Different Aspects of Love Portrayed In Canterbury Tales
While Chaucer starts with the ideal concept of courtly love in the Knight's Tale, he portrays a very cynical view of love in the Miller's Tale and illustrates love with aspects of both cynical and courtly love in the Wife of Bath's Tale.
The Knight's Tale demonstrates the ideal courtly love practiced in the medieval ages. While Palamon is in prison -before he meets Emily- he looks “through the window…(and) cast his eyes upon Fair Emily” (1075,1077). When Arcite realizes that he may never experience love with Emily, he is overcome with “(n)ot only love ...sickness… But mania” (1373-74). Arcite and Palamon both want Emily as their wife so badly, that they are willing to fight for her love, with “nothing but love (as) their debate” (1754). After Arcite and Palamon declare to fight for Emily`s love, Emily goes to Diana`s temple and prays, “ to be a maiden all of (her) life- not ever a lover” (2305-06). However, after Diana tells her she must get married, she accepts her fate. When Palmalon watched and adored Emily in her garden, he served as an archetype of a male`s role in courtly love. Men were supposed to worship and adore women from afar, which Palamon did while he was in prison. Another feature of courtly love is that men suffer love sickness without their lover. Arcite has such a strong love for Emily that he not only suffers from love sickness but also mania. Additionally, in courtly love, knights were expected to win a woman's favor by accomplishing valorous deeds. Palmalon and Arcite were willing to sacrifice their lives in battle, just to win the love of Emily. They were also willing to fight their best friend, which shows how passionate they were about proving their worthiness to Emily. Emily serves as a good example of a woman's ideal role in courtly love. Women were expected to chastely or scornfully refuse a man's advances in public before accepting him as her lover. However, they should learn to accept their fate after refusing it. Emily demonstrated this by praying not to get married and rejecting their love, but then accepting her fate after Venus told her she must get married. The traditional courtly love shown at the beginning of the Knights Tale quickly changes in the Miller's Tale to a cynical view of love that mocks courtly love.
The Miller's Tale satires courtly love by portraying love as cynical. When the Miller is describing Alison, he claims that she is a “fair young wife” (3232) who is “both young and wild” (3225) because she is a “figgesnye / for any lord to legan in his bed”. Nicholas has a sensual desire to be with Emily, and convinces her that they should trick the carpenter so “She (can) sleep in handy arms all night” (3406). Allison has a very different and more sexual description then Emily. Alison is very deceptive and acts without sincerity or integrity. She only does what pleases herself unlike the ideal in courtly love. Moreover, when Allison cheats on her husband with Nicholas, love is portrayed as very cynical. In courtly love, women love men for their valor and admirable virtues. However, Alison loves John for his sexual qualities and because of her lust. Nicholas also acts wrongfully and cynically by having an affair with Alison, the wife of his landlord, whom he should owe gratitude and affection too. In courtly love, men are supposed to win women's love with noble, brave qualities. However, Nicholus wins Alison over by acting deceptive, lustful, selfish, and corrupt. Chaucer uses cynical love -the opposite of courtly love- to satire courtly love. Chaucer incorporates both extremes of love in the Wife of Bath's tale.
The Wife of Bath‘s tale uses aspects of both Courtly love and cynical love. When the knight was riding by a river, he ruthlessly took advantage of a lady and “despite all that she did or said, / by force deprived her of her maidenhead” (888-89). The knight is sent to find out what women desire most, and a hideous lady bargains that if she tells him the answer, he must marry her. She agrees and the women reveal that women desire “ sovereignty / over their husbands or the ones they love / to have mastery, to be above” (1037-1040). After she reveals this, rather than marrying her as the knight promised, he says “Alas how your woes abuse me!.... for the love of God please chooses a new request”(1058,1060). However, at the end of the story, the lady gives the knight an option of when her beauty will reveal itself, and he tells her, “My lady and my love of wife so dear, / I leave to your wise governance the measure” (1230-31). Although the Wife of Bath's tale still incorporates maidens and knights like courtly love, the ladies and knights express cynical aspects of love (unlike courtly love). The knight is far from the ideal honorable man displayed in the rituals of Courtly love. Rather than acting honorably and using his power to win the lady over, the knight abuses his power and rapes the lady. This shows a very cynical and self-centered view of love. Likewise, when the knight finds out women desire dominance, courtly love with cynical aspects is shown. In courtly love, the knight submits himself to a lady and she is his authority, which is expressed in the Wife of Baths Tale; however, Chaucer adds a cynical aspect by revealing that women desire to abuse their power and control the knight. This makes the women in this tale equally cynical to the men because they both have the selfish-desire to dominate and abuse the other. It is true to the order of power in courtly love- an idea that is strengthened by an authoritative female and submissive night- but it’s far from the noble ideal, because of the cynical aspects portrayed. Further, in courtly love, men are expected to act honorably, keep their promises, and act with chivalry. When the knight breaks his promise to the lady, he acts very cynically, unhonorable, untrustworthy, and without chivalry, thus not following the rules of courtly love. However, he completely changes his ways at the end of the book and begins following the rules of courtly love. He honorably, humbly, and selflessly gives the lady the choice of what she thinks would be best. The knight suddenly begins honoring her and giving her the power that women should have in the ideal of courtly love.He places himself beneath her, gives himself to her, and respects her. This is an ideal archetype of courtly love. When Chaucer portrays cynical love rather than courtly love, love is more modern and relatable.
The tales in Canterbury tales that have more cynical views of love reveal that conventions of courtly love or not useful standards for modern relationships. This serves as an example of his larger moral: to move away from idealizing literature and focus more on realistic, simply presented stories that focus on today’s standards. 2019-11-20 23:50:06
Was Gatsby trapped in his past? In the novel The Great Gatsby By F. Scott Fitzgerald the main character Jay Gatsby was a mystery man to everyone. Throughout the novel Gatsby revealed the motivation for his actions which was a woman he had met five years ago. Daisy was Gatsby’s former lover until time apart separated them and ever since then Gatsby always tried to win her back. Time had past but he was only aware of his feelings that had stayed the same for five years. In the social occasions throughout the novel Gatsby's actions represented his selfishness and aspiration to cling to the past of the relationship with Daisy.
Moments in the novel showed how self-centered Gatsby got in order to get Daisy back. Even with the amount of people Gatsby had at his extravagant parties he didn't care and didn't even know the people that went he was only looking for Daisy to show up but it seemed everyone except for her went. Tired of waiting he took matters into his own hands telling Jordan at a party to ask Nick to invite Daisy to his house “He wants her to see his house,” She explained. “And your house is right next door.” “Oh” “ I think he half expected her to wander into one of his parties. Some night,” went on Jordan, “but she never did. (Ch. 4). Gatsby called on Nick to get closer to Daisy by making Jordan a messenger and not getting involved. Gatsby had everything planned he knew they would help if they knew the relationship he had with Daisy. Gatsby wanted to show off his riches to Daisy so that she can leave Tom her husband thats why he only told Nick to invite her and not Tom so that he wouldn't be in the way. He thought that if she saw all the money he has she would go back with him because he thinks she has only ever loved him and now he’s back with more to give her. That wasn't the only occasion that Gatsby tried to get Daisy back and away from Tom further into the novel after seeing each other more often Gatsby got impatient while they were all together in New York and decided to let know Daisy how he felt “Daisy, that's all over now.” he said earnestly “ it doesn't matter anymore. Just tell him the truth- that you never loved him-and it's all wiped out forever.” (Pg 132) Gatsby hated the idea of Daisy and Tom he met Daisy when she hadn't met Tom Buchanan so he didn't know why she changed but she had to because she couldn't just wait for Gatsby. He tells Daisy to tell Tom this after days of them continuous seeing each other not taking into consideration any of Daisys feeling about Tom and the five years they shared. Daisy was confused but Gatsby knew he could somehow win her back because of all the things Tom did in Chicago that Daisy knew about and Gatsby hadn't done nothing but promise her a better life. Everything Gatsby did was to have a better life with some parts of the past.
The Daisy Gatsby met five years ago changed but he didn't realize because it was Daisy. When Gatsby first saw Daisy again after all the years without seeing each other he loved the idea of them just being together again like five years ago but now it would be better because he had money now and she's loving his house “ There must have been moments even that afternoon when Daisy tumbled short of his dreams-.... But because of the colossal vitality of his illusion” (Ch. 5) After the tea at Nick he saw the opportunity to show Daisy his new life that he could give to her but he was expecting the Daisy that hadn't met Tom so he expected her reaction of him to be different maybe that she would forget about Tom and that they would have a relationship that he wanted five years ago. Throughout the course of him being with Daisy everything felt like it did five years ago, he wanted everything to be the same he still hadn't met Daisy with Tom. Gatsby was still naive “Can’t repeat the past? Why of course you can.” (Ch.6) Gatsby wanted Daisy to see that he hadn’t changed he wanted her to like the party he invited them to but that just wasn't the case. He thought he had fixed everything to her liking but he was just asking too much of her by asking her to not love Tom. Gatsby came back with everything that might of made Daisy happy a little too late to be the same as it was five years ago.
Gatsby's actions during the events were self centered he had the motivation for all actions which was to get the relationship he used to have with Daisy back. After all Daisy and Gatsby never got together in all the events of the book we saw how they grew apart based on once loving each other but with Gatsby putting expectations on Daisy it shows how it could never work out because he wanted to give her the life she had with Tom but with him.
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