FR155A - Love: Fear and Joy as One in the Middle Ages May...

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Love: Fear and Joy as One in the Middle Ages May 3, 2011 French 155A: French Women in the Middle Ages
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Love is a certain inborn suffering derived from the sight of and excessive meditation upon the beauty of the opposite sex, which causes one to wish above all things the embraces of the other and by common desire to carry out all of love’s precepts in the other’s embrace 1 As these famous words of Andreas Capellanus recite, love is a concept that not only evokes feelings of pain and suffering, but also that of joy. The emotion caused by the absence of a female’s love interest is the primary source of the pain and suffering that accompanies the overwhelming joy of love. This universal feeling is expressed in many ways through the written works of Heloise, Countess of Dia and Castelloza. However, although the story behind each of these women’s love relationships varies, their emotions and style of writing is similar. The role of marriage and the absence of their beloved continually act as an inhibitor of joy, but these intelligent women continue to love their significant other explicitly, despite the distance and irrational circumstances, such as the cruelty of the male, that exist between them. Each of their individual, diverse romantic relationships exemplify the power love has over them and the pain and suffering they endure to sustain that feeling. In the early middle ages, Abelard and Heloise exchanged their love for one another post-marriage through written letters. At this time the female writer’s trend of marriage and the absence of the beloved as an inhibitor of joy begins. Heloise’s letters
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FR155A - Love: Fear and Joy as One in the Middle Ages May...

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