Skip Navigation

Scholars Day 2007, Wednesday, April 11

If Music be the Food of Love: The Troubadours of Courtly Love

During the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, Europe witnessed the birth of a phenomenon known as courtly love. Central to courtly love ideology are the troubadours. The lyrics of the troubadours nurtured the development of courtly manner and romance in medieval France, and quickly facilitated the permeation of the same ideals of gentility through much of Western Europe. The result was a new respect for romantic love, emphasizing longing and admiration for a subject from a distance without actual consummation, and an immeasurable influence on subsequent literary expressions of love. Troubadours also altered the perception of women by representing them as ideals of beauty and goodness rather than the derogatory stereotypes common to preceding periods. This study examines the origins of courtly love through the works of the troubadours and highlights the transformation of cultural attitudes towards women.

Presenter: Melanie Larsen (Undergraduate Student)
Topic: Honors Program
Location: 123 Hartwell
Time: 1:45 am (Session III)