Eleanor of Aquitaine was born in 1122 as the heiress of Duchy of Aquitaine. When she was 15 she married Louis VII who was the king of France. Four years later they went off on the Second Crusade. Eleanor with 300 other women went along to take care of the wounded. During the crusade she became close to her uncle, Raymond while in the city of Antioch where he was prince. This relationship was crucial to the annulment of Eleanor's and Louis marriage in 1152 after they had two daughters.
A year later she remarried to a future king of England, Henry of Anjou. Eleanor and Henry had five sons and three daughters within just a few years over the first decade of their marriage. As her sons aged her relationship with her husband went disintegrating. In 1173 her and three of her sons rebelled against their father with her reasoning of putting up with so much from him.
The rebellion caused her to be imprisoned for 15 years until Henry died in 1189. Next king in line was her favorite son Richard I who she did anything for from paying ransoms to going against her other sons. Eleanor spent the rest of her life traveling and with the last mission of getting Richard a wife, Berengaria. Eleanor passed away in the abbey of Fontervrault in 1204. Throughout her life Eleanor set up mock trials, which were called the court of love. The prime interest this court similar to the feudal courts of law, was to civilize warriors.
While the ladies of the court watched the Knight read poems and performed proper courting. They wore elaborate clothing with big sleeves, pointed shoes, and hair beautiful and long. In the courts of love, suitors sought to be advised from the queen on love issues. Eleanor's daughter, Marie de Champagne also was in charge of the mock trials. The courts became popular and the center of attention for the all types of people as well as literature. Marie de Champagne made love the main concern in the court.
Marie's ruling were the last word and were recorded. She even chose how many and what type of gifts the women got from their lovers. Andreas Capella nus was a clerk of the king's court. Marie asked him to compose a book of codes concerning behavior with love. Andre wrote 31 rules for courtly love. These rules are sometimes said to be satirical towards the conventions of courtly love.
Courtly love is a concept that redefined the ideas of love, marriage, manhood, virtue, and femininity. It is the honor of a man and woman's sexual love. During the Middle Ages it influenced everything from the culture to the literature. It is characterized by five elements, aristocratic, ritualistic, secret, adulterous, and literary. Troubadour poets were the ones who spread this idea and believed that love was only true out of marriage, it was spiritual and an icon, and often were in possession without physical contact. The men were the ladies servants and were so in love that the could not eat or sleep causing them to get very ill.
The Canterbury Tales presents many examples of courtly love, especially with the Squire and Prioress. Chaucer uses erotic behavior and imagery to represent courtly love. Since the woman was of higher status than the man, Knights usually were the lovers of Queens. The lady of the relationship is stereotyped as beautiful with blond hair, fair skin and stylized features.
The relationships usually begin in the late Spring to characterize emotions. Sex was believed to ruin the relationships. Bibliography Biographies. 21 Nov. 2003. Female Hero: Eleanor of Aquitaine.
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