In the classical and medieval traditions of the courtly love ideal, the male Lover pronounces his undying love to the Lady of his desires who is cruel and unobtainable. Writing about courtly love, Denis De Rougement argues that it is ‘the passion of the two lovers [that] creates obstruction‘ (De Rougemont 42). He implies that the Lover’s feelings for the Lady who feigns disinterest creates a playful discourse masking sexual interest. In the picture below, for instance, the courtly love couple are playing chess. No doubt, they’d rather be in bed together.
Queen Elizabeth I revived the courtly love ideal to encourage courtiers to woo and flatter her. She maintained ‘control’ over a patriarchal society because -continue reading>