Ever thought of how cheating was like back in the Middle Ages?
In the Middle Ages, love and marriage had no correlation because at the time, parents arranged those noble marriages usually for the benefit of the family, instead of considering the couple's feelings. Statuses and assets were highly valued and chased after during the Middle Ages, and naturally, so was romance. Romantic love could be gained outside marriage - as long as there was no sex involved (usually). Courtly love gave couples-knights and ladies, who truly loved each other a chance to show their love, regardless of their marital status.
Courtly love was traditionally narrated by the troubadours, who were like popular singers going on tour. They would sing those poetic narratives when visiting the lady of their love at their residences.
Medieval literature includes several examples of courtly love like Cornish knight Tristan and Irish princess Iseult, as well as Arthurian legend Sir Lancelot & Lady Guinevere, which we will be focusing on. Sir Lancelot expresses this kind of love for Lady Guinevere, though he breaks the rules and takes Guinevere for his own. King Arthur eventually discovered the affair, but what happened next?
Find out in our take on this tragic love story with a modern twist:
Some critics have pointed out that not all stages exist in every description of romantic love, and there is an ongoing controversy on how precise some of the stages are.
Also, even though courtly love is typically more about spiritual and emotional connection, there is still some form of sensual desire included, like what we have briefly illustrated in Stage 8: Consummation. It is to be noted that although courtly love was a more “dignified” version of cheating, it is essentially still considered as a form of adultery. Thus, harsh punishments were issued and secrecy had to be kept constantly. Also, the endings of these love stories are usually tragic, suggesting the sceptical attitude in allowing these extramarital affairs.
However, despite the tragic ending of Sir Lancelot and Queen Guinevere's story in Arthurian legend, both of them went against all odds to get together, which was what inspired us to write about their story. We thought their bravery in fighting for their love was commendable and to end off on a lighter note, here is a short verse from a poem about the love story of Sir Lancelot & Guinevere:
A man had given all other bliss,
And all his worldly worth for this,
To waste his whole heart in one kiss
Upon her perfect lips.
Lastly, thank you for reading our post and we hope you enjoyed our rendition of the story!