Courtly Love In 'The Knight's Tale'

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Torture & Love Love is what we all desire. Some of us do indeed receive it, and others are just obsessed with the idea of it. As shown in a particular case of Palamon and Arcita in “The Knight's Tale” by Chaucer. The two men see a lovely lady from high above in their and become enslaved by her beauty. This type of love is called Courtly Love. It is in this case that a man develops a love for the woman, devotes himself to the “idea” of her, or puts her on a pedestal, and becomes so love sick for her. All the while the woman is teasing him, rejecting his efforts towards her in public but enticing him in private. The Maiden that bewitches the fine fellows from their immense prison is called Emily. The men begin to argue over her and who is more…show more content…
Courtly love is depicted in the temple of Venus…”The broken slumbers and the sighing cold” referring to losing sleep because of always thinking about their lover and forgetting about what is good for them, like sleeping and eating. The only thing now that really matters is what is their obsession doing every minute of every day. Chaucer even illustrates this in the story when Arcita is set free and spends all of his days cowering over Emily, when he is “Bereft he was of sleep and meat and drink.” This is connected to Courtly Love because it explains the meaning of how Venus is “piteous to behold” and because of this one might rather die than never see their lover again because it is too painful to behold. The “sighing cold” can be depicted as death because when we do think of death it is usually described as cold, sighing means a final breath. This is portrayed as someone breathing their final breath before giving into Venus. But one must not forget the “fiery throbbing of the strong desire.” Which is the most powerful of all side effects of love, the want for more, and the withdrawals from love, such as Arcita displays when he says, “had never any man so much torture” as a result of not having his final fulfillment of satisfaction. Venus and her power can be described as her being a drug trafficker, guaranteeing happiness for a small fee, your freedom. Arcita and Palamon accepting the offer are now in the hands. Playing the men as marionettes, she has full control of them. She can be ever so cruel when refusing to “sell” anymore “narcotics” just so she can see you
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