, courtly love and Tolkien, not layering the discussion with superfluous and spurious addenda. When referring to the “Welsh tradition” it would be just as contextually useless to discuss the development of the Arthurian cycle prior to Chrétien de Troyes. Gildas, Geofrey of Monmouth and Wace have little to do with the discussion of courtly love in L’ Morte d’Arthur or Yvain, the Knight of the Lion, so why throw in the Mabinogion, or even a possible Irish antecedent like The Pursuit of Diarmuid and Gráinne?

The courtly love literary tradition is markedly different in approach to the earlier traditions, and it is the Prose Tristan that was the most popular version in the High Middle Ages and throughout the 14th century, and was influential in Malory’s development of Le Morte d’Arthur, the most popular of all the retellings of the Arthurian Cycle. The “common stream (or branch)” of the Tristan saga, as written by the like of Béroul, is noncourtly and unchivalric, bearing more resemblance to the Dark Ages than the High or Late Middle Ages, and it was not the version popular in English, German, French or Italian courts.



Quote:
Originally Posted by jallanite View Post
Not all tales of adultery need also be tales of what some modern writers call courtly love.
And yet the most popular exemplars of courtly love tales in the 13th, 14th and 15th century, Prose Tristran, Châtelain de Coucy, and Le Morte d’Arthur, each have adultery as a main theme, a cuckolded husband and the tragic demise of the lovers. In addition, both Chaucer and Boccaccio had as their ultimate influences courtly romances. Courtly love abounds in The Canterbury Tales: The Miller’s Tale, The Franklin’s Tale, The Merchant’s Tale, etc., are all of the courtly tradition, which Chaucer was immersed in at the court of the Duke of Lancaster. All of these, even the fabliaux of the Miller’s Tale (a direct criticism of courtly love) has adultery or the coveting of another man’s wife as its central premise. Chaucer even uses the lusty Wife of Bath as the antithesis to the courtly love found in The Knight’s Tale, and she says straight out that courtly love is artificial. In her tale, the knight goes against all chivalry and rapes a girl.

C.S. Lewis in his The Allegory of Love: A Study in Medieval Tradition speaks of his “theory of adultery” in the courtly love tradition, using Lancelot and Guinevere as the most apt example. He characterizes the idiosyncratic conventions that first surrounded courtly love as "the peculiar form which it first took; the four marks of Humility, Courtesy, Adultery, and the Religion of Love". Lewis then goes on to say:

Quote:
“Two things prevented the men of that age from connecting their ideal of romantic and passionate love with marriage. The first is, of course, the actual practice of feudal society. Marriages had nothing to do with love, and no ‘nonsense’ about marriage was tolerated. All matches were matches of interest, and, worse still, of an interest that was continually changing. When the alliance which had answered would answer no longer, the husband’s object was to get rid of the lady as quickly as possible. Marriages were frequently dissolved. The same woman who was the lady and the ‘dearest dread’ of her vassals was often little better than a piece of property to her husband…Any idealization of sexual love, in a society where marriage is purely utilitarian, must begin by being an idealization of adultery.”
In A Handbook of Troubadours by F. Akehurst and J. Davis, the authors are even more pointed:

Quote:
“Whether the married lady of the songs is historical or fictional does not alter the fact that the nature of fin’amor, as poetically articulated in these cansos, remains adulterous beyond any doubt.
Quote:
Originally Posted by jallanite View Post
Campbell unfortunately so greatly oversimplifies that his work in that area is almost useless.
Replace the words “greatly oversimplifies” with the phrase “I don’t agree with Campbell” and we’re more likely closer to the truth.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jallanite View Post
Yes, I have read all of extant Chrétien de Troyes. That Chrétien so concentrates on marriage is why many commentators don’t think that Chrétien was much influenced by so-called courtly love, at least in its extreme form. I do not see that marrying the widow of a knight whom one has slain should be seen as an aspect of courtly love. I suspect that you may be seeing something you call “courtly love” when the text only tells of love by one person of another.
I would suggest that if a villain slew a knight, took his widow to wife and stole his lands and title, he would be viewed as reprehensible, yet here de Troyes envisages the character as heroic within the conventions of courtly love, which are indeed skewed and artificial, and certainly against the societal norms of the times.

I'll reply to the rest as I have time.
__________________
And your little sister's immaculate virginity wings away on the bony shoulders of a young horse named George who stole surreptitiously into her geography revision.
Morthoron is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-04-2012, 08:17 PM   #26
jallanite
Shade of Carn Dûm
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: Toronto
Posts: 479
jallanite is a guest of Tom Bombadil.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Morthoron View Post
In addition, he uses the utterly weak phrase "probably erroneously" in regards to the interchangeability of "courtly love" and "fin'amors". Bravo! This scholarly gibberish equates to nothing but equivocation. Usually posters use sources to bolster their argument, not weaken it.
This and other comments I have read make perfect sense to me. I could provide other quotes but to what point? You believe what you want to believe and ignore the evidence and resort to name-calling. Is that really the best you can do? You can easily look up Norris J. Lacy on the web and see that he is at least one of the most prominent and respected medievalists of our day and well versed in what most people would call courtly love literature.

I suggest you begin by looking at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Courtly_love . I realize that source is not the best. But it mostly agrees with what I have learned though other channels.

Quote:
I am certainly aware of different Tristan traditions, but I am speaking in context to the subject at hand, courtly love and Tolkien, not layering the discussion with superfluous and spurious addenda. When referring to the “Welsh tradition” it would be just as contextually useless to discuss the development of the Arthurian cycle prior to Chrétien de Troyes. Gildas, Geofrey of Monmouth and Wace have little to do with the discussion of courtly love in L’ Morte d’Arthur or Yvain, the Knight of the Lion, so why throw in the Mabinogion, or even a possible Irish antecedent like The Pursuit of Diarmuid and Gráinne?
It is hard to know what the other person in a discussion knows. But it don’t see any courtly love in Yvain.

But even the courtly romances of Tristan fall far beneath the idealogy imagined for courtly love. Even in the courtly romances Tristan does not hang on every word of Yseult like Lancelot does to Guenevere in Chrétien. That Tristan goes so far as to marry another woman is still part of this version of the tale, something not to be thought of if courtly love as commonly understood is the guide to Tristan’s actions.

This version appears to be written to fit the tastes of the courtiers of the time, a modification of an earlier form of the tale, but far from the ideal courtly love. Tristan is to a degree a more courtly knight, who does not kill any of the lepers from whom he rescues Yseult, unlike in other versions. Tristan does not simply camp out in the forest or live in a deserted mansion, but dwells in a fantastic cave built by giants. He later has a fantastic hall built by a giant with a statue of Yseult within.

Quote:
The courtly love literary tradition is markedly different in approach to the earlier traditions, and it is the Prose Tristan that was the most popular version in the High Middle Ages and throughout the 14th century, and was influential in Malory’s development of Le Morte d’Arthur, the most popular of all the retellings of the Arthurian Cycle.
While more courtly than the folk version or Welsh version, it is more chivalric than the so-called courtly version. And it introduces Dinadan in a great many episodes, Dinadan being very much an anti-courtly and anti-chivalric character who pokes fun at chivalric pretensions.

Quote:
The “common stream (or branch)” of the Tristan saga, as written by the like of Béroul, is noncourtly and unchivalric, bearing more resemblance to the Dark Ages than the High or Late Middle Ages, and it was not the version popular in English, German, French or Italian courts.
So by medieval you mean only “late medieval″? A convenient way to throw out a large body of medieval works.
Quote:
And yet the most popular exemplars of courtly love tales in the 13th, 14th and 15th century, Prose Tristran, Châtelain de Coucy, and Le Morte d’Arthur, each have adultery as a main theme, a cuckolded husband and the tragic demise of the lovers.
You really shouldn’t be including Le Morte d’Arthur as Lancelot and Guenevere’s deaths in that version are not intended to be seen as tragic. They are arguably the best deaths possible under the circumstances. And Le Morte d’Arthur was only written in 1470 and so obviously not one of the most popular tales of the 13th, 14th, and most of the 15th centuries.

You have really only provided two romances and ignored the many, many, many other medieval romances that don’t fit your idea of what people should have been reading.

You are like a broken record, not seeing anything but courtly love and not seeing anything outside French tales. At least some English were also as well or instead reading things like Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Havelok the Dane, Floris and Blauncheflour, and various other works. Even French works contain many in which no love-affair even occurs or in which it is hardly treated in a courtly manner, for example Huon de Bordeaux or Le Roman de Mélusine by Jean d’Arras. Even the French Vulgate Merlin was adapted into English by three different authors and it has almost nothing in it that anyone would call courtly love.

Quote:
In addition, both Chaucer and Boccaccio had as their ultimate influences courtly romances. Courtly love abounds in The Canterbury Tales: The Miller’s Tale, The Franklin’s Tale, The Merchant’s Tale, etc., are all of the courtly tradition, which Chaucer was immersed in at the court of the Duke of Lancaster. All of these, even the fabliaux of the Miller’s Tale (a direct criticism of courtly love) has adultery or the coveting of another man’s wife as its central premise.
The Odyssey, the Aeneid, and other classical works and works from Germanic tradition also have lots of adultery. And those traditions also provide tales in which there almost no sexual activity. You are so overstating the presence of courtly love.

Quote:
Replace the words “greatly oversimplifies” with the phrase “I don’t agree with Campbell” and we’re more likely closer to the truth.
Sticks and stones ... Call me a liar if you want. Who are the we of which you speak?

I have never denied, ever, that tales of adultery are a commonplace in medieval literature. Even the Bible tells of David and Bathsheba. But also a commonplace are tales in which adultery never occurs

Quote:
I would suggest that if a villain slew a knight, took his widow to wife and stole his lands and title, he would be viewed as reprehensible, yet here de Troyes envisages the character as heroic within the conventions of courtly love, which are indeed skewed and artificial, and certainly against the societal norms of the times.
Provide a medieval source of your idea that Yvain was in any way following some courtly tradition in marrying the widow of the man he had killed. I note the word would which is often a sign that the speaker is not very sure of what he is saying. Chrétien could not have considered anything as occurring within ″the conventions of courtly love″ since the concept was only pinned down by Matthew Paris in 1883. Perhaps you mean fin’ amour. But where are these supposed conventions stated clearly?

If you claim that anything occurs within some conventions, you surely must have a source. No fair making it up.

And no fair claiming Yvain stole Lady Laudine’s lands. Laudine freely granted them to Yvain after she realized that this was the man who had slain her former husband and just as easily took them away again when Yvain broke his vow. That Yvain apparently accepts Laudine’s right to do this is, it seems to me, the only point in which the tale accepts the supposed tenants of courtly love, in that Yvain accepts his lady’s superiority.

And this is a romance of marriage, in which according to some of those pushing what some now call courtly love true love cannot occur.

Last edited by jallanite; 08-04-2012 at 08:23 PM.
jallanite is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-04-2012, 10:37 PM   #27
Morthoron
Curmudgeonly Wordwraith
 
Morthoron's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Ensconced in curmudgeonly pursuits
Posts: 2,467
Morthoron is lost in the dark paths of Moria.Morthoron is lost in the dark paths of Moria.Morthoron is lost in the dark paths of Moria.Morthoron is lost in the dark paths of Moria.
Quote:
Originally Posted by jallanite View Post
This and other comments I have read make perfect sense to me. I could provide other quotes but to what point? You believe what you want to believe and ignore the evidence and resort to name-calling. Is that really the best you can do? You can easily look up Norris J. Lacy on the web and see that he is at least one of the most prominent and respected medievalists of our day and well versed in what most people would call courtly love literature.
Name calling? The source you quoted was inundated with equivocation: "may", "likely", "probably" - is Lacy a dissembling scholar or is he running for office? In either case, his delivery was weak. You insulted Joseph Campbell, trying to minimize his points by claiming that he "greatly oversimplifies", and you ignored the quotes from The Allegory of Love: A Study in Medieval Tradition (1936) by C.S. Lewis, Tolkien's friend and peer, and since the question is whether Tolkien's work exhibited courtly love, then what Lewis referred to in his book is far more cogent to the discussion than a professor who can't make a single straightforward statement.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jallanite View Post
You have really only provided two romances and ignored the many, many, many other medieval romances that don’t fit your idea of what people should have been reading.
I offered the most popular of their time. The most popular. I also mentioned The Canterbury Tales and The Decameron, both immensely popular and highly influential to this day. In addition, I referred to Yvain, the Knight and the Lion and Lancelot, the Knight of the Cart. If you'd like more, then read Marie de France, who wrote Bisclavret (which I also mentioned) and Equitan, both dealing with adultery; in fact, over half the lais Marie de France wrote concerned illicit or adulterous lovers. See also Chevrefoil (a Tristanian poem), and Yonec (a tale of a woman in a loveless marriage who has a child through an adulterous affair).

Also, Gottfried von Strassburg's Tristan, Guillame Loris and Jean de Meung's Roman de la Rose (incredibly popular in the 13th and 14th century - stirring an international literary debate over courtly love, with Christine di Pizan writing Querelle du Roman de la Rose and Le Livre des trois vertus in opposition to the work and to courtly love in general), and the convention outlived the Middle Ages altogether and can be found in the works of Tasso and Ariosto. I am also not going to dig up the hundreds of lais and poems written by every trouvere, troubadour or minnesinger who spoke of courtly love.

I also remain contextual, which is why I keep referring to the 14th century in regards to courtly love, because from a historical standpoint that is when it was wound inextricably with the courts of England and France, discussed and debated most regularly, and used in a real-life sense like a religion of love, often to disastrous effect.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jallanite View Post
You are like a broken record, not seeing anything but courtly love and not seeing anything outside French tales. At least some English were also as well or instead reading things like Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Havelok the Dane, Floris and Blauncheflour, and various other works. Even French works contain many in which no love-affair even occurs or in which it is hardly treated in a courtly manner, for example Huon de Bordeaux or Le Roman de Mélusine by Jean d’Arras. Even the French Vulgate Merlin was adapted into English by three different authors and it has almost nothing in it that anyone would call courtly love.
I didn't refer to those because they have nothing to do with the literary conventions of courtly love. I also didn't mention fabliaux like Reynard the Fox, and neither did I mention Von Eisenbach's Parzifal. I never stated anywhere that every story written from 1100 to 1500 AD concerned courtly love. Neither did I refer back to the chansons de geste that are not of the courtly love tradition. You keep wanting to muddy the waters with superfluity.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jallanite View Post
The Odyssey, the Aeneid, and other classical works and works from Germanic tradition also have lots of adultery. And those traditions also provide tales in which there almost no sexual activity. You are so overstating the presence of courtly love.
I didn't mention 1960s films like Mrs. Robinson either. Because that would be out of context. Context. Use it. But in another discussion, please. I see no point in continuing this one.
__________________
And your little sister's immaculate virginity wings away on the bony shoulders of a young horse named George who stole surreptitiously into her geography revision.
Morthoron is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-05-2012, 03:14 PM   #28
jallanite
Shade of Carn Dûm
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: Toronto
Posts: 479
jallanite is a guest of Tom Bombadil.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Morthoron View Post
Name calling? The source you quoted was inundated with equivocation: "may", "likely", "probably" - is Lacy a dissembling scholar or is he running for office? In either case, his delivery was weak.
A medieval scholar “who can’t make a single straightforward statement″ would have not reached the level of eminence and number of publications that Lacy has. Lacy is naturally choosing to not make straightforward statements when discussing something in an encyclopedia article which is controversial. You would apparently prefer that he be dishonest by making straightforward statements. But that would not fit with what he is here writing about. Anyone who wishes can read of his accomplishments and his many books on http://www.personal.psu.edu/njl2/ , including authorship of the book The Literature of Courtly Love.

You grossly misrepresent why the author writes as he does and use that to avoid coming to terms with what he does say.

Quote:
You insulted Joseph Campbell, trying to minimize his points by claiming that he "greatly oversimplifies", …
But he does. I greatly respect much of Campbell’s writings, but consider almost all his monomyth theory to be nonsense. See the criticisms of the theory at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monomyth . See also
http://www.cscs.umich.edu/~crshalizi/notebooks/joseph-campbell.html ,
http://storyfanatic.com/articles/sto...-heros-journey ,
http://autotelic.com/the_hack_of_a_thousand_faces ,
http://www.andrewrilstone.com/search...eph%20Campbell (click on “Show older posts” twice and start at the bottom to read these articles in numerical order beginning with article 1), and
http://filmcrithulk.wordpress.com/20...-journey-****/ (I admit the constant use of uppercase is annoying).

You insult Norris J. Lacy and then blame me for insulting Joseph Campbell. *Sigh*

Quote:
… and you ignored the quotes from The Allegory of Love: A Study in Medieval Tradition (1936) by C.S. Lewis, Tolkien's friend and peer, and since the question is whether Tolkien's work exhibited courtly love, then what Lewis referred to in his book is far more cogent to the discussion than a professor who can't make a single straightforward statement.
That Lewis was a friend of Tolkien ought not to make a comment by him in a book more or less credible. The comment should stand on it own. But I am aware of hundreds of medieval romance which includes a marriage of hero and heroine. Apparently medievals liked to ignore questions of property in their escapist literature. Lewis’ comment does not connect with many medieval romances which I have read, including Chrétien’s Yvain, Chrétien’s Erec et Enide, Yder, Li chevaliers as deus espées (The knight of the two swords), Li Bel Inconnu (The Fair Unknown), Fergus, Huon de Bordeaux, and others in which the hero marries a lady-love who is sufficiently beautiful, and wealthy, and well-born to satisfy.

Lewis’ comment had nothing to do with Tolkien’s fantasy writing and appears to me to be very cynical even when considering general medieval society in which divorce was not even allowed.

A medieval scholar “who can’t make a single straightforward statement″ would have not reached the level of eminence and number of publications that Lacy has. Lacy is naturally choosing to not make straightforward statements when discussing something which is controversial. You would apparently prefer that he be dishonest by making straightforward statements. But that would not fit with what he is here writing about. Anyone who wishes can read of his accomplishments and his many books on http://www.personal.psu.edu/njl2/ , including authorship of the book The Literature of Courtly Love.

You grossly misrepresent why the author writes as he does and use that to avoid coming to terms with what he does say.

Quote:
I offered the most popular of their time. The most popular.
I already mentioned that Malory was not one of the most popular authors of the 12th, 13th, and 14th centuries. Jakemon Sakesep’s Châtelain de Coucilet may have been very popular, but most popular? Do you have a credible source for this claim?

Quote:
I also mentioned The Canterbury Tales and The Decameron, both immensely popular and highly influential to this day. In addition, I referred to Yvain, the Knight and the Lion and Lancelot, the Knight of the Cart. If you'd like more, then read Marie de France, who wrote Bisclavret (which I also mentioned) and Equitan, both dealing with adultery; in fact, over half the lais Marie de France wrote concerned illicit or adulterous lovers. See also Chevrefoil (a Tristanian poem), and Yonec (a tale of a woman in a loveless marriage who has a child through an adulterous affair).
I have read every work you mention more than once, save for Jakemon Sakesep’s Châtelain de Coucilet. You here admit that almost half of the writings of Marie de Fance are not “concerned [with] illicit or adulterous lovers.” As already mentioned by me, Chrétien’s Yvain does not “deal with adulterous or illicit love” at all. For that alone, by most modern definitions of courtly love, it is not a romance of courtly love. Canterbury Tales also contains stories that have no adultery and even those that do are not all courtly, as one would expect of a collection of tales reflecting the many different likes and styles of stories told in Chaucer’s day. The Decameron mostly derives from so-called bourgeois romance and one would expect such a work to be full of tales of cleverness and sexual pranks.

Quote:
I am also not going to dig up the hundreds of lais and poems written by every trouvere, troubadour or minnesinger who spoke of courtly love.
No-one asked you to. But you might at least admit that if you dug up every work that did not mention courtly love, that list would be longer

Quote:
I also remain contextual, which is why I keep referring to the 14th century in regards to courtly love, because from a historical standpoint that is when it was wound inextricably with the courts of England and France, discussed and debated most regularly, and used in a real-life sense like a religion of love, often to disastrous effect.
In short you are not talking about medieval literature at general, but only about medieval literature eminating from France and Provence and only some of this literatue in a particular period. Cherry-picking.

Quote:
I didn't refer to those because they have nothing to do with the literary conventions of courtly love. I also didn't mention fabliaux like Reynard the Fox, and neither did I mention Von Eisenbach's Parzifal. I never stated anywhere that every story written from 1100 to 1500 AD concerned courtly love. Neither did I refer back to the chansons de geste that are not of the courtly love tradition. You keep wanting to muddy the waters with superfluity.
In short you admit that works which arguably concern courtly love are only a portion of medieval literary production but you choose to write about them only and then blame Tolkien for not basing his work of them. You even use the word bowdlerize. It is your attempt to not include these works that seems to be to be closer to bowdlerization, but perhaps better called by some term which might mean the opposite. Would domneiation work?

Quote:
I didn't mention 1960s films like Mrs. Robinson either. Because that would be out of context. Context. Use it. But in another discussion, please. I see no point in continuing this one.
No. No point.

You admit that Tolkien did not draw from courtly love stories and then suggest that in not doing so that Tolkien was bowdlerizing. Then you fall over backward to claim that any attempt to point out that medieval literature contains loads of literature that was not greatly influenced by courtly love is muddying the water. I say it is clarifying the water.

Last edited by jallanite; 08-05-2012 at 03:25 PM.
jallanite is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-05-2012, 07:56 PM   #29
Morthoron
Curmudgeonly Wordwraith
 
Morthoron's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Ensconced in curmudgeonly pursuits
Posts: 2,467
Morthoron is lost in the dark paths of Moria.Morthoron is lost in the dark paths of Moria.Morthoron is lost in the dark paths of Moria.Morthoron is lost in the dark paths of Moria.
Quote:
Originally Posted by jallanite View Post
In short you are not talking about medieval literature at general, but only about medieval literature eminating from France and Provence and only some of this literatue in a particular period. Cherry-picking.
Is it that you are being contrary, or is it merely some insatiable need to flex your distended erudition? The original question, and the only one I was referring to throughout this discussion was: did Tolkien's work exhibit the characteristics of courtly love? It was the discussion I was having with Idril prior to your voyage on the Good Ship Prolix, matey. Disemboguing discurions into Welsh "streams" that have nothing to do with courtly love were unnecessary and out of context. Obviously, you had a desperate desire to press your agenda, and talk about everything but courtly love. Congratulations, you succeeded brilliantly. In short, I never was talking about medieval literature in general, but the literary convention of courtly love. And, not surprisingly, this literature of courtly love did eminate from France and Provence and was read also by the Anglo-Norman court in England and in the Italian city-states. What part of that did you not get?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jallanite View Post
You admit that Tolkien did not draw from courtly love stories and then suggest that in not doing so that Tolkien was bowdlerizing. Then you fall over backward to claim that any attempt to point out that medieval literature contains loads of literature that was not greatly influenced by courtly love is muddying the water. I say it is clarifying the water.
When having a discussion about whether or not Tolkien's works exhibited courtly love, droning on about literature that has no relation to the aspects of courtly love is muddying the water. In fact, it is damming the stream, choking off the waterways and clogging the sewers.

I would say and have said previously that Tolkien's work does not exhibit the characteristics of courtly love. If he were trying to exhibit the characteristics of courtly love or fin'amour (which I do not believe to be the case), then yes, he would be using a highly bowdlerized, sanitized, abridged and purified form, hence my use of the modifier "If anything" in relation to "bowderlize". This is particularly true when aspects of courtly love were put into practice beyond the literary record and its use by nobles in English and French courts as noted extensively in the historical record.

And with that, I bid you adieu.
__________________
And your little sister's immaculate virginity wings away on the bony shoulders of a young horse named George who stole surreptitiously into her geography revision.

Last edited by Morthoron; 08-05-2012 at 08:00 PM.
Morthoron is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-08-2012, 04:23 PM   #30
jallanite
Shade of Carn Dûm
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: Toronto
Posts: 479
jallanite is a guest of Tom Bombadil.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Morthoron View Post
Is it that you are being contrary, or is it merely some insatiable need to flex your distended erudition?
Enough with the insults. No, I am merely writing what I believe is correct. And from my point of view you keep evading answering any of my points directly which tends to confirm any belief I have that I am correct.

Quote:
The original question, and the only one I was referring to throughout this discussion was: did Tolkien's work exhibit the characteristics of courtly love? It was the discussion I was having with Idril prior to your voyage on the Good Ship Prolix, matey. Disemboguing discurions into Welsh "streams" that have nothing to do with courtly love were unnecessary and out of context. Obviously, you had a desperate desire to press your agenda, and talk about everything but courtly love. Congratulations, you succeeded brilliantly. In short, I never was talking about medieval literature in general, but the literary convention of courtly love. And, not surprisingly, this literature of courtly love did eminate from France and Provence and was read also by the Anglo-Norman court in England and in the Italian city-states. What part of that did you not get?
One reason Tolkien could so easily for the most part ignore courtly love in his somewhat medieval-styled The Lord of the Rings is that many, perhaps most medieval literature, was not about courtly love. Even stories that contained adultery were not always about courtly love. That seems to me to be in context for this thread.

I could say about you ″obviously, you had a desperate desire to press your agenda″ but that would be gratuitously insulting and only avoids discussing the actual matter.

Quote:
When having a discussion about whether or not Tolkien's works exhibited courtly love, droning on about literature that has no relation to the aspects of courtly love is muddying the water. In fact, it is damming the stream, choking off the waterways and clogging the sewers.
I am damming your words by opposing them? I am preventing your free speech? Obviously not. Your metaphor fails, completely.

Quote:
I would say and have said previously that Tolkien's work does not exhibit the characteristics of courtly love. If he were trying to exhibit the characteristics of courtly love or fin'amour (which I do not believe to be the case), then yes, he would be using a highly bowdlerized, sanitized, abridged and purified form, hence my use of the modifier "If anything" in relation to "bowderlize". This is particularly true when aspects of courtly love were put into practice beyond the literary record and its use by nobles in English and French courts as noted extensively in the historical record.
What you said instead was “If anything, Tolkien bowdlerized the idea of courtly love, …″ which tells me that you were entertaining the possibility that Tolkien was perhaps bowdlerizing the idea of courtly love.

That still seems ludicrous to me, but apparently you did not intend your statement to be taken as strongly as I took it.

You defined courtly love as: ″Courtly love, in the medieval literary sense, is guilty love …”. But then, by insisting that Chrétien’s Yvain is a tale of courtly love you include a story with not even a suggestion of guilty love. Sources I have checked most don’t mention that Yvain is a tale of courtly love. Only John Jay Parry in his Introduction to his translation of Andreas Capellanus’ The Art of Courtly Love says that of Chétien’s poem only his Lancelot is a full-fledged tale of courtly love and that in Yvain Chrétien “rejects the idea of an adulterous love, which he did not like, but, retains the other conventions of courtly love, which apparently he did.”

Certainly I see Yvain as a tale influenced by the ideas of courtly love, but not a full-fledged tale of courtly love because Yvain very quickly marries the protagonist. Ovid stated that husbands and wives cannot love each other and Andreas Capellanus indicates the same, as do other undenied writers who are pushing courtly love. If this be taken as a given, then Yvain is not a romance of courtly love, although influenced by some courtly love conventions.

I introduced Welsh into my discussion of the Tristan stories only because it factually is one of the four streams of medieval Tristan stories and felt it would be dishonest to leave it out as I originally intended. That was the only mention I made of Welsh tales. You are the one who has mentioned Welsh tales again and again, as a stick with which to beat me over the head instead of responding to the points I did raise hoping for meaningful response.

Noting that it is you (not me) who brought in The Mabinogion, that contains one story called “The Lady of the Fountain″ which duplicates Chrétien’s Yvain. Is that therefore also a tale of courtly love, according to your definition. If not, then why not? Perhaps because it does not reproduce most of Chrétien’s internal monologs on love? But the plot, including the marriage of the protagonist to the widow of the man he had slain is common to both stories and for some reason that I do not understand that to you speaks courtly love.

This is an honest question. I really don’t understand how one would include Yvain among the romances of courtly love. Even just provide source literature that claims Yvain is a romance of courtly love if you know any.

If anyone is following this besides Morthoron they can read an English translation of Yvain as the fourth story at http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/831 and can read an English translation of “The Lady of the Fountain” at http://www.lib.rochester.edu/camelot/fountain.htm .
jallanite is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 02:32 PM.



Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.9 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2022, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.