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The courtly love theme in Shakespeare's plays Cherry, Douglas Henry 1952

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THE COURTLY LOVE THEME IN SHAKESPEARE'S PLAYS by DOUGLAS HENRY CHERRY A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS i n t h e D e p a r t m e n t o f E n g l i s h We a c c e p t t h i s t h e s i s as c o n f o r m i n g t o t h e s t a n d a r d r e q u i r e d f r o m c a n d i d a t e s f o r t h e d e g r e e o f MASTER OF ARTS. Members o f t h e D e p a r t m e n t o f E n g l i s h THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA September, 1952 D o u g l a s H e n r y C h e r r y An a b s t r a c t o f t h e t h e s i s : The C o u r t l y A T h e m e i n S h a k e s p e a r e 1 s P l a y s S h a k e s p e a r e r e v e a l s h i s i n t e r e s t i n t h e p o p u l a r theme o f c o u r t l y l o v e , w h i c h came t o him as an e s t a b l i s h e d t r a d i t i o n , i n a number o f h i s p l a y s . T h i s t r a d i t i o n c a n be t r a c e d b a c k t o t h e t r o u b a d o u r s o f P r o v e n c e who, d u r i n g t h e C r u s a d e s , a p p e a r e d as a c l a s s o f k n i g h t s whose c h i e f v a l u e s were v a l o r , c o u r t e s y , and k n i g h t l y w o r t h . From t h e t r o u b a d o u r s came t h e i d e a o f l o v e s e r v i c e : e v e r y k n i g h t must have a l a d y whose r e l a t i o n s h i p t o him was p a r a l l e l t o t h a t between him as a v a s s a l and h i s l o r d . T h i s l o v e s e r v i c e came.to be l o o k e d u pon as l e a d i n g t o m o r a l d i g n i t y and t r u e c h i v a l r y and i t was p e r f o r m e d by t h e k n i g h t f o r a n o t h e r 1 s w i f e . An e l a b o r a t e s e t o f r u l e s grew up d e s c r i b i n g t h e n a t u r e o f c o u r t l y l o v e and t h e a t t i t u d e s and r e s p o n s e s o f b o t h t h e k n i g h t and t h e l a d y . From P r o v e n c e c o u r t l y l o v e s p r e a d t o I t a l y where i t was endowed w i t h s p i r i t u a l and p h i l o s o p h i c a l a s p e c t s by C a r d i n a l Bembo, D a n t e , and P e t r a r c h , f o r example. B y t h e t i m e t h a t t h e t r a d i t i o n r e a c h e d E n g l a n d i t had b e e n m o d i f i e d , a d d e d t o , and c o n v e n t i o n a l i z e d i n i t s p a s s a g e . t h r o u g h I t a l i a n and N o r t h e r n F r e n c h l i t e r a t u r e . A number o f S h a k e s p e a r e ' s p r e d e c e s s o r s made i m p o r t a n t c o n t r i b u t i o n s t o t h e c o u r t l y theme: C h a u c e r s u g g e s t e d i t s e v i l c o n s e q u e n c e s , C a s t i g l i o n e e s t a b l i s h e d t h e r u l e s t o g u i d e t h e p e r f e c t c o u r t i e r and t h e l a d y , and e m p h a s i z e d m a r r i a g e as t h e o n l y a c c e p t a b l e end. o f c o u r t l y 2 l o v e , S i d n e y combined t h e m e d i e v a l c h i v a l r i c and t h e c l a s s i c a l p a s t o r a l t r a d i t i o n s i n an i m a g i n a r y s e t t i n g where c h i v a l r i c i d e a l s a l w a y s t r i u m p h e d o v e r e v i l , and S p e n s e r added a s t r o n g m o r a l n o t e , r e c o g n i z i n g t h e p h y s i c a l as w e l l as t h e s p i r i t u a l a s p e c t s o f l o v e i n h i s emphasis on v i r t u e and c o n s t a n c y . B y t h e t i m e t h a t S h a k e s p e a r e b e g a n t o d e a l w i t h c o u r t l y l o v e , c o u r t e s y meant more t h a n t h e m e d i e v a l i d e a o f a w i l l i n g n e s s t o u n d e r t a k e l o v e - s e r v i c e . I t meant g e n t l e m a n l y c o n d u c t , r e f i n e d manners, i n t e l l e c t , and a h i g h m o r a l p u r p o s e . When S h a k e s p e a r e t o o k up t h e c o u r t l y theme, i t had b e e n r e f i n e d c o n s i d e r a b l y . I n an e a r l y t r e a t m e n t o f t h e theme, S h a k e s p e a r e s a t i r i z e s t h e f o l l y c o n n e c t e d w i t h c o u r t l y l o v e and t h e c o u r t l y i d e a l . T h i s i s s e e n i n L o v e ' s L a b o u r 1 ,s l o s t where t h e l a d i e s o n l y t o y w i t h t h e men and where l o v e i s n o t t r i u m p h a n t . I n The Two G e n t l e m e n o f V e r o n a t h e s a t i r i c a l v e i n i s c o n t i n u e d and t h e w e aknesses i n h e r e n t i n c o u r t l y l o v e a r e e x p o s e d i n t h e s t r u g g l e b etween l o v e and f r i e n d s h i p . A s You L i k e ^ I t i s a n o t h e r p l a y i n t h i s g r o u p . where c o u r t l y l o v e i s s a t i r i z e d . R o s a l i n d becomes t h e spokesman f o r s i n c e r i t y and f a i t h f u l n e s s i n l o v e and condemns a r t i f i c i a l i t y and sham. I n a g r o u p o f p l a y s w h i c h t r e a t s t h e c o u r t l y theme as comedy (AJMidsummer N i g h t l s _ D r e a m , T w e l f th_.Night, H e n r y _ I V _ , l P a r t JQ., and Herjr^;_V) S h a k e s p e a r e i s more f u n - l o v i n g and g e n t l e r i n h i s p r e s e n t a t i o n t h a n he was i n t h e p l a y s where c o u r t l y l o v e was t r e a t e d s a t i r i c a l l y . No s e r i o u s i s s u e mars t h e 3 c o m i c a tmosphere as we see t h e humorous s i d e o f l o v e i n e a c h o f t h e s e p l a y s . I n a n o t h e r g r o u p , Romeo .and . J u l i e t , The,.Winter' s, T a l e 1 t and C y m h e l i n e tr we see t h e s t r e n g t h d e r i v e d f r o m r o m a n t i c l o v e w h i c h i s p r e s e n t e d as a g e n u i n e p a s s i o n l e a d i n g t o permanence. Such l o v e g i v e s s t r e n g t h i n a d v e r s i t y and t h o u g h l o v e ends t r a g i c a l l y i n Romeo and J u l i e t and n e a r l y ends t r a g i c a l l y i n t h e o t h e r two p l a y s , we see t h a t i t e n a b l e s t h e l o v e r s t o meet t h e i r f a t e , even when i t i s d e a t h . S h a k e s p e a r e r e v e r s e s t h e theme i n t h e f o l l o w i n g p l a y s : A l l ^ s Jftfell t h a t Ends, W e l l , Much Ado a b o u t N o t h i n g , Measure; f o r M e a s u r e , and R i c h a r d _ . I I . I n t h e f i r s t t h r e e t h e l a d y u s e s a t r i c k t o w i n h e r man, and i n R i c h a r d ^ I I she p l e a d s f o r l o v e b u t i s r e b u f f e d . The s c h e m i n g and t r i c k e r y o f t h e f i r s t t h r e e p l a y s i n t h i s g r o u p b r i n g s t h e theme c l o s e t o u n p l e a s a n t n e s s and d e g r a d e s t h e c o u r t l y l o v e r . S h a k e s p e a r e h e r e p r o b e s t h e r e a l i s t i c a s p e c t s o f t h e theme and shows men and women as t h e y r e a l l y a r e . T h i s t r e a t m e n t i s f o l l o w e d t h r o u g h i n t h e t r a g e d i e s T r o i l u s .and C r e s s i d a y H a m l e t , and O t h e l l o , where t h e u n p l e a s a n t , r e a l i s t i c a s p e c t s o f c o u r t l y l o v e l e a d n a t u r a l l y t o t r a g e d y . I n t h e s e t r a g e d i e s t h e g a i e t y and i d e a l i s m o f t h e c o n v e n t i o n s o f c o u r t l y l o v e have d i s a p p e a r e d c o m p l e t e l y and t h e t r u e p o s s i b i l i t i e s have b e e n e x p o s e d . A f t e r t h e s e p l a y s , c o u r t l y l o v e no l o n g e r c o u l d s u p p l y a v a l i d p a t t e r n f o r l o v i n g and l i v i n g . I n The Tempest the theme i s s u b v e r t e d and l o v e i s s e e n as t h e . f o r c e o f r e n e w a l i n t h e w o r l d . The l o v e r s a r e no l o n g e r o f i n t e r e s t as c o u r t l y l o v e r s b u t a p p e a r as m a t u r e p e o p l e whose m a r r i a g e becomes t h e hope o f a b e t t e r w o r l d . The c o n v e n t i o n a l s u f f e r i n g f o r l o v e i s gone and i n i t s p l a c e i s a m a t u r e , r e a s o n e d a t t i t u d e t o t h e most b a s i c o f man's e m o t i o n s . W i t h t h i s p l a y S h a k e s p e a r e has come a l l t h e way f r o m a r t i f i c i a l i t y and sham t o a l a s t i n g , s a t i s f y i n g t y p e o f l o v e . T a b l e _ o O o n t e n t s I n t r o d u c t i o n page I C h a p t e r I : L i t e r a r j ; , s o u r c e s o f _ t h e t j i c o u r t l ^ ^ t h e m e : page 2 P r o v e n c a l L a t i n I t a l i a n N o r t h e r n F r e n c h C h a p t e r I I : S h a k e s g e a r e ' ^ s p r e d e c e s s o r s .and, t h e t h e m e ~ o f ~ c o u r t l ^ ~ l o v e 7 ~ page 25 C h a u c e r - K n i ^ h t ^ s ^ T a l e - T r o i l u s and Cr i s . e y d e C a s t i g l i o n e - The C o u r t i e r S i d n e y - S o n n e t s - A r c a d i a S p e n s e r - C o l i n C l o u t ' s Come Home Again, - The F a i r i e Queene C h a p t e r I I I : The c o u r t l y theme and s a t i r e : page 52 L,2Y§.ls_Labour]_s^Lost The^Two^Gentlemen^of ,„Y.erpna As Y o u L i k e " i t C h a p t e r I V : T h ^ _ c o u r t l x ^ h e m e _ a n d _ c o m page 75 A Midsummer Night',s, Dream Twe " r f^ -Ni£ht"" H e n r i _ I V l l P i r t - I l Henry._V C h a p t e r V: The c o u r t l y theme and romantic,. l o v e : page 95 Romeo and r, J u l i e t T h i ^ W i n t e r l . i 2 I l § . CymbelTne, C h a p t e r V I : R e v e r s a l o f t h e theme:, t h e l a d y i n l o v e : page 117 (.Venus and A d o n i s ) , 4lIEsIfIinthit_End^J£ell Much'Ado about Nothing"" M e a s u r e f o r ^ M e a s u r e R i c h a r d ~ I l " " " T r o i l u s and C r e s s i d a Hamlet O t h e l l o Chapter VIII: Subyersion_of_the_them page 160 The Tempest C o n c l u s i o n page 167 Bihj.iogra .2hy (books used i n t h i s d i s s e r t a t i o n ) page 170 INTRODUCTION No person can read far into Elizabethan l i t e r a t u r e without becoming aware of the importance of the c h i v a l r i c ideals i n h e r i t e d from the Middle Ages. These ideals had given a s p i r i t u a l aspect to the deeds and i n s t i t u t i o n s of feudalism i n an age of b r u t a l i t y and coarseness hy stressing such values as courtesy, generosity, and l o y a l t y . Though the ideals of chivalry were, perhaps, more closely adhered to i n the poems and romances of the medieval writers than i n actual l i f e , nevertheless, such ideals had an important bearing on the thinking i n Western Europe through the Middle Ages into the Renaissance. One can detect a continuity i n the Provencal l y r i c s , the love poetry of Dante and Petrarch, the romances of Chre'tien de Troyes, the narratives of Chaucer, the prose and poetry of Sidney, the poetry of Spenser, and the plays of Shakespeare. I t i s often d i f f i c u l t to trace the exact influence of one writer upon another, but s t i l l these writers have one thing i n common: they a l l write about chivalry and courtly love. By the time that Shakespeare took, up the theme of chivalry and courtly love i t was at least four centuries old. Many changes had occurred i n the conventions which came int o being to s a t i s f y certain needs i n the p a r t i c u l a r society of the age of the early crusades. I t seems more than p r o b a b l y t h a t S h a k e s p e a r e was f a m i l i a r w i t h t h e whole t r a d i t i o n . o f c o u r t l y l o v e f r o m i t s e a r l i e s t m a n i f e s t a t i o n s t o h i s own day. The h i s t o r y p l a y s f r o m The L i f e and. D e a t h o f King; J o h n t o The Famous H i s t o r y o f t h e L i f e o f King, H e n r y t h e E i g h t h d e a l w i t h a p e r i o d when c h i v a l r y was a p a r t o f e v e r y d a y l i f e . One can s e e , by n o t i n g t h e images i n h i s p l a y s , t h a t S h a k e s p e a r e h a d s t u d i e d t h e s u b j e c t o f c h i v a l r y t h o r o u g h l y and t h a t h i s t h i n k i n g was i n f l u e n c e d b y i t . Many o f h i s g r e a t h e r o e s were f a s h i o n e d a f t e r t h e c h i v a l r i c p a t t e r n . F u r t h e r m o r e , a l l t h o s e c h a r a c t e r s whom we f e e l S h a k e s p e a r e a p p r o v e d o f were g u i d e d by a s t r o n g s e n s e o f h o n o r . H e n r y V, whom S h a k e s p e a r e p r o b a b l y l o v e d as w e l l as anyone he e v e r c r e a t e d , t o o k a f i r m s t a n d f o r h o n o r : By J o v e , I am n o t c o v e t o u s f o r g o l d , Nor c a r e I who d o t h f e e d u pon my c o s t ; I t y e a r n s me n o t i f men my garments wear; S u c h o u t w a r d t h i n g s d w e l l n o t i n my d e s i r e s . B u t i f i t be a s i n t o c o v e t h o n o u r , I am t h e most o f f e n d i n g s o u l a l i v e . ( I V . i i i . 2 4 - 2 9 ) T h i s p a s s a g e i s o n l y one o f many w h i c h s e r v e t o show t h e i n f l u e n c e t h a t c h i v a l r i c i d e a l s had upon S h a k e s p e a r e . I n a d d i t i o n t o f i n d i n g f r e q u e n t r e f e r e n c e s t o t h e i d e a l s o f t h e c h i v a l r i c c o d e , one c a n f i n d a c o n s i d e r a b l e number o f p l a y s i n w h i c h S h a k e s p e a r e was c o n c e r n e d p r e d o m i n a n t l y w i t h t h e m a t t e r o f c o u r t l y l o v e . I t i s t h e p u r p o s e o f t h i s d i s s e r t a t i o n , a f t e r d i s c u s s i n g t h e b a c k -g r o u n d o f t h e t r a d i t i o n , t o i n v e s t i g a t e a number o f p l a y s I l l i n which Shakespeare t r e a t s the theme o f c o u r t l y l o v e . I t should he p o s s i b l e to t r a c e the v a r i o u s ways i n which the dramatist t r e a t s the theme: whether he admires c o u r t l y l o v e , s a t i r i z e s i t , t r e a t s i t r o m a n t i c a l l y , or deal s with i t i n tragedy. One may expect t o f i n d that Shakespeare, who d e a l t s p e c i f i c a l l y with c o u r t l y l o v e i n approximately h a l f h i s p l a y s , had more than one p o i n t of view t o present. 1 The t e x t e d i t e d by K i t t r e d g e w i l l be u s e d . f o r a l l r e f e r e n c e s t o the pl a y s of Shakespeare. 1 G.L. K i t t r e d g e j .The .Complete, Works of Shakespeare, Boston, Ginn and-Company, 1 9 3 6 * . ~~ ~ CHAPTER I LITERARY SOURCES OF THE COURTLY THEME Provencal L a t i n I t a l i a n Northern French 2 CHAPTER I The phenomenon commonly known as c o u r t l y l o v e a p p e a r e d q u i t e s u d d e n l y t o w a r d t h e c l o s e o f the. e l e v e n t h l a c e n t u r y i n P r o v e n c e . The e x a c t o r i g i n o f t h e phenomenon i s s t i l l a m y s t e r y . However, c e r t a i n f a c t s a r e known ab o u t t h i s p e r i o d w h i c h h e l p t o e x p l a i n t h e vogue o f a new c o n c e p t i o n o f l o v e t h a t was t o f i n d i t s way i n t o t h e l i t e r a t u r e s o f many c o u n t r i e s w i t h f a r - r e a c h i n g e f f e c t s . I t seems u n l i k e l y t h a t a new t r e a t m e n t o f l o v e j u s t a p p e a r e d f r o m nowhere a t t h e i n s t i g a t i o n o f one p e r s o n . On t h e c o n t r a r y , W i l l i a m , C o u n t o f P o i t i e r s ( 1 0 7 1 - 1 1 2 ? ) , who i s 1 a c c l a i m e d by a number o f h i s t o r i a n s o f l i t e r a t u r e as t h e f i r s t known w r i t e r t o t a k e c o u r t l y l o v e f o r t h e s u b j e c t o f p o e t r y , seems t o have i n h e r i t e d c e r t a i n c o n v e n t i o n s o f l a n g u a g e and c e r t a i n a t t i t u d e s t o w a r d s t h e l o v e r s w h i c h w o u l d s u g g e s t t h a t t h e p o e t r y o f c o u r t l y l o v e was a 2 g r a d u a l e v o l u t i o n . A t any r a t e , t h e c r u s a d e s w h i c h b e g a n i n t h e e l e v e n t h c e n t u r y b r o u g h t a m a j o r change i n t h e s o c i a l l i f e o f m e d i e v a l F r a n c e and c r e a t e d a s i t u a t i o n t h a t was i d e a l f o r t h e f l o w e r i n g o f a l y r i c a l p o e t r y b a s e d on t h e s u b j e c t o f l o v e . W i t h t h e a d v e n t o f t h e c r u s a d e s a l a n d l e s s k n i g h t h o o d came i n t o e x i s t e n c e whose c h i e f v a l u e s 1 Among t h e s e i s H . J . C h a y t o r , The T r o u b a d o u r s , C a m b r i d g e , U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1912, on page~41. ~ 2 I b i d . , pp. 41-42. l a C f . page 11 f f . f o r t h e p o s s i b l e e a r l y i n f l u e n c e o f O v i d . were t h o s e o f v a l o r , c o u r t e s y , and k n i g h t l y w o r t h . From t h i s c l a s s o f f i g h t i n g k n i g h t s emanated t h e t r o u b a d o u r s o f P r o v e n c e who g e r m i n a t e d t h e s e e d o f c o u r t l y l o v e u n t i l i t grew i n t o a r o b u s t t r a d i t i o n t h a t n e v e r q u i t e d i e d w i t h t h e M i d d l e A g e s . The t r o u b a d o u r s , who a r e o f t e n t h o u g h t o f as b e i n g a -group o f l y r i c a l p o e t s t h a t s a ng o f l o v e a b o u t and f o r t h e c o u r t l y c l a s s , were a c t u a l l y more t h a n t h a t . T h e y were k n i g h t s who e n g a g e d i n b a t t l e s and t o u r n a m e n t s ; and, t h o u g h n o t a l l were o f n o b l e b i r t h , t h e y were t h e c o n s t a n t com-p a n i o n s o f noblemen. The t r o u b a d o u r s t o o k p a r t i n t h e e a r l i e s t c r u s a d e s w h i c h s e t out f r o m t h e towns o f P r o v e n c e ; and f o r t h e c r u s a d e s t h e y composed songs o f war. T h e i r s o n gs were g e n e r a l l y sung by t h e j o n g l e u r , a man employed 3 by t h e t r o u b a d o u r f o r t h a t p u r p o s e . T h e s e s o n g s d e a l t w i t h v a r i o u s t o p i c s , i n c l u d i n g war, p o l i t i c s , p e r s o n a l s a t i r e , 4 and l o v e . The songs o f t h e t r o u b a d o u r s were a p r o d u c t o f t h e age and d i s p l a y e d a y o u t h f u l z e s t f o r a d v e n t u r e , a h e a r t y and j o y o u s p r a i s e o f l i v i n g e ven amid t h e p e r i l s o f an age o f t r e a c h e r y and w a r f a r e , and b e t r a y e d t h e w r i t e r ' s r e s t l e s s d e s i r e t o wander a f i e l d . Though t h e work o f t h e 3 L a t e r i n t h e t h i r t e e n t h c e n t u r y when d e c a d e n c e s e t i n and when t h e y were no l o n g e r r e q u i r e d f o r b a t t l e , t h e t r o u b a d o u r s o f t e n became j o n g l e u r s , t h a t i s , t h e y s a n g t h e i r own s o n g s as an o c c u p a t i o n . The j o n g l e u r s , as w e l l , s o u g h t t o enhance t h e i r f o r t u n e by c a l l i n g t h e m s e l v e s t r o u b a d o u r s i n t h i s l a t e r p e r i o d . 4 G h a y t o r , op,, c i t . , p. 14. 4 t r o u b a d o u r i s n o t e d f o r t h e s e c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s , i t i s t h e s p e c i a l t r e a t m e n t o f l o v e w h i c h was s o m e t h i n g new t o E u r o p e and w h i c h gave r i s e t o a whole new s e t o f v a l u e s i n t h e m e d i e v a l w o r l d . To t h e i r p a r t i c u l a r t r e a t m e n t o f l o v e , w h i c h came t o be known as c o u r t l y l o v e , we must now g i v e o u r a t t e n t i o n ; The t r o u b a d o u r a c c e p t e d t h e a g e - o l d s u b j e c t o f l o v e f o r h i s p o e t r y and, b y f i t t i n g i t i n t o t h e p a t t e r n o f h i s s o c i e t y , f o u n d e d a new c o n c e p t i o n o f l o v e . H i s i m p o r t a n t i n n o v a t i o n was t h e i d e a o f l o v e - s e r v i c e , t h a t i s , t h a t e v e r y k n i g h t must have a m i s t r e s s whose r e l a t i o n s h i p t o t h e k n i g h t was p a r a l l e l t o t h a t b e t w e e n him ( a s a v a s s a l ) and h i s l o r d . T h i s a p p l i c a t i o n o f t h e f e u d a l s y s t e m t o t h e m a t t e r s o f l o v e g a i n e d f o r woman an e x a l t e d p o s i t i o n i n s o c i e t y and t h e k n i g h t s came t o c o n s i d e r l o v e - s e r v i c e t o a woman as s o m e t h i n g w h i c h l e d t o m o r a l d i g n i t y and t r u e c h i v a l r y . I n s h o r t , t h e l o v e o f woman became a d e s i r a b l e t h i n g f o r e v e r y t r o u b a d o u r and an i n s p i r a t i o n f o r h i s songs and deeds. I n h i s e f f o r t s t o t e a c h l o v e as b e i n g e x a l t e d and e n n o b l i n g , he soo n b u i l t up a s e t o f c o n v e n t i o n s r e g a r d i n g l o v e , t h e l a d y h e r s e l f , and t h e p o s i t i o n o f t h e k n i g h t . L o v e r a p i d l y came t o be r e g a r d e d as a r e l i g i o u s c u l t w i t h i t s own code o f l a w s t o w h i c h t h e l o v e r must s u b m i t h i m s e l f c o m p l e t e l y ; i n f r a c t i o n s o f t h e s e laws were t h e o r e t i c a l l y f r a u g h t w i t h s e r i o u s c o n -s e q u e n c e s . ? 5 T.A. K i r b y , C h a u c e r ' s T r o i l u s , L o u i s i a n a S t a t e , U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1940,""p7 24. 5 I n t o t h e i r l y r i c s , f o r more t h a n two c e n t u r i e s , t h e t r o u b a d o u r s p o u r e d t h e i r i d e a s , a t t i t u d e s , and f e e l i n g s c o n c e r n i n g l o v e , t h u s f i r m l y e s t a b l i s h i n g t h e t r a d i t i o n o f c o u r t l y l o v e . C e r t a i n c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s o f s o c i e t y i n t h e M i d d l e Ages a l s o c o n t r i b u t e d t o t h e growth o f c o u r t l y l o v e . The women i n t h i s s o c i e t y l e d a f a i r l y s e c l u d e d l i f e and o f t e n o n l y saw men ( o r were s e e n by men) a t c h u r c h o r a t f o r m a l c o u r t f u n c t i o n s . As a r e s u l t , much s i g n i f i c a n c e m i g h t be a t t a c h e d t o a g l a n c e o r a s m i l e . T h e s e m i g h t be remembered l o n g a f t e r t h e - e n c o u n t e r and, q u i t e c o n c e i v a b l y , t h e y m i g h t 6 assume an a i r o f m y s t e r y o r i m a g i n e d p a s s i o n . T h i s r o m a n t i c temper was a v e r y r e a l p a r t o f t h e r e l a t i o n s h i p b etween man and woman and had an i m p o r t a n t b e a r i n g on t h e de v e l o p m e n t o f c o u r t l y l o v e . A t t h e t i m e when t h e t r o u b a d o u r s b e g a n t o e x a l t t h e p o s i t i o n o f woman by making l o v e t o h e r and by composing l y r i c s i n h e r p r a i s e , h e r s o c i a l p o s i t i o n was, i n r e a l i t y , i n f e r i o r t o t h a t o f man. I n d e e d , she was m e r e l y a c h a t t e l : f i r s t o f h e r f a t h e r , t h e n o f h e r husband. M a r r i a g e r a r e l y grew out o f l o v e b u t , r a t h e r , was an i n s t r u m e n t t o g a i n p o l i t i c a l power o r s o c i a l and e c o n o m i c a d v a n t a g e . Among t h e k n i g h t l y c l a s s , m a r r i a g e had n o t h i n g t o do w i t h l o v e . O f t e n , i f l o v e were t o be e n j o y e d t o i t s f u l l e s t i t c o u l d o n l y 6 J.H. S m i t h , T r o u b a d o u r s a t Home, New Y o r k , G.P. Putnam's S o n s , 1899, vol7 lTTp"122-12^7"' 6 be e x p e r i e n c e d t h r o u g h a d u l t e r y . T h i s , i n b r i e f , was t h e s i t u a t i o n when a new t h e o r y o f l o v e came i n t o b e i n g i n P r o v e n c e . The coming o f t h e c h i v a l r i c s p i r i t r a i s e d woman t o a p l a n e where she became t h e o b j e c t o f d e v o t i o n . C o u r t l y l o v e , w h i c h r e f l e c t e d t h e t r u e s i t u a t i o n o f woman f i n d i n g s a t i s f a c t i o n o u t s i d e o f m a r r i a g e , became t h e i n t e r e s t o f e v e r y n o b l e m a n and c o u r t l y l a d y i n S o u t h e r n F r a n c e . C o u r t l y l o v e was, i n most c a s e s , t h e l o v e o f a k n i g h t f o r a woman m a r r i e d t o someone e l s e . S e r v i c e and d e v o t i o n were s t r e s s e d r a t h e r t h a n t h e mere g r a t i f i c a t i o n o f s e x u a l d e s i r e s . Though c o u r t l y l o v e , p e r h a p s , d i d n o t a l w a y s r e m a i n on t h i s i d e a l i s t i c l e v e l , i t i s i m p o r t a n t f o r us t o r e c o g n i z e t h a t i l l i c i t l o v e was n o t t h e b a s i c o b j e c t o f t h e k n i g h t , b u t i t o n l y f o l l o w e d as a r e w a r d f o r h i s v a l o r and d e v o t i o n . L o v e was c o n s i d e r e d t o be n o b l e and p u r e . The whole i d e a o f c o u r t l y l o v e was r e a d i l y a c c e p t e d by t h e n o b l e s . I t became c u s t o m a r y t o l o o k on m a r r i a g e as b e i n g a l o v e l e s s u n i o n and t h e w i f e o f a no b l e m a n was e x p e c t e d t o r e c e i v e t h e homage o f a t r o u b a d o u r who sang h e r p r a i s e s and p l e d g e d h i s d e v o t i o n , w i t h t h e u n d e r s t a n d i n g b e t w e e n t h e two t h a t n o t h i n g i n d e c o r o u s s h o u l d be done. The l a d y was i m m e d i a t e l y p l a c e d on a p l a n e above t h e t r o u b a d o u r who p l e d g e d h i m s e l f t o w i n d i s t i n c t i o n by c o u r t l y words and c h i v a l r i c deeds i f o n l y he were a l l o w e d t o do t h i s s o l e l y f o r h e r . She i n t u r n was t o be m i n d f u l o f h i s l o v e and d e v o t i o n to duty, acknowledging h i s achievements and rewarding h i s s e r v i c e w i t h a p p r e c i a t i v e p r a i s e . T h i s l o v e gave the l a d y a p o s i t i o n of u s e f u l n e s s , r e l e a s i n g her to some ex t e n t ^ from the f r u s t r a t i o n s of her married l i f e , and i t gave the troubadour a noble purpose, p l a c i n g a premium on c h i v a l r y and c o u r t e s y . Thus an emphasis, never b e f o r e seen i n medieval Europe, was put on l o v e and d e v o t i o n , both to duty and to the l a d y . An o p p o r t u n i t y e x i s t e d f o r a whole new set of v a l u e s and a whole new a t t i t u d e to l o v e , an o p p o r t u n i t y which was q u i c k l y s e i z e d upon by the troubadours of the t w e l f t h and t h i r t e e n t h c e n t u r i e s . With the i n c e p t i o n of c o u r t l y l o v e , a number of c o n v e n t i o n a l p r a c t i c e s and r u l e s q u i c k l y developed. These added to the a r t i f i c i a l i t y which accompanied the new a t t i t u d e towards lo v e and become an important part of the whole t r a d i t i o n . An obvious need e x i s t e d f o r a system o f checks t o prevent c o u r t l y l o v e from degenerating i n t o l i c e n s e and t h i s need undoubtedly l e d to the v a r i o u s r u l e s and the r i g i d e t i q u e t t e which were d e v i s e d . C o u r t l y l o v e . . . was to be mainly an a f f a i r of sentiment and honor, not wholly P l a t o n i c to be sure, but thoroughly d e s e n s u a l i z e d . 7 Four d i s t i n c t stages were l a i d down through which the l o v e r should pass: (1) he adored without c o n f e s s i n g i t ; (2) he adored while e n t r e a t i n g h i s l a d y ; 7 Smith, o_>. c i t . , p. 215. 8 (3) he adored wi t h hope, knowing h i s l a d y was not i n d i f f e r e n t ; (4) he became the l a d y ' s accepted l o v e r , that i s , her v a s s a l and s p e c i a l knight.$ The acceptance o f the troubadour by the l a d y merely meant that she was prepared to r e c e i v e h i s homage i n songs and t o 8a be h i s i n s p i r a t i o n . He i n t u r n would be i n s p i r e d to perform deeds worthy of her, to s t r i v e f o r the wisdom which would teach s e l f - r e s t r a i n t , t o endeavor always to please her, and t o s i n g her p r a i s e s i n song. Of course, s i n c e t h e i r l o v e must be c a r r i e d on i n secrecy the l a d y was u s u a l l y g i v e n a pseudonym. Perhaps the i d e a of s e c r e c y was a p r a c t i c a l one because the l a d y was someone e l s e ' s w i f e . However, the troubadours h e l d t h a t l o v e was too noble to be marred by common gossi p . The poetry which grew up around t h i s c o u r t l y l o v e t r a d i t i o n abounded i n c o n v e n t i o n a l d e s c r i p t i o n s of the k n i g h t and the l a d y . The l o v e r was always the l a d y ' s v a s s a l , obeying her s l i g h t e s t wish and s i l e n t l y s u f f e r i n g her rebukes. T h i s p a t i e n t obedience was the only v i r t u e he dared 9 c l a i m . I n h i s love l y r i c s , the troubadour p r a i s e d h i s l a d y as being p h y s i c a l l y and m o r a l l y p e r f e c t , possessed o f 8 Smith, op., c i t . , pp. 215-216. 9 C.S. Lewis, The A l l e g o r y of Love. Oxford, Clarendon P r e s s , 1936, p7 2. ~" 8a The sexual aspects of c o u r t l y l o v e can not be dismissed. For example, these are evidenced i n the r e l a t i o n -s h i p of L a n c e l o t and Guinevere. 9 extreme b e a u t y , and a b l e b y h e r mere p r e s e n c e t o c h e e r t h e s a d and make t h e l o v e r c o u r t e o u s . H i s l o v e f o r h e r i s i n f i n i t e t o t h e t r o u b a d o u r who w o u l d r a t h e r s u f f e r d e a t h t h a n be d e n i e d t h e p r i v i l e g e t o s e r v e h e r . A l l h i s t h o u g h t s o f good and .his p l e a s u r e i n b e a u t y a r e owed t o h e r . She a l o n e g i v e s him t h e a b i l i t y t o s i n g . R a t h e r t h a n s e e k a n o t h e r ' s f a v o r , t h e t r o u b a d o u r w o u l d s u f f e r any p a i n f r o m h i s l a d y . I n a d d i t i o n t o t h i s v ^ o r s h i p , t h e t r o u b a d o u r c o n s t a n t l y d e s c r i b e s t h e e f f e c t " o f the l a d y ' s l o v e upon him. He c a n n o t c o n t r o l h i s v o i c e when she i s n e a r b u t c o n s t a n t l y s i g h s and weeps. A t n i g h t he wakes t h i n k i n g o f h e r and grows a l t e r n a t e l y h o t and c o l d . H i s l o v e f o r h e r has made a d i f f e r e n t man o f him: he i s now s t r o n g and m e r c i f u l , f o r g i v i n g h i s enemies and s u f f e r i n g any p r i v a t i o n f o r h e r s a k e . W i n t e r i s s p r i n g t o him. I f h i s l o v e i s n o t a c c e p t e d he w i l l l o s e h i s s e l f -c o n t r o l and become u n a b l e t o e a t o r s l e e p . O n l y t h e hope o f h i s l a d y ' s mercy w i l l k e e p him a l i v e s i n c e he knows h i s 10 own m e r i t i s n e g l i g i b l e . One c a n e a s i l y deduce t h e p o s i t i o n o f t h e k n i g h t and t h e l a d y f r o m t h i s d e s c r i p t i o n . The i n f e r i o r i t y and h u m i l i t y w h i c h t h e t r o u b a d o u r d i s p l a y e d by s u c h a d e s c r i p t i o n o f l o v e gave a commanding p o s i t i o n t o t h e woman, who c o u l d b i d h e r l o v e r t o p e r f o r m deeds r e q u i r i n g extreme c o u r a g e as a t e s t o f h i s d e v o t i o n . The a d v e n t u r o u s k n i g h t , as a r e w a r d , c o u l d e x p e c t h e r l o v e w h i c h sometimes m i g h t o n l y be a k i s s and e n c o u r a g e m e n t , b u t a t o t h e r t i m e s 10 T h i s a c c o u n t o f t h e d e s c r i p t i o n o f t h e t r o u b a d o u r ' s l o v e e x p e r i e n c e i s t a k e n m o s t l y f r o m C h a y t o r , T r o u b a d o u r s , pp. 17-18. r e s u l t e d i n p h y s i c a l l o v e . T h u s i t c a n be s e e n t h a t t h o u g h t h e d e s c r i p t i o n o f c o u r t l y l o v e was o f t e n f a n c i f u l , e x a g g e r a t e d , and c o n v e n t i o n a l , i t was an a c t u a l i t y and an i m p o r t a n t p a r t " o f m e d i e v a l l i f e I n S o u t h e r n F r a n c e . A s t h e c o n c e p t i o n o f c o u r t l y l o v e grew, i t was n a t u r a l l y e l a b o r a t e d upon and c a r r i e d i n t o o t h e r l i t e r a t u r e s s i n c e i t was so c o n g e n i a l t o t h e s o c i e t y o f t h e M i d d l e A g e s . The t r a d i t i o n a c t u a l l y came t o an end as f a r as P r o v e n c e was c o n c e r n e d i n t h e t h i r t e e n t h c e n t u r y when t h e Roman C a t h o l i c C h u r c h s e n t a c r u s a d e t o wipe o u t t h e A l b i g e n s i a n h e r e s y . The c r u s a d e b r o k e up t h e l o c a l f i e f s i n P r o v e n c e and, d e s t r o y i n g t h e c o n d i t i o n s w h i c h h a d e n a b l e d t h e t r o u b a d o u r s t o f l o u r i s h , i t d r o v e them t o o t h e r l a n d s o r f o r c e d them t o s e e k o t h e r o c c u p a t i o n s . The s y s t e m o f l o v e w h i c h t h e y h a d d e v e l o p e d was a c t u a l l y i n c o m p a t i b l e w i t h C h r i s t i a n s t a n d a r d s and h e n c e f o r t h P r o v e n c a l l y r i c i s t s were t o f o c u s t h e i r p r a i s e u pon t h e V i r g i n whose g r a c e , b e a u t y , and c h a r a c t e r w e r e . ' . i d e a l i z e d i n t h e same manner as h a d b e e n t h e t r o u b a d o u r ' s l a d y . However, w i t h t h e d i s p e r s a l o f t h e t r o u b a d o u r s c o u r t l y l o v e d i d n o t d i s a p p e a r . A l r e a d y t h i s c o n c e p t i o n o f l o v e h a d b e e n s p r e a d i n g , i n t h e t w e l f t h c e n t u r y , i n t o I t a l y , N o r t h e r n F r a n c e , and e v e n E n g l a n d . The P r o v e n c a l l o v e l y r i c s were m e r e l y t h e f i r s t s t a g e i n t h e d e v e l o p m e n t o f a s y s t e m o f c o u r t l y l o v e w h i c h f o u n d i t s f u l l e x p r e s s i o n i n t h e romances o f N o r t h e r n F r a n c e and w h i c h r e a c h e d a s p i r i t u a l l e v e l i n t h e l a t e M i d d l e A g es 11 i n I t a l y . The g r o w t h o f t h e c o u r t l y l o v e t r a d i t i o n was n o t c o n f i n e d t o t h e I t a l i a n , F r e n c h o r P r o v e n c a l p o e t s . C e r t a i n L a t i n w r i t e r s a l s o made t h e i r c o n t r i b u t i o n . O v i d ' s A r s _ A f f l a t o r i a has o f t e n b e en c o n s i d e r e d a m a j o r i n f l u e n c e on t h e t r o u b a d o u r s , l y i n g a t t h e b a s e o f the whole t r a d i t i o n . I n t h i s work, t h e p o e t d e a l t w i t h l o v e as a' s c i e n c e o r a r t . One c r i t i c comments as f o l l o w s : C o u r t l y l o v e had as i t s c h i e f b a s i s t h e l o v e p o e t r y o f O v i d , and. p a r t i c u l a r l y h i s " A r s A m a t o r i a , " i n w h i c h t h e whole a r t o f l o v e was c l a s s i f i e d i n a s i m p l e , l o g i c a l , and s y s t e m a t i c s t y l e , e m i n e n t l y s u i t e d t o F r e n c h t a s t e s . The a n a l y t i c a l m ind o f t h e F r e n c h r a c e was s t r o n g l y a t t r a c t e d b y a book w h i c h , i n p l a c e o f t h e r o m a n t i c e c s t a s i e s and sweet n o t h i n g s so common i n l o v e p o e t r y , f o r m u l a t e d d e f i n i t e r u l e s f o r t h e g u i d a n c e o f l o v e r s and a n a l y s e d t h e s e n t i m e n t s o f s e x u a l l o v e . ^ -Many o f t h e c r i t i c s do n o t a g r e e t h a t t h e i n f l u e n c e was as c l e a r o r d i r e c t as T a y l o r s t a t e s . However, i t i s w e l l t o r e c o g n i z e t h a t t h e r e a r e some r e s e m b l a n c e s between t h e t r o u b a d o u r s and O v i d i n t h e m a t t e r o f c e r t a i n i m a g e s , 12 themes, methods o f l o v i n g , and r e m e d i e s o f l o v e . I t i s a l s o w e l l t o r e c o g n i z e t h a t O v i d ' s a t t i t u d e t o l o v e i s v a s t l y d i f f e r e n t f r o m t h a t o f t h e t r o u b a d o u r s . To him i t i s a s e n s u a l f o r c e ; t o them i t i s an e n n o b l i n g one. L e w i s p o i n t s o u t t h i s d i f f e r e n c e : 11 A.B. T a y l o r , An I n t r o d u c t i o n .to M e d i e v a l Romance L o n d o n , H e a t h C r a n t o n L i m i t e d , " 1 9 3 0 , " p . 237. """" " " 12 K i r b y , G h ^ u c ^ r | _ s _ T r o i l u s , p. 5 12 . . . the same conduct which Ovid i r o n i c a l l y recommends co u l d be recommended s e r i o u s l y by the c o u r t l y t r a d i t i o n . While the i n f l u e n c e of Ovid upon the medieval w r i t e r s cannot be d i s r e g a r d e d , i t seems l i k e l y t h a t the g r e a t e s t f a c t o r s i n the growth of the c o u r t l y l o v e t r a d i t i o n were the temper of the troubadours and the nature of the times i n which they l i v e d . One w r i t e r who wrote i n L a t i n prose, d u r i n g the e a r l y t h i r t e e n t h century, demonstrates the d e s i r e t o set down a methodical system i n the a r t of love-making, a d e s i r e which i s c l o s e t o the core of the c o u r t l y l o v e t r a d i t i o n . Andreas C a p e l l a n u s (Andre^the C h a p l a i n ) , i n De, Ar,t,e, Honeste, Amandi, d e f i n e s l o v e and, e x p l a i n i n g what the l o v e r should be and what he should expect, goes 14 on to l a y down the r u l e s . Though he i s ' more c o n g e n i a l to the medieval temper than was Ovid, u n l i k e the e a r l y troubadours, Andreas i s i n t e r e s t e d i n t r y i n g t o C h r i s t i a n -i z e h i s l o v e theory. The l o v e r must be t r u t h f u l and modest, a good C a t h o l i c , c l e a n i n h i s speech, h o s p i t a b l e , and ready to r e t u r n good f o r e v i l . He must be courageous i n war ( u n l e s s he i s a c l e r k ) and generous of h i s g i f t s . He must at a l l times be courteous. Though devoted i n a s p e c i a l 13 Lewis, A l l e g o r y , p. 7. 14 I b i d . , p. 32. 13 s e n s e t o one l a d y , he must be r e a d y t o p e r f o r m m i n i s t e r i a e t o b s e a u i a f o r a l l . 1 5 " He e m p h a s i z e s l o v e as t h e s o u r c e o f a l l good. I t i n s p i r e s g r e a t d e e d s , m o r a l u p r i g h t n e s s , and v i r t u e , and i t may compensate f o r l o w l y b i r t h . T h ough A n d r e a s r e c o g n i z e s two k i n d s o f l o v e , t h e c h a s t e and t h e i m p u r e , o n l y t h e 16 c h a s t e i s a c c e p t a b l e i n c o u r t l y s o c i e t y . The work o f A n d r e a s i s i m p o r t a n t b e c a u s e i t c o d i f i e d and s e t down t h e p r a c t i c e s and c o n v e n t i o n s o f c o u r t l y l o v e w h i c h were p r o b a b l y f a s h i o n a b l e a t t h e t i m e he w r o t e , when t h e t r a d i t i o n was a t i t s h e i g h t . W i t h a l l t h e m i n u t e n e s s o f a s c h o l a s t i c t r e a t i s e and t h e o r d e r l y management o f a p h i l o s o p h i c a l d i s q u i s i t i o n t h e ; a u t h o r d i s c u s s e s l o v e i n a l l i t s a s p e c t s . ^ 7 T h i s d i s c u s s i o n i n c l u d e s t h e ways i n w h i c h l o v e may be a c q u i r e d , t h e p a r t c o r r e c t c o n v e r s a t i o n p l a y s i n l o v e -m a k i n g, t h e c o n v e n t i o n a l a t t i t u d e s w h i c h t h e l o v e r and h i s l a d y assume, and t h e r e a c t i o n s t o be e x p e c t e d . T w e l v e c h i e f r u l e s a r e l a i d down i n a d i a l o g u e between a l o v e r and l a d y , and A n d r e a s e l a b o r a t e d l a t e r a l o n g e r code o f t h i r t y -18 one r u l e s . The t r e a t i s e o f A n d r e a s i s an example o f t h e m e d i e v a l l o v e o f a u t h o r i t y and s y s t e m a t i z a t i o n and i n d i c a t e s 15 L e w i s , op,, c i t . , p. 21. 16 I b i d . , PP. 6 4 - 6 7 . 17 K i r b y , C h a u c e r ' s T r p i l u s , p. 56. 18 L o c . c i t . 14 the manner i n which courtly love was developing into a stereotyped system of love-making. One other L a t i n work which might he mentioned as dealing with courtly love i s Geoffrey of Monmouth's H i s t o r i a Regum Britaeniae (c .1137). In writing of Arthur, Geoffrey of Monmouth makes his court a medieval one, contemporary with Geoffrey's oun day, where knights and ladies are concerned with c h i v a l r i c wars and courtly love. The setting i s a courtly one, where love inspires valor and valor inspires love, and where the tournament i s used 19 to test a knight. This method of treating Arthurian legend became established i n Geoffrey's followers such as Wace ( i n his Rom§S-_i£-.B.r.li_l) l a t e r i n the French writers of the romances. In turning to the growth of the courtly love theme i n I t a l y and the influence of the troubadours on the I t a l i a n s , one finds that there i s nothing unusual i n the connection between the Provencal l y r i c and the l i t e r a t u r e of medieval I t a l y . The languages of Northern I t a l y and Southern France were si m i l a r . In addition, close r e l a t i o n s were maintained between the two regions, many troubadours t r a v e l l i n g i n Northern I t a l y and giving r i s e to a troubadour 20 school there. In I t a l i a n courts before the inte r e s t 19 T.P. Cross, and W.A. Nitze, Lancelotjand fiuinevere, Chicago, University..Press, 19307"*p.""orl. 20 Chaytor, Troubadours, pp. 95-96. i n l e a r n i n g began to r e p l a c e the i n t e r e s t i n l o v e , the troubadours were widely i m i t a t e d and a keen i n t e r e s t was shown i n t h e i r theory of l o v e . The i n f l u e n c e o f the troubadours even a f f e c t e d the forms of I t a l i a n poetry*' the sonnet and t e r z a rima, among other forms, having been 21 t r a c e d t o P r o v e n c a l o r i g i n . I n a d d i t i o n to adopting form and s t y l e , the I t a l i a n s r e a d i l y accepted the matter of the troubadour l y r i c s . However, i n a c c e p t i n g and i m i t a t i n g them, they wrote of l o v e as a f a s h i o n a b l e fancy r a t h e r than as an e x p r e s s i o n of c h i v a l r y . I n I t a l y i n the Middle Ages, the c i t y became the c e n t r e of s o c i a l l i f e and the f e u d a l system (upon which c o u r t l y l o v e was bqsed) was n o n - e x i s t a n t . One c r i t i c says, of the growth of c o u r t l y l o v e i n I t a l y : When the l o v e conventions o f P r o v e n c a l poetry were brought i n t o I t a l y , they underwent two profound m o d i f i c a t i o n s . There the r a p i d a b s o r p t i o n of the f e u d a l l o r d s i n t o the c i t i e s r e s u l t e d i n the c i t y , not the c a s t l e , becoming the seat o f s o c i a l l i f e , and so i n I t a l y f e u d a l i s m never took r o o t . S i n c e , then, the s o c i a l l i f e of I t a l y was very d i f f e r e n t from that o f France, the l o v e which was the e x p r e s s i o n of c h i v a l r y became "the i m i t a t i o n of P r o v e n c a l poetry, a f a s h i o n a b l e fancy . .*. . " A n d s i n c e the French l o v e conventions never became a part of I t a l i a n l i f e and thought, they were very e a s i l y a f f e c t e d by the P l a t o n i c I t a l i a n temperament, which has i n i t an element o f p h i l o s o p h -i c a l m y s ticism f o r e i g n to the French. . . . T h e i r l o v e conventions . . . d i f f e r e d from those of the French i n that they contained much t h a t i s p u r e l y f a n c i f u l , and much that i s a l l e g o r i c a l and m y s t i c a l . 2 2 21 Chaytor, pp.. c i t . , . p. 108. 22 L.E. Pearson, ElizabethanL.oy.e. Convertic-n^,, B e r k e l e y , U n i v e r s i t y of C a l i T o r r i i a P r e s s , 1933, P. 100. 16 The f a n c i f u l a s p e c t o f t h e I t a l i a n t r a d i t i o n c a n he s e e n i n - t h e S i c i l i a n i m i t a t o r s o f t h e t r o u b a d o u r s . T h e i r p o e t r y i s a l m o s t t o t a l l y a r t i f i c i a l and t h e i r l o v e r s and l a d i e s a r e t y p e c h a r a c t e r s . The m y s t i c a l and a l l e g o r i c a l a s p e c t s w h i c h t h e I t a l i a n s added t o t h e c o u r t l y l o v e theme c a n be s e e n i n t h e works o f G u i d o G u i n i c e l l i who was f i r s t i n f l u e n c e d by t h e S i c i l i a n s c h o o l and who l a t e r became i n f l u e n c e d by t h e g r o w i n g i n t e l l e c t u a l l i f e i n I t a l y . G u i n i c e l l i . . . was t h e f i r s t t o t u r n c h i v a l r i c l o v e i n t o t h e s p i r i t u a l , t o endow I t a l i a n p o e t r y w i t h p h i l o s o p h i c a l c o n t e n t . 2 4 I t i s t h i s p a r t i c u l a r a p p r o a c h t o c o u r t l y l o v e t h a t a t t r a c t e d D a n t e and P e t r a r c h . D a n t e c a n be p o i n t e d t o as an example o f t h e extreme t o w h i c h t h e I t a l i a n s t o o k c o u r t l y l o v e . I n h i s work c o u r t l y l o v e becomes i d e a l i z e d , m y s t i c a l , and m e t a p h y s i c a l . C o u r t l y d e v o t i o n changes t o s p i r i t u a l w o r s h i p o f t h e l a d y and p h i l o s o p h i c a l s p e c u l a t i o n on t h e e f f e c t s o f l o v e . The d o l c e s t i l n u o v a o f G u i n i c e l l i w h i c h gave a p o s i t i o n o f h e a v e n l y eminence t o t h e woman, i s r e f l e c t e d i n t h e B e a t r i c e o f t h e V i t a Nuova;, 23 K i r b y , C h a u c e r ^ s _ T r o i l u s , p. 71. The S i c i l i a n s c h o o l c a n n o t be d i s r e g a r d e 3 7 " f o r tErough them c e r t a i n t r a d i t i o n a l i d e a s were p a s s e d on t o l a t e r I t a l i a n s . On page 73 K i r b y s a y s , "As t r a n s m i t t e r s o f P r o v e n c a l p o e t i c t h e o r y and p r a c t i c e , t h e y a r e d i s t i n c t l y s i g n i f i c a n t . " 24 I b i d . , p. 75. B e a t r i c e , w h i l e t h e embodiment o f a l l t h a t i s p e r f e c t , i s a l s o t h e symbol o f s o m e t h i n g h i g h e r . I n h e r , l o v e i s t r a n s f o r m e d i n t o v i r t u e , i n t o t h e h i g h e s t good — i n t o a t h i n g a l l s p i r i t . 2 5 D a n t e , l i k e A n d r e a s C a p e l l a n u s , saw t h e e v i l a t t h e h e a r t o f c o u r t l y l o v e and, i n making l o v e a p u r i f y i n g f o r c e and h i s b e l o v e d a symbol o f t r u t h , he s o u g h t t o p u r i f y i t by b l e n d i n g i t w i t h C h r i s t i a n i d e a l s and s e r v i c e . T h i s a p p r o a c h t o t h e s u b j e c t o f l o v e became p o p u l a r i n I t a l y , and P e t r a r c h , t h e g r e a t e s t l o v e p o e t o f I t a l y , a d o p t e d t h e m y s t i c a l i n t e r p r e t a t i o n w h i c h D a n t e and h i s p r e d e c e s s o r s h a d a d v a n c e d . I n t h e s o n n e t s o f P e t r a r c h , c o u r t l y l o v e i s c a r r i e d t o a f u r t h e r e x t r e m e . H i s L a u r a i s made t h e o b j e c t o f an i d e a l l o v e t h r o u g h w h i c h P e t r a r c h c a n l e a r n how t o l o v e God. I n s e a r c h i n g f o r i d e a l b e a u t y , t h e p o e t d e s c r i b e s t h e charms o f h i s l a d y and g r a d u a l l y i s l e d , i n h i s s e a r c h , t o t h e c r e a t o r o f a l l b e a u t y . P e t r a r c h ' s a p p r o a c h t o L a u r a , l o v e , and b e a u t y gage r i s e to. s e t d e s c r i p t i o n s and a c a t a l o g u e o f c o n c e i t s . H i s many i m i t a t o r s f o c u s s e d on t h e s e a r t i f i c i a l i t i e s and c r e a t e d a c u l t t o p e r p e t u a t e them. The themes w h i c h P e t r a r c h made p o p u l a r i n h i s G a n z o n i e r e , became c o n v e n t i o n a l . H i s l a d y was o f s u p e r -l a t i v e b e a u t y b u t t h i s b e a u t y was o n l y t r a n s i t o r y . However, t h e p o e t vowed, t h o u g h i n a d e q u a t e t o t h e t a s k , t o make h e r b e a u t y i m m o r t a l i n song. The p o e t d e s c r i b e s 25 P e a r s o n , OJD. c i t . , p. 13. the l a d y ' s c r u e l t y and the s l e e p l e s s n e s s and the s u f f e r i n g which b r i n g s him c l o s e to death because of h i s l o v e . The l o v e r v a $ c i l l a t e s between f l e e i n g from l o v e and being h e l d c a p t i v e by i t . He has d i a l o g u e s w i t h h i s eyes and h i s heart and d i s c u s s e s h i s l o v e d one w i t h her f r i e n d s . I n h i s treatment of Laura, P e t r a r c h i s v i s i t e d by her i n h i s s l e e p and r e c e i v e s an announcement of her death. F i n a l l y she d i e s and he becomes aware of her presence a f t e r death and, p r o c l a i m i n g h i s d e v o t i o n to God, he prays that 26 she a t t e n d him on h i s death bed. The manner i n which P e t r a r c h t r e a t s h i s l o v e f o r Laura i s kept on an i d e a l i s t i c l e v e l . The most e s s e n t i a l c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of Petrarchanism i s a d o r a t i o n o f the l o v e d one, an a d o r a t i o n which makes her the centre of a l l e a r t h l y beauty and r e l a t e s a l l c r e a t i o n to her. . . . I n genuine P e t r a r c h a n l o v e there must be no element of d e s i r e , f o r a f t e r one l y r i c outburst of t h i s nature, P e t r a r c h attempts to s t i f l e the note by removing from a l l the remaining songs the element of d e l i g h t i n p h y s i c a l beauty f o r i t s own sake.2? T h i s high p o s i t i o n which P e t r a r c h gave to women was h a r d l y compatible w i t h the a t t i t u d e of the Church at t h i s time. However, C a r d i n a l Bembo, i n the e a r l y s i x t e e n t h 26 Pearson, CJD. c i t , . , p. 37. The P e t r a r c h a n conventions i n t h i s paragraph are summarized from t h i s book. 27 I b i d . , pp. 252-253. c e n t u r y , b r o u g h t about a r e c o n c i l i a t i o n b e t w e e n P l a t o n i c l o v e and t h e C h u r c h by p o p u l a r i z i n g t h e i d e a t h a t . . . man r i s e s t o God t h r o u g h t h e c o n t e m p l a t i o n o f t h e b e a u t i f u l , and t h a t woman i s t h e n e a r e s t a p p r o a c h t o d i v i n e b e a u t y . . . .^o So o n t h e P e t r a r c h a n a t t i t u d e s s p r e a d i n t o t h e l o v e p o e t r y o f I t a l y and i n t o t h e p o e t r y o f o t h e r c o u n t r i e s . R e g a r d l e s s o f t h e d i r e c t i o n i n w h i c h D a n t e and P e t r a r c h t o o k c o u r t l y l o v e , t h e y a r e o f u t m o s t s i g n i f i c a n c e t o us b e c a u s e E n g l i s h L i t e r a t u r e , i n t h e l a t e M i d d l e A g es and t h e R e n a i s s a n c e , was g r e a t l y i n f l u e n c e d by t h e v a r i o u s c o n t r i b u t i o n s w h i c h I t a l y made t o t h e c o u r t l y l o v e t r a d i t i o n . O f no l e s s i m p o r t a n c e t o t h e g r o w t h o f t h e t r a d i t i o n was t h e c o n t r i b u t i o n w h i c h N o r t h e r n F r a n c e made. P r o v e n c a l l y r i c s r e a c h e d t h e i r n o r t h e r n n e i g h b o r f a i r l y e a r l y , s i n c e t h e p e o p l e s f r o m b o t h r e g i o n s met w h i l e c r u s a d i n g i n t h e e a s t . I n a d d i t i o n , t h e c o u r t o f N o r t h e r n F r a n c e was o f c o n s i d e r a b l e i m p o r t a n c e i n t h e s p r e a d i n g o f c o u r t l y l o v e f r o m t h e s o u t h . E l e a n o r o f A q u i t a i n e , t h e d a u g h t e r o f t h e f i r s t known t r o u b a d o u r , W i l l i a m , C o u n t o f P o i t i e r s , i s g e n e r a l l y a c c r e d i t e d w i t h b e i n g t h e f i r s t 28 P e a r s o n , op., c i t . , p. 44. 20 p a t r o n e s s o f t h e c o u r t l y l o v e w r i t e r s i n N o r t h e r n F r a n c e . She i n v i t e d many o f t h e t e s t known t r o u b a d o u r s t o h e r c o u r t and e n c o u r a g e d t h e s p r e a d o f t h e new l o v e t h e o r y i n h e r n o r t h e r n homeland. E l e a n o r 1 s daughter,. M a r i e de Champagne, became a more famous p a t r o n e s s t h a n h e r m o t h e r , b e i n g b o t h p a t r o n e s s and i n s p i r e r t o t h e g r e a t e s t 29 o f a l l F r e n c h r o m a n c e - w r i t e r s , C h r e t i e n de T r o y e s . He i t was who made A r t h u r i a n s t o r i e s p o p u l a r , and u n d e r M a r i e ' s i n f l u e n c e t r a n s f o r m e d them i n t o t a l e s o f c o u r t l y l o v e , t h u s s t a r t i n g a vogue w h i c h f o r l o n g r e m a i n e d supreme.-* C h r e t i e n gave a new i m p e t u s t o F r e n c h romance, and c o u r t l y l o v e became an i n t e g r a l p a r t o f t h e s e romances. P e r h a p s t h e e x t e n t t o w h i c h c o u r t l y l o v e was c a r r i e d i n N o r t h e r n F r e n c h l i t e r a t u r e c a n be b e s t s e e n i n C h r e t i e n de T r o y e s ' Roman de l a C h a r r e t e r t h e s t o r y o f L a n c e l o t and G u e n e v e r e . I n t h i s romance, t h e a u t h o r i s midway between t h e C h r i s t i a n i d e a l o f d e v o t i o n and t h e p a gan s e n s u a l l o v e o f O v i d . G u e n e v e r e i s t r e a t e d as a v i r t u a l r e l i g i o u s d e i t y by L a n c e l o t . He i s p l e a s e d t o be h u m i l i a t e d a t h e r r e q u e s t and s t i l l he w o r s h i p s h e r . When coming t o h e r bed-chamber t o a c c e p t h e r l o v e , he k n e e l s a t h e r b e d and a d o r e s h e r . B e f o r e l e a v i n g t h e bed-chamber, L a n c e l o t g e n u f l e c t s t o w a r d t h e b e d , t r e a t i n g i t as a 29 T a y l o r , I n t r o d u c t i o n t o Romance, p. 235. 30 I b i d . , p. 236. r e l i g i o u s s h r i n e . H i s l o v e f o r h e r i s t r u e and e n n o b l i n g and h i s d e v o t i o n i s a b s o l u t e . C h r e t i e n shows h e r e t h e i n f l u e n c e w h i c h t h e t r o u b a d o u r s h a d u p o n h i s d e p i c t i o n o f t h e A r t h u r i a n c o u r t , f o r one o f t h e main c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s o f t h e P r o v e n c a l l o v e l y r i c i s t h e i d e a o f s u b m i s s i o n and d e v o t i o n t o one's l a d y . However, C h r e t i e n went b e y o n d t h e t r o u b a d o u r s , c r e a t i n g i n h i s Roman de. l a C h a r r e t e a s y s t e m o f c o u r t l y l o v e . When t h e i n f l u e n c e o f t h e P r o v e n p a l s r e a c h e d him . . . he was n o t o n l y t h e f i r s t , b u t p e r h a p s t h e . g r e a t e s t , e x p o n e n t o f i t t o h i s f e l l o w c o u n t r y m e n ; and, c o m b i n i n g t h i s e l e m e n t w i t h t h e A r t h u r i a n l e g e n d * he stamped upon men's minds i n d e l i b l y t h e c o n c e p t i o n o f A r t h u r ' s c o u r t as t h e home par e x c e l l e n c e o f t r u e and n o b l e l o v e . 3>2~" C e r t a i n a s p e c t s o f C h r e t i e n ' s c o n c e p t o f c o u r t l y l o v e a r e w o r t h n o t i c i n g . S i n c e t h e l o v e i s i l l e g i t i m a t e , t h e l o v e r o c c u p i e s a p o s i t i o n b e n e a t h t h e l a d y , who m i g h t be h a u g h t y , c a p r i c i o u s , o r even u n j u s t t h o u g h r e c i p r o c a t i n g h i s l o v e . He must s a c r i f i c e h i m s e l f t o h e r s e r v i c e t o be •'33 w o r t h y o f h e r and she i s e x p e c t e d t o t e s t h i s w o r t h i n e s s . The l a d y s t i m u l a t e s b r a v e r y i n h e r l o v e r and h i s b r a v e r y w i n s h e r l o y a l t y . The l o v e r i s d e v o t e d t o t h e t a s k o f 31 L e w i s , A l l e g o r y , p. 29. 32 I b i d . , p. 23. 33 C r o s s and N i t z e , L a n c e l o t , pp. 67-68. 22 winning h i s l a d y ' s l o v e , and to win i t he i s w i l l i n g t o s a c r i f i c e a l l , even when h i s p a s s i o n appears to'be u n r e q u i t e d . The a r t of l o v e has c e r t a i n r u l e s , l i k e those of c h i v a l r y , r u l e s which the l o v e r i s bound to obey i f he hopes to be s u c c e s s f u l . C h r e t i e n ' s h a n d l i n g of l o v e as an a r t seems to be i n f l u e n c e d more by the troubadours than 34 by Ovid, f o r l o v e i s more than a mere a r t , having as i t s supreme aim the triumph of an ennobling l o v e . Some O v i d i a n i n f l u e n c e i s seen i n the poet's use of imagery, i n the l o v e s o l i l o q u i e s , and the d e p i c t i o n of the l o v e r as being 3 5 a f f l i c t e d w i t h a d i s e a s e . I t would seem that Chre'tien took what he c o n s i d e r e d to be the best from the L a t i n and the Provencal t r a d i t i o n s and, i n combining these, r. d e v i s e d h i s own system of c o u r t l y l o v e which was a great i n f l u e n c e upon the romance w r i t e r s who f o l l o w e d him. H i s own p a r t i c u l a r h a n d l i n g of the t r a d i t i o n shows that i t was by no means a s t a t i c one as i t was being adopted and i m i t a t e d i n the languages o f Vtfestern Europe. The spreading o f the c o u r t l y l o v e system throughout Western Europe played an important part i n the development of s o c i e t y i n the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. The system found i t s way i n t o the languages of many lands and each added something t o i t u n t i l a t r u l y s i g n i f i c a n t t r a d i t i o n was e s t a b l i s h e d . C o u r t l y l o v e became a t o p i c 34 Cross and N i t z e , op,, c i t . , p. .98. 3 5 Loc. c i t . 23 o f d i s c u s s i o n and d e b a t e i n some o f t h e l e a d i n g c o u r t s o f E u r o p e and t h i s w i d e s p r e a d i n t e r e s t , t h o u g h d i r e c t e d t o w a r d a c o n v e n t i o n t h a t was i n c r e a s i n g i n a r t i f i c i a l i t y , p l a y e d a g r e a t p a r t i n s h a p i n g t h e i n t e l l e c t u a l temper o f s o c i e t y . The t r a d i t i o n s p r e a d t o E n g l a n d i n t h e M i d d l e A g e s where a number o f w r i t e r s d e a l t w i t h i t . E l e a n o r o f A q u i t a i n e , who became t h e queen o f H e n r y I I , d i d much t o p o p u l a r i z e c o u r t l y l o v e . She i s r e p u t e d t o have e s t a b l i s h e d a C o u r t o f L o v e where d i s p u t e s b etween k n i g h t s ( o v e r a l a d y ) o r v i o l a t i o n s o f t h e code were h e a r d and judgment g i v e n , h e l d s a l o n s I n t h e a r t o f l o v e - s e r v i c e , t r i b u n a l s , t o u r n a m e n t s , i m p o r t e d t r o u b a d o u r s f r o m P r o v e n c e , and made E n g l a n d f o r a w h i l e t h e c e n t r e o f c o u r t e s y . A s t h e t r a d i t i o n grew i n E n g l a n d , a number o f romances were w r i t t e n on t h e theme o f c o u r t l y l o v e i n t h e t h i r t e e n t h , f o u r t e e n t h , and f i f t e e n t h c e n t u r i e s , i n c l u d i n g a number i n t h e A r t h u r i a n c y c l e . Among t h e works d e a l i n g w i t h c o u r t l y l o v e may be m e n t i o n e d : F l o r l s and B l a n c h e f l e u r , Gower 1 s C . q n f e s s i o A m a n t i s , Gawain and t h e G r e e n K n i g h t , James l ' s ( o f S c o t l a n d ) K i n g i s Q u h a i r , and M a l o r y ' s M o r t e d' A r t h u r . C h a u c e r h e l p e d t o s w e l l t h e g r o w i n g c o u r t l y l i t e r a t u r e and t h e S c o t t i s h C h a u c e r i a n s , Dunbar and D o u g l a s , added t o i t . I n t h e s i x t e e n t h c e n t u r y , W y a t t and S u r r e y t o o k c o u r t l y l o v e as t h e s u b j e c t o f t h e i r s o n n e t s t h o u g h t h e y were more d i r e c t l y i n f l u e n c e d b y t h e I t a l i a n t r a d i t i o n . T h us i t may be. s e e n t h a t a c o n s i d e r a b l e E n g l i s h t r a d i t i o n e x i s t e d b e f o r e t h e E l i z a b e t h a n s t o o k up t h e theme o f c o u r t l y l o v e . 4 23a I n E n g l a n d , l a t e i n t h e t r a d i t i o n , t h e E l i z a b e t h a n s d e a l t a t l e n g t h w i t h t h e c o n v e n t i o n s o f c o u r t l y l o v e , d i s p l a y i n g a r e a d i n e s s t o a c c e p t them and t o e l a b o r a t e upon t h e i n c r e a s i n g s y s t e m a t i z a t i o n . However, we must n o t e t h a t t h e y d i d n o t o f t e n mock t h e s y s t e m o f c o u r t l y l o v e . T h e y a c c e p t e d i t e n t h u s i a s t i c a l l y , a t times- as a means o f e s c a p e i t i s t r u e , and gave t h e c o n v e n t i o n s much c o n s i d e r a t i o n i n t h e i r e f f o r t s t o a n a l y s e and u n d e r s t a n d t h e t h o u g h t s and e m o t i o n s o f mankind. The f a c t t h a t t h e y c o u l d s t i l l a p p l y many o f t h e i d e a l s o f c o u r t l y l o v e t o t h e s o c i e t y o f t h e i r day s u g g e s t s t h a t t h e t r o u b a d o u r s and t h e t r a d i t i o n w h i c h t h e y f o u n d e d had b e e n an i m p o r t a n t e l e m e n t i n t h e d e v e l o p -ment o f E l i z a b e t h a n s o c i e t y . And t h i s i s t h e c a s e , e v e n t h o u g h t h e t r a d i t i o n , as i t came t o E n g l i s h l i t e r a t u r e , had b e e n m o d i f i e d , added t o , and c o n v e n t i o n a l i z e d i n i t s p a s s a g e t h r o u g h I t a l i a n and. N o r t h e r n F r e n c h l i t e r a t u r e . CHAPTER I I SHAKESPEARE'S PREDECESSORS AND THE THEME OF COURTLY LOVE' C h a u c e r - K n i g b J ^ s _ T a l e - T r o i l u s " a n d C r i s e y d e C a s t i g l i o n e - The . C o u r t i e r S i d n e y - S o n n e t s - A r c a d i a S p e n s e r - Coiin^Clou^s^Come_H,orae_,Again ~ f h e ] _ F a i r i e _ ^ u e e n e CHAPTER I I The f i r s t major E n g l i s h w r i t e r to d e a l w i t h the theme of c o u r t l y l o v e was Chaucer. He l i v e d i n an age when E n g l i s h knighthood was at i t s h e i g h t , when the w a r r i o r , who was s t i l l hound to h i s l o r d by f e u d a l t i e s , was devoted to the i d e a l s of c h i v a l r y . Moreover, Chaucer l i v e d at court and wrote f o r a c o u r t l y audience. At court was able to see the p r i d e , a r t i f i c i a l i t y , and a f f e c t a t i o n o f t e n manifest i n the p u r s u i t of the c h i v a l r i c i d e a l . Though he accepted the convention of c o u r t l y l o v e , Chaucer, wi t h great p e r s p i c a c i t y , r e v e a l e d that he was aware o f i t s l e s s a t t r a c t i v e f e a t u r e s . I n the K n i g h t 1 s, T a l e and i * 1 T r p i l u s and C r i s e y d e , he presents the l o v e o f Palamon and A r c i t e f o r Emelye and the l o v e o f T r o i l u s f o r C r i s e y d e as c o u r t l y l o v e but at the same time shows the unhappiness and b i t t e r n e s s which the r e l a t i o n s h i p s cause. Perhaps i t i s too easy to say that Chaucer a c t u a l l y s a t i r i z e s c o u r t l y l o v e . One must reco g n i z e t h a t the p e r f e c t c o u r t i e r i s a l i v i n g i d e a l to t h i s poet. I n the General Prologue to the Canterbury T a l e s , Chaucer emphasizes and admires the c o u r t l y i d e a l s A Knyght t h e r was, and t h a t a worthy man, That f r o the tyme t h a t he f i r s t b igan To r i d e n out, he l o v e d c h i v a l r i e , Trouthe and honour, fredom and c u r t e s i e . ( 1 1 . 43-46) And t h o u g h t h a t he were w o r t h y , he was wys, And o f h i s p o r t , as meeke as i s a mayde. He n e v e r e y e t no v i l e y n e ne sayde I n a l h i s l y f u n t o no maner w i g h t . He was a v e r r a y , p a r f i t g e n t i l k n i g h t . ( 1 1 . 68-72)1 T h e r e i s o n l y a d m i r a t i o n i n t h i s p o r t r a i t . A c t u a l l y , i n d e a l i n g w i t h c h i v a l r y and i n d e p i c t i n g c o u r t l y l o v e , C h a u c e r has a m o r a l p u r p o s e . He i n s i s t s on t h e n e c e s s i t y o f v i r t u e i n n o b l e l a d i e s , he r e f i n e s t h e c o n c e p t i o n o f l o v e , making i t more a c c e p t a b l e t o C h r i s t i a n p r i n c i p l e s by c o n s i d e r i n g i t a n a t u r a l s t e p t o m a r r i a g e , he h o l d s t h a t l o v e s h o u l d n o t be a t t a i n e d t o o e a s i l y , and he. shows t h e e v i l c o n s e q u e n c e s w h i c h c a n come o f c o u r t l y l o v e . C h a u c e r ' s b l e n d i n g o f t h e t r a d i t i o n s o f c o u r t l y l o v e w i t h h i s own p a r t i c u l a r a t t i t u d e s t o i t i s e v i d e n t i n t h e K n i g W ^ s ^ T a l e ^ T h e r e i s much t h a t i s c o n v e n t i o n a l i n t h e r e l a t i o n s h i p o f P a l a m o n , A r c i t e , and E m e l y e . The two n o b l e men a r e c o u s i n s and sworn b r o t h e r s and b o t h f a l l i n l o v e w i t h t h e b e a u t i f u l l a d y , E m e l y e , whom t h e y e s p y f r o m t h e i r p r i s o n i n t h e t o w e r . The two k n i g h t s b o t h s u f f e r f o r l o v e o f h e r . I n t h e c o u r t l y p o s e , Palamon s a y s : 1 F.N. R o b i n s o n , e d . , The, P o e t i c a l Works o f C h a u c e r , B o s t o n , H o u g h t o n M i fflin~Company7™ 9 3 3,~p. 1 9 . A l l r e f e r e n c e s t o t h e K n i g h t 1__JTale and Troilu.s_.and C r i s e y d e - a r e f r o m this~bookT """"" 27 But I was hurt right now thurghout rayn ye Into myn herte, that wol my bane be. The fairnesse of that lady that I see Yond i n the gardyn romen to and fro Is cause of a l my c r i y i n g and my wo. (11. 1096-1100) 2 A r c i t e i s affected i n the same way when he catches sight of the lady: And with that sighte h i r beautee hurte hym so, That, i f that Palamon was wounded sore, A r c i t e i s hurt as muche as he, or moore. (11. 1114-1116)3 Both men become so jealous that they forsake t h e i r solemn oath of brotherhood. In true courtly fashion they f i n a l l y s e t t l e t h e i r differences i n combat, the prize being Emelye's love. Though the noble A r c i t e wins the f i g h t , he f a l l s from his horse and dies. Before dying, he regrets the jealousy which caused the quarrel with Palamon and commends Emelye to his cousin's dare, reminding her that Palamon also served her and i s worthy of her love. In t h i s tale of courtly love, Chaucer c a r e f u l l y keeps the lovers equal: each i s knightly and worthy i n his own way. Throughout the poem the question of which man loves Emelye the more i s present. The reader, at the end, asks himself which man most deserved the lady. This i s perhaps impossible to answer, but one thing i s made clear by the author: love i s capable of i n s t i l l i n g jealousy and 2 Robinson, on. c i t . p. 32. 3 Loc. c i t . 28 selfishness, and bad f a i t h , causing sworn brothers to attempt to k i l l each other. Chaucer concludes the ta l e on a note of happiness; true romantic love grows out of what began as 4a courtly love when Palamon and Emelye are wed. In the longer tale of courtly love, T r q i l u s .and Crisey_de, Chaucer also goes beyond the bounds of the courtly t r a d i t i o n . He takes Boccaccio's II: F i l p s t r a t o , i n which the author deals with the relat i o n s h i p of Tr'oilo.. and C r i s e i d a as a sensual one i n terms of the conventions 4 of courtly love, and humanizes his characters i n a. psychological study of the f a i l u r e of love. Though the tale concerns figures from c l a s s i c a l antiquity, Chaucer makes them thoroughly medieval and shows them caught i n the snares of courtly love. He does not openly condemn i t , but t r i e s to make the system mean something i n terms of human experience. It f a i l s , not because i t i s inherently e v i l , but because Criseyde has a f a t a l human weakness, inconstancy. The two main characters, T r o i l u s and Criseyde, are presented as courtly figures and they conduct t h e i r love i n the fashion expected of them as such. T r o i l u s i s the embodiment of the medieval i d e a l of lover and warrior. He i s strong, brave, gallant, generous, and quick to serve the lady he loves: 4 Kirby, Chaucerl.s_TrjoiJ.us,, p. 92. 4a Before Palamon and A r c i t e fought, the former had prayed to the God of Love while the l a t t e r had prayed to the God of War. Thus the reward that Palamon gets, i n winning Emelye, may be ascribed to his devotion to the service of love. In a l l e nedes, for the townes werre, He -was-, and ay, the f i r s t i n armes dyght, And certeynly, but i f that bokes erre, Save Ector most ydred of any wight; And t h i s encrees of hardynesse and myght Com hym of love, his ladies thank to wynne, That altered his s p i r i t so withinne. (Book I I I , 11. 1772-1778) Tr o i l u s i s the perfect courtly lover, humble, true, patient i n his suffering for the love of Criseyde, f u l l of desire to love, and devoted to the service of his lady. In his aong (Book I, 11. 400-434) he reveals that love i s E f f e c t i n g him i n the t r a d i t i o n a l manner: he suffers, grows hot and cold, f a i n t s , thinks he w i l l die, i s made humble i n his desire to serve and he w i l l be ennobled through the v i r t u e of high service to her. 5 Criseyde i s the i d e a l courtly lady and must respond to T r o i l u s ' love. Her beauty and graceful bearing aroused sensual love and for that reason, she was bound by the rules to pity and give some consideration to her lover. She holds the customary position of superiority i n the 6 courtly love r e l a t i o n s h i p . However, though Criseyde i s sweet and desirable she i s also f i c k l e . This l e d her to put T r o i l u s aside and, contrary to the code of courtly love, to take a second lover when she was forced to return to her father i n the Greek camp. She was not to be blamed 5 Criseyde i s a widow rather than the usual married woman which means that she i s free to carry her love for T r o i l u s through to a natural conclusion by marrying (as Emely-e did i n the Knight_.s_Tale). 6 This can be seen i n T r o i l u s ' pleading i n 11. 92-98 and 11. 131-147 of Book I I I . for y i e l d i n g to T r o i l u s , f o r , according to the courtly s o c i a l code, that was the correct thing to do. Chaucer did not regard i t as a crime i n her that she yielded to T r o i l u s . . . . But Cressida proved untrue — therein lay her grievous s i n . To he u n f a i t h f u l to one who had done no wrong, who was, as she declared, a "sword of knighthood, source of gentiless," was an unpardonable offence.7 The unhappiness which resulted came because Criseyde did not remain true to the code which bound her to T r o i l u s . Chaucer seems to have been concerned with the unhappiness which mutable love can bring. Though he does not condemn courtly love, he reveals a side of i t that the Provencal t r a d i t i o n neglected. Chaucer can only say: Swich i n this world, whoso i t kan byholde: In ech estat i s l i t e l hertes reste. God leve us for to take i t for the beste 1 (Book V, 11. 1748-1750) As i n the Knight's, Tale, he looks deeper into courtly love than did his predecessors and sees i t s true relationship to actual l i f e . A s C h a u c e r shows t h e i n t e r e s t he t a k e s i n t h e c h i v a l r i c i d e a l , f r o m t h e d e s c r i p t i o n he g i v e s us o f t h e K n i g h t and t h e S q u i r e i n t h e G e n e r a l J P r o l o g u e j . so 7 W.H. Schofield, Chivalry i n English L i t e r a t u r e , Cambridge, Harvard University Press ,"T925',~*p. !?7. 31 C a s t i g l i o n e concentrates h i s i n t e r e s t i n the p e r f e c t c o u r t i e r . Though C a s t i g l i o n e w r i t e s h i s guide-book f o r a l l would-be c o u r t i e r s over a century a f t e r Chaucer's t a l e s of c o u r t l y l o v e had appeared, s t i l l the Renaissance c o u r t i e r i s the d i r e c t descendant of the medieval k n i g h t . I I Cortegianoy or The C o u r t i e r , was w r i t t e n between 8 1508 and 1516 and i t d e a l t w i t h a c t u a l c o n d i t i o n s at the court of Urbino. C a s t i g l i o n e endeavored t o d e s c r i b e the p e r f e c t , n oble, gentle person who was an a l l - r o u n d i n d i v i d u a l , worthy of the name of " c o u r t i e r " i n Renaissance I t a l y . H i s book was not intended to be a f a n c i f u l d e s c r i p t i o n o f an a r t i f i c i a l , u n r e a l person, but a r e a l i s t i c t r e a t i s e on what the model c o u r t i e r should be and how he should a c t . C a s t i g l i o n e ' s C o u r t i e r , p r i n t e d i n Venice i n 1528, was the foremost book of e t i q u e t t e i n t h i s r e s p e c t . • . . C a s t i g l i o n e set f o r t h i n an e n t e r -t a i n i n g manner the q u a l i f i c a t i o n s of the i d e a l l o v e r at c o u r t . . . . He would draw l a r g e l y from experience, and although he was undoubtedly acquainted with the e x i s t i n g works on l o v e , he so combined theory with p r a c t i c e as to present a v i v i d p i c t u r e o f the s o c i e t y f o r which he wrote.9 H i s book was so c o n g e n i a l to the upper s o c i e t y of h i s day t h a t i t became extremely popular and was soon t r a n s l a t e d i n t o Spanish, French, and E n g l i s h . The Renaissance conception of the c o u r t i e r , who was to be a p e r f e c t l y balanced gentle person, a s o l d i e r , and a s c h o l a r , was f i x e d by C a s t i g l i o n e and t h i s conception was o f tremendous 8 Pearson, Love Conventions, p. 45. 9 I b i d . , p. 51. 32 i m p o r t a n c e t o t h e l i t e r a t u r e o f E u r o p e . H a m l e t a n d H e n r y V , t o m e n t i o n o n l y t w o o f S h a k e s p e a r e ' s c h a r a c t e r s , a r e c o p i e s o f C a s t i g l i o n e 1 s i d e a l c o u r t i e r . S o i m p o r t a n t i s t h i s I t a l i a n w r i t e r ' s t r e a t m e n t o f t h e c o u r t i e r a n d t h e code o f l o v e t o t h e t h o u g h t a n d f e e l i n g o f a l l E u r o p e i n t h e s i x t e e n t h c e n t u r y , t h a t i t i s w e l l f o r one t o c o n s i d e r t h e m a i n p o i n t s d e a l t w i t h i n h i s b o o k . The n o b i l i t y o f b i r t h a n d t h e p h y s i c a l a p p e a r a n c e o f t h e c o u r t i e r a r e i m p o r t a n t , a s a r e h i s b e a r i n g a n d m a n n e r : The C o u r t i e r t h e r e f o r e , b e s i d e n o b l e n e s s e o f b i r t h , I w i l l h a v e h i m . t o b e e f o r t u n a t e i n t h i s b e h a l f e , a n d b y n a t u r e t o h a v e n o t o n e l y a w i t , a n d a c o m e l y s h a p e o f p e r s o n a n d c o u n t e n a n c e , b u t a l s o a c e r t a i n g r a c e , a n d ( a s t h e y s a y ) a h e w e , t h a t s h a l l m a k e . h i m a t t h e f i r s t s i g h t l o v i n g u n t o who s o b e h o l d e t h h i m . 1 0 He m u s t h a v e t h e a b i l i t y t o b e a r a r m s , a c q u i r e p r o w e s s i n s p o r t s a n d e x e r c i s e s , b e a g o o d r i d e r , a n d be p r o f i c i e n t 11 i n a t o u r n a m e n t . A s a s o l d i e r , t ie m u s t a l s o be l e a r n e d : T h a t t h e r e f o r e w h i c h i s t h e p r i n c i p a l l m a t t e r a n d n e c e s s a r i e f o r a C o u r t i e r t o s p e a k e , a n d w r i t e w e l l , I b e l i e v e i s k n o w l e d g e . 1 2 T h e i d e a l c o u r t i e r mus t b e , among o t h e r t h i n g s , a g o o d c o n v e r s a t i o n a l i s t ; he m u s t c o n d u c t h i m s e l f w i t h s o c i a l p r o p r i e t y , b e s u a v e , n o t b r u s q u e , h u m b l e , n o t b o a s t f u l , 10 B . C a s t i g i o n e , The B o o k o f t h e C o u r t i e r , ( d o n e i n t o E n g l i s h b y S i r Thomas Hoby7~1 5617, L o n d o n J J.M. D e n t a n d S o n s , L i m i t e d , 1928, p . 33. 11- £ b i d . , p . 4 0 . 12 I b i d . , p . 56. and be ever careful to enhance his reputation. Indeed, we might say that enhancement of personal reputation i s the 13 courtier's whole pursuit. I t i s necessary for the courtier to choose a good fr i e n d : Then according to the i r deserts and honestie, love, honour and observe a l l other men, and alwaies doe his best to fellowshippe with men of estimation 14 that are noble and known to bee good . . . . The courtier must also be able to confide i n his prince: The ende therefore of a perfect Courtier . . . I believe i s to purchase him, by the meane of the q u a l i t i e s which these Lordes have given him:,': i n such wise the good w i l l and favour of the Prince he i s i n service w i t h a l l , that he may breake his minde to him, and alwaies enforme him franckly of the truth of every matter meete for him to understand, without fear or p e r i l l to displease him.15 The relationship of the courtier to his prince i s important. I t i s necessary that the courtier be able to advise his prince: And therefore i n mine opinion, as musicke, sportes, pastimes, and other pleasant fashions are (as a man woulde say) the floure of Courtlinesse, even so i s the tra i n i n g and helping forwarde of the Prince to goodnesse, and the fearing him from e v i l , the f r u i t e of it.16 The Courtier, as described by Castiglione, was a model of perfection. This model was taken seriously i n the sixteenth century and became the guide for many an aspiring young man 13 Castiglione, op,, c i t . , pp. 105-127. 14 I b i d . , p. 120. 15 I b i d . , p. 261. 16 Loc. c i t . who c u l t i v a t e d 'gentlenesse.' One important consequence o f The C o u r t i e r was the honorable p o s i t i o n i t gave to women. C a s t i g l i o n e c l e a r l y saw the i n f l u e n c e which her c o u r t l y e x c e l l e n c e could have upon the i d e a l c o u r t i e r . One c r i t i c , i n e s t i m a t i n g the v a l u e of C a s t i g l i o n e 1 s ennobling of woman, says: D u r i n g the Middle Ages she had been l i f t e d by convention to a f a l s e h e i g h t , from which she was too o f t e n degraded. Now she was become the i n s p i r a t i o n of man, and was a l s o f a s t becoming a com-panion and equal.17 C a s t i g l i o n e made her p o s i t i o n c l e a r when he l a i d down the way i n which a c o u r t i e r should t r e a t a l a d y : . . . i t i s meete the C o u r t i e r beare v e r i e great reverence towarde women, and a, d i s c r e e t e and courteous person ought never to touch t h e i r h o n e s t i e n e i t h e r i n j e a s t , nor i n good e a r n e s t . l o He p o i n t s out that the l a d y i s to be guided by the same 19 r u l e s as the c o u r t i e r . Her b i r t h , beauty, grace o f b e a r i n g , and her a b i l i t y t o d i s p a t c h such womanly d u t i e s as e n t e r t a i n i n g , r e a d i n g , c o n v e r s i n g , and p l a y i n g music are a l l very important. I n a d d i t i o n , she must be v i r t u o u s , chaste, g e n t l e , f r a n k , modest, and g r a c i o u s . I t i s n a t u r a l t h a t C a s t i g l i o n e ' s d i s c u s s i o n of the 17 Pearson, Love C onyentions. p. 45. 18 C a s t i g l i o n e , op,, c i t , . , p. 182. 35 c o u r t i e r and the lady should l e a d up t o one of lov e i n Book IV, f o r the subj e c t o f l o v e was one o f the most important t o p i c s o f c o n v e r s a t i o n i n the Renaissance. H i s treatment of l o v e , coming l a t e i n the c o u r t l y t r a d i t i o n , combines the medieval tendency to c l a s s i f y i t and the Renaissance tendency t o p h i l o s o p h i z e and sp e c u l a t e upon i t . In d e f i n i n g l o v e i n one of the d i a l o g u e s , C a s t i g l i o n e has Bembo say: I say t h e r e f o r e that a c c o r d i n g as i t i s d e f i n e d o f the wise men of olde time, Love i s n o t h i n g e l s e but a 20 c e r t a i n e c o v e t i n g to enjoy b e a u t i e . . . . T h i s d e s c r i p t i o n o f l o v e echoes P l a t o i n "The Banquet.". I n t h i s symposium, P l a t o d i g n i f i e s the p a s s i o n i n a manner which appealed t o the Renaissance students o f l o v e . Love i s d e s c r i b e d as the emotion which can l i f t the body and the s o u l t o a contemplation of the b e a u t i f u l and the e t e r n a l : Love i s the d e s i r e o f ge n e r a t i o n i n the b e a u t i f u l , both w i t h r e l a t i o n to the body and the soul.21 One o f the members of the symposium p o i n t s out that l o v e i s not merely the l o v e o f the b e a u t i f u l , but the l o v e o f the gene r a t i o n and p r o d u c t i o n o f the b e a u t i f u l . S i n c e g e n e r a t i o n and p r o d u c t i o n , continues t h i s member, are e t e r n a l and 22 immortal f o r c e s , then l o v e i s a l s o the d e s i r e o f i m m o r t a l i t y . Another of the speakers i n "The Banquet," a l s o emphasizes the 21 P l a t o , "The Banquet," t r a n s l . Percy S h e l l e y , i n Shepherd, R.H., ed., The Prose W o r k s o f Percy Bysshe S h e l l e y , London, Chatto and Windus, 181^87 v o l . 27~p. 957 22 I b i d . , p. 96 c l o s e r e l a t i o n s h i p o f l o v e and i m m o r t a l i t y . Hence do I a s s e r t t h a t L o v e i s t h e most a n c i e n t and v e n e r a b l e o f d e i t i e s , and most p o w e r f u l t o endow m o r t a l s w i t h t h e p o s s e s s i o n o f h a p p i n e s s and v i r t u e , b o t h w h i l s t t h e y l i v e and a f t e r t h e y d i e . 2 3 The c u l m i n a t i n g a s s e r t i o n o f t h i s symposium i s t h e d o c t r i n e w h e r e i n man may r i s e t h r o u g h l o v e , g r a d u a l l y , t o a c o n -t e m p l a t i o n o f supreme b e a u t y . When any one, a s c e n d i n g f r o m a c o r r e c t s y s t e m o f L o v e , b e g i n s t o c o n t e m p l a t e t h i s supreme b e a u t y , he a l r e a d y t o u c h e s t h e consummation o f h i s l a b o u r . F o r s u c h as d i s c i p l i n e t h e m s e l v e s upon t h i s s y s t e m , o r a r e c o n d u c t e d by a n o t h e r b e g i n n i n g t o a s c e n d t h r o u g h t h e s e t r a n s i t o r y o b j e c t s w h i c h a r e b e a u t i f u l , t o w a r d s t h a t w h i c h i s b e a u t y i t s e l f , p r o c e e d i n g as on s t e p s f r o m t h e l o v e o f one f o r m t o t h a t o f two, and f r o m t h a t o f two, t o t h a t o f a l l f o r m s w h i c h a r e b e a u t i f u l ; and f r o m b e a u t i f u l f o r m s t o b e a u t i f u l h a b i t s and i n s t i t u t i o n s , and f r o m i n s t i t u t i o n s t o b e a u t i f u l d o c t r i n e s ; u n t i l , f r o m t h e m e d i a t i o n o f many d o c t r i n e s , t h e y a r r i v e a t t h a t w h i c h i s n o t h i n g e l s e t h a n t h e d o c t r i n e o f t h e supreme b e a u t y i t s e l f , i n t h e know-l e d g e and c o n t e m p l a t i o n o f w h i c h a t l e n g t h t h e y r e p o s e . 2 4 T h i s d o c t r i n e i s r e f o r m u l a t e d by G a r d i n a l Bembo, who p o p u l a r i z e d t h e i d e a s t h a t man r i s e s t o God t h r o u g h c o n -t e m p l a t i o n o f t h e b e a u t i f u l and t h a t t h e most n e a r l y d i v i n e f o r m o f b e a u t y was t o be f o u n d i n woman. T h i s n e o - P l a t o n i c d o c t r i n e must have a p p e a l e d t o C a s t i g l i o n e s i n c e he made the-C a r d i n a l h i s spokesman o f l o v e i n The nJC o u r t i , e r . J u s t as P l a t o , i n "The Banquet,." d i s t i n g u i s h e s b e tween mere p h y s i c a l g r a t i f i c a t i o n and t h e enjoyment o f 23 P l a t o , on. c i t . , p. 63. 24- I_bid. , pp. 101-102. 37 l o v e on a s p i r i t u a l p l a n e , so does C a s t i g l i o n e . I n The.C o u r t i e r , i t i s c a r e f u l l y p o i n t e d out t h a t p o s s e s s i n g t h e body i s n o t e n j o y i n g b e a u t y b u t o n l y i n d u l g i n g t h e s e n s e s , 26 f r o m w h i c h no t r u e p l e a s u r e c a n come. T h i s v i e w o f l o v e r e v e a l s a r e f i n e d a t t i t u d e t o w a r d s l o v e g e n e r a l l y . C a s t i g l i o n e s e e s t h a t t h e most d e s i r a b l e end o f c o u r t l y l o v e i s m a r r i a g e . ' I n a d v i s i n g t h e l a d y on how t o l o v e he s a y s : ; I w i l l have h e r t o l o v e one she may m a r r i e , n e i t h e r w i l l I t h i n k i t an o f f e n c e i f she shew him some t o k e n o f l o v e . I n w h i c h m a t t e r . I w i l l t e a c h h e r one g e n e r a l l r u l e i n few wordes, and t h a t i s , T h a t she shew him whom she l o v e t h a l l t o k e n s o f l o v e , b u t s u c h as may* T)ring i n t o t h e l o v e r s minde a hope t o o b t a i n e o f h e r any d i s h o n e s t master . 27 The d i s t i n c t i o n between t r u e l o v e and s e n s u a l l o v e f o r C a s t i g l i o n e l i e s i n t e m p e r a n c e w h i c h i s t h e s u r e s t g u i d e t o t h e l o v e r s . He a d m i t s t h e a t t r a c t i o n o f s e n s u a l l o v e b u t he e m p h a s i z e s t h a t i t i s b e n e a t h t r u e l o v e : As I judge t h e r e f o r e , t h o s e yong men t h a t b r i d l e t h e i r a p p e t i t e s , . a n d l o v e w i t h r e a s o n , t o be g o d l y : so doe I h o l d e x c u s e d s u c h as y i e l d e t o s e n s u a l l , whereunto. t h e y be so e n c l i n e d t h r o u g h t h e w eakenesse and f r a i l t i e o f man: so t h e y show t h e r e i n meekenes, c o u r t e s i e , and p r o w e s s e , and t h e o t h e r w o r t h i e c o n -d i t i o n s t h a t t h e s e L o r d s have s p o k e n o f , 25 P l a t o , pj_. c i t . , p. 67. " T h a t Pandemic l o v e r who l o v e s r a t h e r t h e body t h a n t h e s o u l i s w o r t h l e s s . " 26 C a s t i g l i o n e , C o u r t i e r , pp. 3 0 4 - 3 0 5 * 27 I h i d . , p. 240. and when these you t h f u l l yeares bee •gone and past, leave i t off eleane, keeping aloofe from th i s sensual coveting as fro the lowest step of the stayres, by the which a man may ascend to true love.28 The whole emphasis i s upon developing a true l a s t i n g love as the only s a t i s f y i n g end of love service. This i s not contrary to the t r a d i t i o n of courtly love, but i s actually a new element i n i t s evolution. In much of his discussion on love, Castiglione deals with i t systematically. Rules of wooing are l a i d down to guide the courtier: he i s to serve his lady and try to please her, he i s to shun ignorance of the passion, he i s to be modest i n seeking her love, and he i s to be c h i v a l r i c , displaying worthiness, valiance, and discretion. The lady i s instructed, also, on how to conduct herself when being wooed. She i s to know how to distinguish sincere love from pretended love, she must know how a man paying court to her w i l l act, and she must be forthright i n dealing with her lover, remaining chaste, virtuous, and modest. This pattern of conduct became an i d e a l for the ladies and the courtiers of a l l Europe. Perhaps no better example can be found of a courtier who r e f l e c t e d Castiglione's p r i n c i p l e s both i n his l i f e and i n his writing than S i r P h i l i p Sidney. 28 Castiglione, op,, c i t . , p. 307. Sidney, as s c a r c e l y anyone e l s e i n a l l E n g l i s h l i t e r a t u r e , embodied that p e r f e c t balance of.graces and accomplishments which made him the d e l i g h t of a l l who knew him. C a s t i g l i o n e ' s i d e a l had at l a s t entered i n t o the f l e s h . 29 I n Sidney were combined b i r t h , courage, C h r i s t i a n c h a r i t y , grace, v i r t u e , honour, and devotion: a l l necessary i n the Renaissance c o u r t i e r . Though he died at t h i r t y - t w o , he was famous as a p e r f e c t gentleman, accomplished i n arms, i n s t a t e c r a f t , and i n l e a r n i n g . I n a d d i t i o n to being a l i v i n g model of the i d e a l c o u r t i e r , Sidney d i s p l a y e d a f a m i l i a r i t y w i t h the c o u r t i e r ' s l i f e , p a r t i c u l a r l y w i t h the conventions of c o u r t l y l o v e , i n h i s w r i t i n g . H i s sonnet sequence, ^StSSEhel^and^Ste11a, shows t h i s f a m i l i a r i t y . L i k e the troubadours of o l d , Sidney addresses a married lady w i t h whom he i s i n l o v e . However, i n h i s handling of c o u r t l y l o v e , Sidney shows the i n f l u e n c e of the I t a l i a n s . H i s love i s c o l d and towers over him. He grows hot and c o l d and cannot sleep. D e s c r i b i n g h i s s u f f e r i n g he says: A l a s , have I not pain enough, my f r i e n d , Upon whose breast a f i e r c e r gripe doth t i r e : Thus d i d on him who f i r s t s t o l e down the f i r e While Love on me doth a l l h i s quiver spend . 29 Pearson, Love Conventions, p. 84. 30 J.W. Hebel and H.H. Hudson, ed. , Poetr2_.of_.the English„Renaissan.ce, New York, Appleton-Century-Crofts , " " r n c . , 1929, "p. 1087 40 and My mouth d o t h w a t e r , and my b r e a s t d o t h s w e l l , My t o n g u e d o t h i t c h , my t h o u g h t s i n l a b o r l i e . . . .31 S i d n e y s e e s h i s l a d y as b e i n g t h e embodiment o f l o v e and b e a u t y : . . . i n S t e l l a ' s f a c e I r e a d What l o v e and b e a u t y b e , t h e n a l l my de e d B u t c o p y i n g i s , what i n h e r N a t u r e w r i t e s . 3 2 The l a s t s o n n e t o f h i s sequence' shows a d i s t i n c t P e t r a r c h a n i n f l u e n c e . B e i n g u n a b l e t o f i n d hope i n f l e s h l y l o v e , he s u p p l a n t s i t w i t h s p i r i t u a l l o v e ; I n t h i s l a s t s o n n e t e a r t h l y l o v e i s s e e n as t r a n s i t o r y : i t " i . r e a c h e s t b u t t o d u s t " and " f a d i n g p l e a s u r e b r i n g s . " The P l a t o n i c i d e a l o f r i s i n g t o s p i r i t u a l l o v e t h r o u g h f l e s h l y l o v e i s t h e o n l y end w h i c h t h e s o n n e t e e r c a n a c c e p t : T h e n f a r e w e l l , w o r l d ; t h y u t t e r m o s t I s e e ; E t e r n a l L o v e , m a i n t a i n t h y l i f e i n me.33 I n t h e A r c a d i a , , S i d n e y d e a l s more c o m p r e h e n s i v e l y w i t h l a d i e s , c o u r t i e r s , and c o u r t l y l o v e t h a n he c o u l d i n A s t r o p h e l and S t e l l a . , I n t h e l o n g e r work, t h e r e i s an i d e a l i s t i c t r e a t m e n t o f h o n o u r , c o u r a g e , v a l o u r , e n d u r a n c e , and s e l f - d e n y i n g d e v o t i o n — 1 a l l t h e t h i n g s t h a t make up k n i g h t l y c h a r a c t e r . S i d n e y , i n h i s i m a g i n a r y A r c a d i a . . . e x p r e s s e d w i t h i n g e n u o u s c o n f i d e n c e h i s 31 H e b e l and H u d s o n , op,, c i t , . , p. 112. ' 32 I b i d . , p.. 107. 33 I b i d . , p. 120. 41 cherished i d e a l s of v i r t u e , h e r o i c energy and c h i v a l r o u s love.3 4 G a b r i e l Harvey's d e s c r i p t i o n of the A r c a d i a w i t h i t s p a r e n t h e t i c a l comments on Sidney i s worth quoting: Here are amourous c o u r t i n g (he was young i n y e a r s ) , sage c o u n s e l l i n g (he was r i p e i n judgement), valorous f i g h t i n g ( h i s sovereign p r o f e s s i o n was arms), and d e l i g h t f u l pastime by way of p a s t o r a l exercises.35 The A r c a d i a i s , then, a prose romance, set i n a f a i r y l a n d atmosphere, having a s t r a i n of c h i v a l r o u s adventure, and d e a l i n g w i t h love-making and attempted love-making. W i t h i n i t s pages can be found a code of behaviour which could serve as a moral and s o c i a l guide to the E l i z a b e t h a n c o u r t l y s o c i e t y . I t s value to that s o c i e t y cannot be overlooked: The A r c a d i a perpetuated and d i f f u s e d the ideal~"which Sidney's l i f e had created. I t t r a n s m i t t e d to the next age h i s conceptions of s p i r i t e d and d e l i c a t e manhood, l o y a l and i n t e l l i g e n t womanhood, j u s t i c e , government, f r i e n d -ship and p i e t y . . . . 3 ° I n the A r c a d i a , Sidney combined the medieval c h i v a l r i c t r a d i t i o n and the c l a s s i c a l p a s t o r a l t r a d i t i o n i n t o a romance of people who were e i t h e r good or bad. However, emphasis i s placed upon the good, and the c h i v a l r i c i d e a l 34 E.A. Baker, The H i s t o r y of_the J S n g l i s h Novel, Edinburgh, The .Riverside P r e s s , Limit e d 7 " ~ v o l 7 27~19297~"p. 85 . 35 M. Wilson, S i r P h i l i p _ S i d n e y - , Oxford U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1932, p. 143. 3 6 I b i d . , p. 1 5 5 . a l w a y s t r i u m p h s i n the i d y l l i c l a n d . M o s t o f t h e c h a r a c t e r s a r e n o b l y b o r n ; even t h e s h e p h e r d s and s h e p h e r d e s s e s u t t e r t h e s e n t i m e n t s and c o n v e n t i o n s o f t h e c o u r t l y and t h e r e f i n e d . The s e t t i n g i s a h i g h l y a r t i f i c i a l o n e , where young n o b l e l o v e r s c a n s u c c e s s f u l l y d i s g u i s e t h e m s e l v e s and embark upon r o m a n t i c l o v e q u e s t s . N e v e r -t h e l e s s , w i t h a l l t h e f a n t a s t i c i n t r i g u e and a d v e n t u r e , t h e p u r p o s e o f l o v e i s c l e a r l y a happy e n d i n g i n m a r r i a g e . The s t o r y i s , b r i e f l y , as f o l l o w s : two n o b l e f r i e n d s , M u s i d o r u s o f Macedon and P y r o c l e s o f T h e s s a l y a r e s e p a r a t e d i n a s h i p w r e c k and go t o d i f f e r e n t l a n d s where e a c h i s g i v e n command o f an army. They f i n a l l y c o n f r o n t e a c h o t h e r i n h a n d - t o - h a n d combat ( b e i n g heads o f o p p o s i n g a r m i e s ) and r e c o g n i z i n g e a c h o t h e r , make p e a c e . They t h e n embark upon a l o v e q u e s t t o g a i n t h e hand o f two A r c a d i a n p r i n c e s s e s . M u s i d o r u s d i s g u i s e s h i m s e l f as a s h e p h e r d , D o r u s , and p u r s u e s P r i n c e s s P a m e l a . P y r o c l e s d i s g u i s e s h i m s e l f as a woman, Z e l m a n e , t o g a i n P r i n c e s s P h i l o c l e a . C o n f u s i o n f o l l o w s P y r o c l e s 1 d i s g u i s e , f o r he a t t r a c t s t h e l o v e o f t h e p a r e n t s o f t h e P r i n c e s s e s . B a s i l i u s ( t h e k i n g ) f a l l s i n l o v e w i t h Zelmane ( P y r o c l e s ) as does G y n e c i a ( t h e l u s t f u l queen who r e a l i z e s t h a t Zelmane i s a m a n ) . I n u n f o l d i n g t h i s t a l e , S i d n e y u s e s t h e c u r r e n t c o u r t l y c o n v e n t i o n s : t h e extreme b e a u t y o f t h e l a d y , t h e s u f f e r i n g t h a t l o v e c a u s e s , t h e i n f e r i o r p o s i t i o n o f t h e l o v e r who begs t h e l a d y f o r p i t y , and t h e e n n o b l i n g power o f v i r t u o u s l o v e . A l l o f t h e s e a s p e c t s o f c o u r t l y l o v e c a n be s e e n i n 43 t h e p l e a d i n g o f Zelmane ( P y r o c l e s ) t o P h i l o c l e a : 0 l e t n o t , l e t n o t f r o m you be p o u r e d u pon me d e s t r u c t i o n ; y o u r f a i r f a c e h a t h many t o k e n s i n i t o f amazement a t my words: t h i n k t h e n what t h i s amazement i s , f r o m whence t h e y come, s i n c e no words c a n c a r r y w i t h them t h e l i f e o f t h e i n w a r d f e e l i n g , I d e s i r e t h a t my d e s i r e may be w e i g h e d i n t h e b a l a n c e s o f h o n o u r , and l e t v i r t u e h o l d them. F o r i f t h e h i g h e s t l o v e i n no b a s e p e r s o n may a s p i r e t o g r a c e , t h e n may I hope y o u r b e a u t y w i l l n o t be w i t h o u t p i t y , i f o t h e r w i s e y o u b e , a l a s 1 b u t l e t i t n o t be so r e s o l v e d , y e t s h a l l n o t my d e a t h be c o m f o r t l e s s , r e c e i v i n g i t by y o u r s e n t e n c e . 3 7 J u s t as P h i l o c l e a can condemn h e r l o v e r t o d e a t h , so can P a m e l a condemn h e r s . I n a l e t t e r t o P a m e la, D o r u s ( M u s i d o r u s ) t e l l s t h a t he w i l l d i e b e c a u s e P a m e l a w i l l s i t ( s i n c e she w i l l n o t p r o m i s e t o l o v e h i m ) . Y e t , l i k e P y r o c l e s , he g l a d l y a c c e p t s t h e s e n t e n c e o f d e a t h s i n c e i t i s P amela's 38 h e a v e n l y w i l l . However, P a m e l a , i n t r u e c o u r t l y f a s h i o n , has b e e n f o r c e d t o c o n s i d e r t h e p l i g h t o f h e r l o v e r b e c a u s e o f h i s c o u r t l i n e s s and h i s w i l l i n g n e s s t o do a n y t h i n g f o r h e r : . . . can I w i t h o u t t h e d e t e s t a b l e s t a i n o f u n g r a t e f u l n e s s a b s t a i n f r o m l o v i n g him, who ( f a r e x c e e d i n g t h e b e a u t i f u l n e s s o f h i s shape w i t h t h e b e a u t i f u l n e s s o f h i s . mind, and t h e g r e a t n e s s o f h i s e s t a t e w i t h th e g r e a t n e s s o f h i s a c t s ) i s c o n t e n t so t o abuse h i m s e l f , as t o become Daraetas's s e r v a n t f o r my s ake? 39 37 S i r P h i l i p S i d n e y , A r c a d i a , L o n d o n , George R o u t l e d g e and S o n s , L i m i t e d , 1907, p.~*213. 38 I b i d . , pp. 150-151. 39 I b i d . , p. 148. Pamela's d e s c r i p t i o n o f Musidorus r e c a l l s C a s t i g l i o n e ' s i d e a l , and, indeed, we f e e l that Musidorus i s Sidney's i d e a l when he i s d e s c r i b e d as having . . . a mind of most e x c e l l e n t composition, a p i e r c i n g wit q u i t e devoid o f o s t e n t a t i o n , h i g h e r e c t e d thoughts seated i n a heart of c o u r t e s y , an eloquence as sweet i n the u t t e r i n g as i t was slow to come to the u t t e r i n g , and a behaviour so noble as gave a majesty to a d v e r s i t y . . . .40 Such i s the i d e a l that Sidney upheld i n h i s l i f e and i n h i s A r c a d i a and passed on to h i s contemporaries and s u c c e s s o r s . Spenser was one of these who saw i n Sidney the epitome o f a l l that was no b l e , v i r t u o u s , and g e n t l e . I n one of the many e l e g i e s where Spenser i d e a l i z e s Sidney, he says of him: Knowledge her l i g h t hath l o s t , v a l o r hath s l a i n e her k n i g h t , Sidney i s dead, dead i s my f r i e n d , dead i s the worlds d e l i g h t . 4 1 (11. 7-8) Though Spenser's h a n d l i n g o f the c o u r t l y theme d i f f e r e d from Sidney's, s t i l l he c h e r i s h e d the same valu e s and i d e a l s . He too measured true n o b i l i t y by the standards o f C a s t i g l i o n e ' s c o u r t i e r and h e l d that a kni g h t should combine l e a r n i n g and c h i v a l r y . The moral note was strong i n Spenser, 40 Quoted from Pearson, Love_Conventions, p. 102. 41 J.C. Smith and E. de S e l i n c o u r t , ed.,, T h e J P o e t i c a l Works of Edmund Spenser, London, Oxford U n i v e r s i t y ~ P r e s s , " 19l>07 "Another""of the Same," p. 559. A l l r e f e r e n c e s t o Spenser's poems are from t h i s book. 45 t h e r e b e i n g a p e r p e t u a l emphasis upon p a t r i o t i c d u t y , s t e d f a s t l o y a l t y , f a i t h f u l l o v e , and v i r t u o u s women f u l l o f modesty and g r a c e . M e d i a e v a l c h i v a l r i c i d e a l s were f u n d a m e n t a l i n h i s s y s t e m o f c o n d u c t ; h u t he d e l i b e r a t e l y u n i t e d them w i t h m e t a p h y s i c a l c o n c e p t i o n s o f m o r a l p r i n c i p l e . . . . 4 2 N o t o n l y d i d S p e n s e r h o l d up t h e s e v a l u e s f o r a l l t o a d m i r e , b u t he made i t h i s p u r p o s e t o t e a c h them. I n d o i n g so he a p p e a l e d t o t h e p o e t s t h a t f o l l o w e d him and d i d much t o f i x t h e c h i v a l r i c i d e a l s w h i c h came o u t o f t h e E n g l i s h R e n a i s s a n c e . O f g r e a t i m p o r t a n c e was h i s a t t i t u d e t o women and h i s h a n d l i n g of. c o u r t l y l o v e . I n h i s p o e t r y , woman h a s an h o n o r a b l e p l a c e , o f t e n b e i n g e q u a l and s u p e r i o r ( i n c e r t a i n 43 -ways) t o man. A c t u a l l y be was a d e v o t e d spokesman o f t h e e x i s t i n g p o s i t i o n o f women i n s o c i e t y . A t t h e c o u r t o f E l i z a b e t h women no l o n g e r r e c e i v e d an empty homage w h i c h e x c l u d e d them f r o m a l l t h e more s e r i o u s i n t e r e s t s o f l i f e . T h e i r c u l t u r e , t h e i r e d u c a t i o n , t h e i r a r t i s t i c a c c o m p l i s h m e n t s , e n a b l e d them t o s h a r e i n t h e i n t e l l e c t u a l l i f e o f t h e i r t i m e : t h e y were n o t m e r e l y l o v e r s , t h e y had become . companions and f r i e n d s . ^ 42 S c h o f i e l d , C h i v a l r y . , pp. 147-148. -43 T h i s f a c t i s b o r n e - o u t i n Boo k I I I o f t h e F a i r i e Queene, where B r i t o m a r t , t h e symbol o f c h a s t i t y , i s c a p a b l e " o f g a i n i n g Scudamour 1 s q u e s t when he, d e s p i t e t h e f a c t t h a t he l o v e s Amoret t r u l y and wants t o r e s c u e h e r , f a i l s b e c a u s e he i s t o o i m p a t i e n t and g i v e s way t o a n g e r . 44 S m i t h and de S e l i n c o u r t , o_). c i t . , " I n t r o d u c t i o n , " p. x i v . 46 I n C o l i n C l o u t \ s Come Home Again, Spenser has much t o say i n p r a i s e of women. They are equal i n n o b i l i t y , grace, and courtesy t o men and t h e i r beauty i s a l l - p o w e r f u l . I n one passage where Spenser p r a i s e s one of E l i z a b e t h ' s maids, . he uses a l l the medieval conventions i n d e s c r i b i n g h i s devo t i o n t o her: For t h a t my s e l f e I do p r o f e s s e t o be V a s s a i l t o one, whom a l l my dayes I serue; The beame of be a u t i e s p a r k l e d from aboue, The f l o u r e of ve r t u e and pure c h a s t i t i e , The blossome.of sweet i o y and p e r f e c t l o u e , The p e a r l o f p e e r l e s s e grace and modestie: To her my thoughts I d a i l y d e d i c a t e , To her my heart I n i g h t l y m a r t y r i z e : To her my loue I low l y do p r o s t r a t e , To her my l i f e I wholly s a c r i f i c e : My thought, my h e a r t , my l o u e , my l i f e i s shee, And I hers euer onely, euer one . . . . (11. 466-477) Though t h i s d e s c r i p t i o n o f the l a d y and h i s devotion to her i s c o n v e n t i o n a l , we must re c o g n i z e t h a t Spenser was s i n c e r e i n h i s v e n e r a t i o n o f Women. In h i s treatment of l o v e , Spenser c a r r i e s f o r t h the I t a l i a n t r a d i t i o n advanced by P e t r a r c h o f d i g n i f y i n g the pass i o n . However, Spenser, u n l i k e P e t r a r c h who thought that s p i r i t u a l l o v e was the only worthwhile g o a l , combines the l o v e o f body wi t h the l o v e o f s o u l . The E n g l i s h poet maintained a heavy emphasis upon the s p i r i t u a l aspect of l o v e while he d i d not condemn the p h y s i c a l . To him the n a t u r a l consummation of t r u e l o v e was to be r e a l i z e d i n 45 marriage where a s p i r i t u a l union of souls might be reached. 45 C f . , f o r example, The Epithalamium. Though his conception of love had no place for the early courtly love t r a d i t i o n which could allow adultery under certain conditions, i t did not overemphasize the s p i r i t u a l s t r a i n of the Petrarchan theme. Rather, i t sought to reconcile the physical and s p i r i t u a l sides of love and to urge high moral standards. His conception of love placed i t as the highest goal of the true knight. Courtly love, as known to the early medieval writers, i s openly condemned and a more refined, i n t e l l e c t u a l i z e d , and moral type of courtly love i s favored. In the F a i r i e Queene. Spenser finds i t congenial to deal with the "twelve private moral virtues" hy assigning a knight to undertake perilous combats with vice i n various forms and to be the champion of each v i r t u e . S t i l l the poem i s not e n t i r e l y a medieval one. In r e a l i t y , the day of medieval adventures and quests was gone and the knight of Elizabeth's day was not the knight of Henry II's.- The F a i r i e Queene, though set i n medieval times with medieval figures, r e f l e c t s the knightly society and the knightly values of Elizabethan England. Spenser introduces a l l the problems that were of concern to the courtier of his day f o r , after a l l , his purpose to " . . . fashion a gentleman or noble person i n vertuous and gentle d i s c i p l i n e 46 . . ." necessitated a story that could be applied to his own society. The Middle Ages offered a l l that he would 46 Smith and de Selincourt, op,, c i t . , "A Letter of the Authors . . . to . . . S i r Walter Raleigh . . .," p. 407. 48 t e a c h as b e i n g good i n h i s F a i r i e Queene: 0 g o o d l y u s a g e o f t h o s e a n t i q u e times,. I n w h i c h t h e sword was s e r u a n t u n t o r i g h t ; When n o t f o r m a l i c e and c o n t e n t i o u s c r i m e s , B u t a l l f o r p r a i s e , and p r o o f e o f manly m i g h t , The m a r t i a l l b r o o d a c c u s t o m e d t o f i g h t : T h e n honour was t h e meed o f v i c t o r i e , A n d y e t t h e v a n q u i s h e d h a d no d e s p i g h t : L e t l a t e r age t h a t n o b l e u s e e n u i e , V i l e r a n c o u r t o a u o i d , and c r u e l l s u r q u e d r i e . ( I I I . i . 1 3 ) I n h i s a t t e m p t t o g u i d e t h e c o u r t i e r o f h i s day, S p e n s e r shows t h e r e w a r d s o f f o l l o w i n g t h e h i g h e s t i d e a l s o f t h e c o u r t l y l i f e and, b y c o n t r a s t , he shows t h e e v i l and mi s e r y , w h i c h r e s u l t f r o m i n d u l g e n c e i h l u s t and v i c e . I n Book I I I o f t h e F a i r i e .Queene, t h e l u s t f u l s i d e o f c o u r t l y l o v e i s condemned. B r i t o m a r t , t h e symbol o f C h a s t i t y , ' l e a v e s t h e C a s t l e I o y e o u s when she s e e s what goes on t h e r e b e t w e e n k n i g h t s and l a d i e s : F o r n o t h i n g w o u l d she l e n g e r t h e r e be s t a y d , Where so l o o s e l i f e , and so u n g e n t l e t r a d e Was u s d o f K n i g h t s and L a d i e s seeming gent . . . . ( I I I . 1 . 6 7 ) A g a i n i n t h i s same book S p e n s e r c l e a r l y d i s t i n g u i s h e s b etween s e n s u a l and t r u e l o v e : Most s a c r e d f i r e , t h a t b u r n e s t m i g h t i l y I n l i v i n g b r e s t s , y k i n d l e d f i r s t aboue, Emongst t h 1 e t e r n a l l s p h e r e s and l a m p i n g s k y , An d t h e n c e pour i n t o men, w h i c h man c a l l L o u e , Not t h a t same, w h i c h d o t h b a s e a f f e c t i o n s moue I n b r u t i s h m i n d s , and f i l t h y l u s t i n f l a m e , . B u t t h a t sweet f i t , t h a t d o t h t r u e b e a u t i e l o u e , And c h o s e t h v e r t u e f o r h i s d e a r e s t Dame, Whence s p r i n g a l l n o b l e deeds and n e u e r d y i n g fame . . . . ( I I I . i i i . 1 ) I n C a n t o X o f Book I I I , S p e n s e r s h a t t e r s t h e r o m a n t i c 49 atmosphere o f t h e e a r l y m e d i e v a l b r a n d o f c o u r t l y l o v e . I n t h i s c a n t o , P a r i d e l l , a f a l s e k n i g h t , r a p e s H e l l e n o r e , t h e w i f e o f h i s h o s t and makes o f f w i t h h e r . N o t h i n g b u t u n h a p p i n e s s and e v i l comes f r o m t h i s k i n d o f l o v e w h i c h S p e n s e r a b h o r s . On t h e o t h e r hand, he p r a i s e s t h e c h a s t i t y and v i r t u e o f Amoret, who, t h o u g h she i s h e l d c a p t i v e and i s t o r t u r e d by B u s i r a n e . , r e m a i n s t r u e t o Scudamour, t o be f i n a l l y r e s c u e d by B r i t o m a r t . I n a l l h i s h a n d l i n g o f l o v e , S p e n s e r e m p h a s i z e s c h a s t i t y , n o t i n t h e s e n s e o f s e l f - d e n i a l , b u t i n t h e s e n s e o f v i r t u e and c o n s t a n c y . The r e w a r d o f s u c h c h a s t i t y i s t o be m a r r i a g e and a happy l i f e , n o t j u s t p l e a s u r e f o r t h e moment: The s t o r y he t e l l s i s . . . t h e f i n a l s t r u g g l e b etween t h e romance o f m a r r i a g e and t h e romance o f a d u l t e r y . "^7 I n S p e n s e r c o u r t l y l o v e , w h i c h goes b a c k b e y o n d t h e days o f t h e t r o u b a d o u r s , has b e e n t r a n s f o r m e d f r o m a c o n v e n i e n t s o c i a l c o n v e n t i o n t o a method o f g a i n i n g t r u e and i d e a l l o v e . S p e n s e r w i l l have no p a r t o f c o u r t l y l o v e , i n i t s o r i g i n a l m e d i e v a l s e n s e . The l o v e w h i c h he s a n c t i o n s i s c o u r t l y l o v e i n t h a t i t c a n be r e a l i z e d o n l y by t h e n o b l e , c o u r t l y p e r s o n who has t h e h i g h e s t m o r a l s t a n d a r d s . C o u r t e s y , by h i s t i m e , has come t o mean more t h a n t h e w i l l i n g n e s s t o u n d e r t a k e l o v e s e r v i c e . I t i m p l i e s g e n t l e m a n l y c o n d u c t , r e f i n e d manners, i n t e l l e c t . , and a h i g h m o r a l p u r p o s e . T h u s , 47 L e w i s , A l l e g o r y o f L o v e , p. 340. c o u r t l y l o v e , w h i c h grew so r a p i d l y i n t h e age o f m e d i e v a l c h i v a l r y , c h a n g e d w i t h t h e d e v e l o p m e n t o f s o c i e t y t i l l , b y t h e t i m e o f E l i z a b e t h , i t showed t h e r e f i n i n g e f f e c t s o f man 1 s t u d y o f h i m s e l f . I t i s t h i s t r a d i t i o n o f c o u r t l y l o v e , i n a l l i t s i n t r i c a c y and d i v e r s i t y , w h i c h S h a k e s p e a r e t o o k up i n t h e g r e a t decade o f t h e E l i z a b e t h a n e r a , t h e 1 5 9 0 's and c o n t i n u e d t o d e a l w i t h f o r t h e r e m a i n d e r o f h i s c a r e e r as a p l a y w r i g h t . S i n c e h i s g r e a t e s t i n t e r e s t wa^s man, he c o u l d n o t f a i l t o g i v e h i s a t t e n t i o n t o t h e t r a d i t i o n o f c o u r t l y l o v e w h i c h was a v e r y r e a l , l i v i n g i n f l u e n c e i n h i s s o c i e t y . S u c h g r e a t men as C h a u c e r , C a s t i g l i o n e , S i d n e y , and S p e n s e r h a d a l l c o n t r i b u t e d s o m e t h i n g i m p o r t a n t t o t h e t r a d i t i o n and S h a k e s p e a r e c o u l d n o t b u t be a l i v e t o e a c h man's c o n t r i b u t i o n . The s o c i e t y o f h i s own day t o o k a k e e n i n t e r e s t i n t h e M i d d l e A ges and s u c h t o p i c s as c h i v a l r y and t h e e f f e c t s o f l o v e were s t u d i e d s e r i o u s l y f o r t h e i r r e l a t i o n s h i p t o r e a l l i f e . The c o u r t l y l o v e t r a d i t i o n a t t r a c t e d S h a k e s p e a r e , f o r i n h i s p l a y s he i s al w a y s c o n c e r n e d w i t h l o v e and i t s r e l a t i o n t o t h e l i f e o f human b e i n g s . T hough he p r e s e n t s t h e c o n v e n t i o n s o f c o u r t l y l o v e i n t h e i r many d i v e r g e n c e s , p o s e s , and f a n c i e s , he n o r m a l l y t r e a t s t h e t y p e o f l o v e w h i c h i s a n a t u r a l p a s s i o n l e a d i n g t o m a r r i a g e . W i t h t h i s i n mind, we c a n t u r n now t o a s t u d y o f S h a k e s p e a r e ' s t r e a t m e n t o f t h e theme. CHAPTER I I I THE COURTLY THEME AND SATIRE Lov,els..Labqur^s ..Lost The_Tj?o_,GenU As__You_Li.ke_.It_. 52 CHAPTER I I I Shakespeare's e a r l i e s t treatment of the courtly-theme In h i s p l a y s gives evidence t h a t he was able to present what the p u b l i c wanted and s t i l l make obvious h i s own o p i n i o n o f the convention. When two of h i s e a r l i e s t p l a y s appeared, Love's Labour',s L o s t and The Two Gentlemen, of Veronaj, the c o u r t l y theme was e n j o y i n g great p o p u l a r i t y i n the romances of L y l y and Greene, the p a s t o r a l t a l e s of Sidney and Spenser, and the- sonnet sequences of numerous E l i z a b e t h a n poets. Though Shakespeare, i n h i s p l a y s , showed a w i l l i n g n e s s to provide popular entertainment, s t i l l he was not prepared to.abandon h i m s e l f to a world of complete u n r e a l i t y as the romancers and sonneteers o f t e n had done. I n s t e a d , he saw the i n s i n c e r i t y and a f f e c t a t i o n i n h e r e n t i n the c o u r t l y conventions. Though he accepted these conventions as p a r t of h i s h e r i t a g e , he d i d not l o s e s i g h t of the t r u e meaning o f f r i e n d s h i p , l o v e , v i r t u e , or t r u t h . R a t i o n a l l o v e was always p r e f e r r e d to c o u r t l y l o v e , and s i n c e r i t y t o a f f e c t a t i o n , even i n h i s e a r l i e s t p l a y s . I n Love's, Labour',s L o s t , Shakespeare makes fun o f the f o l l y connected w i t h c o u r t l y l o v e and the p u r s u i t of the c o u r t l y i d e a l . Pedantry, s o n n e t - w r i t i n g , and a f f e c t a t i o n are a l l r i d i c u l e d and the extravagances of c o u r t l y l o v e are p a r o d i e d by the would-be c o u r t i e r , Don Armado. Even the p r i n c i p a l c h a r a c t e r s of t h i s p l a y make mock of c o u r t l y l o v e i n t h e i r i n e f f e c t u a l s u i t s to t h e i r l a d i e s . The m a i n a c t i o n o f L o v e r s Labour'.s . L o s t i s a s a t i r e on c o u r t l y l o v e , s i n c e t h e c o u r t l y l o v e r s a r e made t h e dupes o f t h e more s e n s i b l e l a d i e s and t h e i r l o v e s u i t s v i r t u a l l y end i n f a i l u r e . F e r d i n a n d , t h e K i n g o f N a v a r r e , and h i s t h r e e l o r d s , Berowne, L o n g a v i l l e , and Dumain, f o o l i s h l y r e n o u n c e t h e s o c i e t y o f l a d i e s and vow t o t u r n t h e c o u r t i n t o 11 a l i t t l e Academe.' 1 An embassy f r o m t h e K i n g o f F r a n c e c o m p r i s e d o f t h e P r i n c e s s and h e r l a d i e s , R o s a l i n e , M a r i a , and K a t h e r i n e , f o r c e s them t o b r e a k t h e i r vow. D e s p i t e t h e i r i n t e n t i o n s , t h e K i n g and h i s n o b l e s f a l l i n l o v e w i t h t h e P r i n c e s s and h e r l a d i e s , b e c o m i n g t y p i c a l c o u r t l y l o v e r s . The l a d i e s ' d o n o t a c c e p t t h e men, however, b u t mock them i n s t e a d . The p l a y ends i n d i s a p p o i n t m e n t f o r t h e men when a m e s s e n g e r b r i n g s word t h a t t h e P r i n c e s s ' f a t h e r i s dead. The l a d i e s b r e a k o f f t h e i r f r i v o l i t y , o n l y p r o m i s i n g t o c o n s i d e r t h e s u i t o f e a c h a f t e r a y e a r o f t r i a l h as p a s s e d . The s a t i r i c a l t r e a t m e n t o f t h e c o u r t l y theme i n t h i s p l a y i s n o t a b i t t e r d e n u n c i a t i o n , b u t r a t h e r a l i g h t - h e a r t e d m ockery. A t a l l t i m e s s i m p l i c i t y and n a t u r a l n e s s a r e f a v o u r e d by S h a k e s p e a r e . Berowne, who i s t h e p l a y ' s most i m p o r t a n t c h a r a c t e r , i s , g e n e r a l l y s p e a k i n g , t h e spokesman f o r t h e s e q u a l i t i e s . He s e e s t h e i m p r a c t i c a l i t y and t h e u n n a t u r a l n e s s • o f t h e o a t h t h a t t h e f o u r men have t a k e n : Why s h o u l d p r o u d summer b o a s t B e f o r e t h e b i r d s have any c a u s e t o s i n g ? Why s h o u l d I j o y i n any a b o r t i v e b i r t h ? A t C h r i s t m a s I no more d e s i r e a r o s e T h a n w i s h a snow i n May's n e w f a n g l e d shows, B u t l i k e o f e a c h t h i n g t h a t i n s e a s o n g r o w s i So y o u — t o s t u d y now i t i s t o o l a t e — C l i m b o ' e r t h e house t o u n l o c k t h e l i t t l e g a t e . (I.i.102-109) Though Berowne e n t e r s i n t o t h e c o n s p i r a c y a g a i n s t l o v e , he warns a l l h i s companions o f t h e o b s t a c l e s w h i c h c o n f r o n t them. I t i s no s u r p r i s e t o us t h a t he f a l l s i n l o v e r a p i d l y , a l o n g w i t h h i s companions, f o r he has a l w a y s had a h i g h r e g a r d f o r l o v e . He r i d i c u l e s h i s f e l l o w n o b l e m e n on d i s c o v e r i n g t h a t t h e y have a l l o w e d t h e m s e l v e s t o become t h e v i c t i m s o f l o v e and d e n i e s he has b e e n g r o a n i n g f o r l o v e when he s a y s : . . . I b e t r a y ' d b y y o u : I t h a t am h o n e s t ; I t h a t h o l d i t s i n To b r e a k t h e vow I am engaged i n . I am b e t r a y ' d b y k e e p i n g company W i t h men l i k e y o u , men o f i n c o n s t a n c y . When s h a l l y o u see me w r i t e a t h i n g i n rhyme? Or g r o a n f o r l o v e ? o r s p e n d a m i n u t e ' s t i m e I n p r u n i n g me? When s h a l l y o u h e a r t h a t I W i l l p r a i s e a hand, a f o o t , a f a c e , an e y e , A g a i t , a s t a t e , a brow, a b r e a s t , a w a i s t , A l e g , a l i m b ? (IV.iii.176-186) However, we f e e l t h a t t h i s i s done more f o r t h e p u r p o s e o f r i d i c u l i n g h i s f r i e n d s t h a n f o r t h e p u r p o s e o f r e v e a l i n g h i s t r u e o p i n i o n s . A f t e r t h e k i n g d i s c o v e r s t h a t Berowne i s a l s o i n l o v e , t h e l a t t e r r e p e a t s h i s e a r l y a p p r a i s a l o f t h e p a s s i o n : As t r u e we a r e as f l e s h and b l o o d c a n be. The s e a w i l l ebb and f l o w , h e a v e n show h i s f a c e Young b l o o d d o t h n o t obey an o l d d e c r e e . We c a n n o t c r o s s t h e c a u s e why we were b o r n ; T h e r e f o r e o f a l l hands must we be f o r s w o r n . (IV.iii.215-219) Berowne h e r e s e e s t h a t l o v e i s a n a t u r a l p a s s i o n w h i c h c a n n o t be i g n o r e d . I n a c c e p t i n g Berowne as t h e spokesman f o r a n a t u r a l a t t i t u d e to l o v e , one cannot deny that he belongs i n the group o f c o u r t l y l o v e r s i n t h i s p l a y . He too, l i k e Ferdinand, L o n g a v i l l e , and Dumain, i s a t y p i c a l c o u r t i e r , caught i n the customary snares of c o u r t l y l o v e . Each i s d e s c r i b e d by the la d y he adores with the u s u a l e p i t h e t s : " s o l e i n h e r i t o r of a l l p e r f e c t i o n s , " "beauteous h e i r , " " w e l l f i t t e d i n a r t s , " " g l o r i o u s i n arms," and " a l l t h a t v i r t u e l o v e f o r v i r t u e l o v 1 d " • ( I I I . 1 . 1 - 7 5 ) • Furthermore, each experiences l o v e i n the c o n v e n t i o n a l c o u r t l y manner. The men w r i t e l o v e poetry t o the l a d i e s o f t h e i r a f f e c t i o n s which paro d i e s the extremes and the a b s u r d i t i e s o f contemporary l o v e - p o e t r y and r i d i c u l e s the s u f f e r i n g l o v e r . Berowne, i n a r a r e moment, be r a t e s h i m s e l f f o r f a l l i n g i n l o v e and t r i e s t o d e s c r i b e women i n unromantic terms: What,I? I love? I sue? I seek a wife? A woman, th a t i s l i k e a German c l o c k , S t i l l a - r e p a i r i n g , ever out of frame, And never going a r i g h t , b e i n g a watch, But being watch'd that i t may s t i l l go ri g h t ' . Nay, to be p e r j u r ' d , which i s worst of a l l , And, among t h r e e , t o l o v e the worst o f a l l , A w h i t e l y wanton, wit h a v e l v e t brow, With two p i t c h - b a l l s stuck i n her face f o r eyes Ay, and by heaven, one th a t w i l l do the deed Though Argus were her eunuch and her guard'. And I t o s i g h f o r her 1 to watch f o r her'. To pray f o r her I. Go t o I i t i s a plague That Cupid w i l l impose f o r my n e g l e c t • Of h i s almighty d r e a d f u l l i t t l e might. W e l l , I w i l l l o v e , w r i t e , s i g h , pray, sue, and groan. Some men must l o v e my l a d y , and some Joan. (III.i . 1 9 1 - 2 0 7 ) D e s p i t e h i s e f f o r t s to deny the power of Woman's beauty, Berowne gives i n t o l o v e . Soon he i s competing with h i s f r i e n d s i n p r a i s i n g t h e i r l a d i e s . I n A c t IV, Scene i i i , each of the four men t r i e s t o outdo the other i n h i s l a v i s h p r a i s e of his loved one. Such praise i s conventional i n i t s extravagance and reveals that a l l are caught i n the throes of courtly love. The power of woman!s beauty and of love have captivated the men, and Berowne speaks for a l l i n his lengthy discussion of woman and love ( I V . i i i . 2 9 0 - 3 6 4 ) which r e c a l l s Castiglione's doctrine of the power of woman's beauty. The theme of courtly love i n thi s play i s dealt with, also, on a lower l e v e l . Armado, the Spaniard who affects courtly manners and graces, i s presented as an example of the absurdities associated with courtly love. Jaquenetta i s only a country wench, but Armado pursues her i n courtly s t y l e . His scenes of love-making are ri d i c u l o u s as i s his l e t t e r , cast i n a courtly s t y l e , which sings 1 her praises. He experiences the usual melancholy and i s addicted to writing poetry i n praise of his "lady." The extreme end'to which courtly love brings him, a burlesque 1 'By heaven, that thou art f a i r i s most i n f a l l i b l e ; true that thou art beauteous; truth i t s e l f that thou art lovely. More f a i r e r than f a i r , b e autiful than beauteous, truer than truth i t s e l f , have commiseration on thy heroical vassal'. . . . S h a l l I command thy love? I may. S h a l l I enforce thy love? I could. S h a l l I entreat thy love? I w i l l . What shalt thou exchange for rags? Robes. For t i t t l e s ? T i t l e s . For thyself? Me. Thus expecting thy reply, I profane my l i p s on thy foot, my eyes on thy picture, and my heart on thy every part. 'Thine, i n the dearest design of industry, Don Adriano de Armado.' ' (IV.i.60-89) f i g u r e o f a c o u r t i e r , i s s e e n when C o s t a r d r e v e a l s t h a t J a q u e n e t t a has b e e n p r e g n a n t f o r two months. Armado f i n a l l y a d m i t s h i s f o l l y and, l i k e t h e K i n g and h i s l o r d s who a r e put on t r i a l f o r a y e a r , i s d i s m i s s e d , h a v i n g "vow'd t o J a q u e n e t t a t o h o l d t h e p l o u g h f o r h e r sweet l o v e t h r e e y e a r " ( V . i i . 8 9 2 - 8 9 4 ) . No c o u r t i e r i n t h i s p l a y i s s u c c e s s f u l i n l o v e . D e s p i t e t h e a t t e n t i o n p a i d t o t h e l a d i e s , none y i e l d s t o h e r l o v e r . U n l i k e t h e t r a d i t i o n a l c o u r t l y l a d y who i s c r u e l a t f i r s t , b u t i s n o t d e a f t o h e r l o v e r ' s s u i t , t h e P r i n c e s s and h e r companions r e m a i n f i r m i n t h e i r answers t o t h e i r l o v e r s . I n d i s g u i s i n g t h e m s e l v e s t o mock t h e men, t h e l a d i e s show t h a t t h e y a r e more t h a n c o n v e n t i o n a l f i g u r e s . R o s a l i n e , f o r example, seems t o be a n y t h i n g b u t a c o u r t l y l a d y i n s t a t i n g h e r o p i n i o n o f Berowne and i n h e r d e s i r e t o make a f o o l o f him: T h e y a r e worse f o o l s t o p u r c h a s e m o c k i n g s o . T h a t same Berowne I ' l l t o r t u r e e r e I go. 0 t h a t I fenew he were b u t i n by t h ' week 1 How I w o u l d make him fawn, and b e g , and s e e k , A&d w a i t t h e s e a s o n , and o b s e r v e t h e t i m e s , A n d s pend h i s p r o d i g a l w i t s i n b o o t l e s s rhyme And shape h i s s e r v i c e w h o l l y t o my h e s t s , And make him p r o u d t o make me p r o u d t h a t j e s t So p e r t a u n t - l i k e w o u l d I o'ersway h i s s t a t e T h a t he s h o u l d be my f o o l , and I h i s f a t e . ( V . i i . 5 9 - 6 8 ) T h i s i s a d e v a s t a t i n g m ockery o f c o u r t l y l o v e and i t s c o n v e n t i o n s . B e f o r e t h e l a d i e s have f i n i s h e d w i t h t h e i r w o o e r s , a l l f o u r men have b e e n made t o f e e l f o o l i s h . The P r i n c e s s d e s c r i b e s t h e noblemen's abandonment o f t h e i r o a t h i n a p t t e r m s : 58 T h a t s p o r t b e s t p l e a s e s t h a t d o t h l e a s t know how: Where z e a l s t r i v e s t o c o n t e n t , and t h e c o n t e n t s D.ies i n t h e z e a l o f t h a t w h i c h i t p r e s e n t s . T h e i r f o r m c o n f o u n d e d makes most f o r m i n m i r t h When g r e a t t h i n g s l a b o u r i n g p e r i s h i n t h e i r b i r t h . ( V . i i . 5 1 7 - 5 2 1 ) Berowne c a n b u t r e p l y : A r i g h t d e s c r i p t i o n o f o u r s p o r t , my l o r d . ( V . i i . 5 2 2 ) S h a k e s p e a r e ' s s a t i r i c a l t r e a t m e n t o f c o u r t l y l o v e i s s u s t a i n e d t o t h e end o f t h e p l a y . T h e r e i s no r e p e n t a n c e on t h e p a r t o f t h e l a d i e s who,, e v e n a f t e r news i s b r o u g h t o f t h e K i n g o f F r a n c e ' s d e a t h , have t i m e t o make a s t u t e a p p r a i s a l s o f t h e i r l o v e r s and t o s e t a t r i a l p e r i o d o f one y e a r on e a c h b e f o r e t h e y d e p a r t f o r t h e c o u r t o f F r a n c e . E a c h l a d y , we s e e , wants more t h a n t h e l i p - s e r v i c e o f c o u r t l y l o v e . T h e r e f o r e t h e y do n o t t a k e t h e i r men a t f a c e v a l u e b u t put t h e l o v e o f e a c h on t r i a l . Berowne summarizes t h e e n d i n g o f t h e p l a y : Our w o o i n g d o t h n o t end l i k e an o l d p l a y : J a c k h a t h n o t G i l l . T h e s e l a d i e s ' c o u r t e s y M i g h t w e l l have made o u r s p o r t a comedy. ( V . i i . 8 8 3 - 8 8 5 ) C o u r t l y t l o v e has n o t b e e n t r i u m p h a n t and t h e p l a y c l o s e s l e a v i n g us t h i n k i n g t h a t u n l e s s t r u e l o v e , upon w h i c h m a r r i a g e can be b a s e d , grows f r e e l y i n t h e y e a r o f t r i a l , t h e n s u r e l y l o v e ' s l a b o u r w i l l be l o s t . S h a k e s p e a r e ' s t r e a t m e n t o f t h e c o u r t l y theme i n The Two G e n t l e m e n o f V e r o n a i s n o t as gay as i n L o v e ' s L a b o u r ' s L o s t . V a r i o u s a t t i t u d e s t o c o u r t l y l o v e a r e 59 p r e s e n t e d b y t h e c h a r a c t e r s i n t h e p l a y , and v e r y few o f t h e s e a t t i t u d e s l e a v e a f a v o r a b l e i m p r e s s i o n upon t h e a u d i e n c e . F u r t h e r m o r e , t h e c o n f l i c t , a t r a d i t i o n a l one, b etween f r i e n d s h i p and l o v e p u s h e s t h e s a c r i f i c e o f l o v e f o r f r i e n d -s h i p t o an a b s u r d i t y and t h u s d e g r a d e s t h e n o b l e r p a s s i o n o f l o v e . Though c o u r t l y l o v e ends i n f r u i t i o n and h a p p i n e s s f o r a l l , s t i l l t h e s a t i r e i n t h e p l a y e x p o s e s t h e a b s u r d i t i e s and u n r e a l i t i e s i n h e r e n t i n t h e c o u r t l y code and makes t h e a u d i e n c e aware o f i t s w e a k n e s s e s . The p l o t o f The Two G e n t l e m e n o f V e r o n a g i v e s t h e d r a m a t i s t ample o p p o r t u n i t y t o examine c o u r t l y l o v e and t o s a t i r i z e i t . V a l e n t i n e , t h e m a i n c h a r a c t e r i n t h e p l a y , s c o r n s l o v e and c h i d e s h i s f r i e n d , P r o t e u s , f o r b e i n g i t s s l a v e . W h i l e P r o t e u s , who l o v e s J u l i a , s t a y s i n V e r o n a , V a l e n t i n e i s s e n t t o t h e c o u r t a t M i l a n . However, A n t o n i o , t h e f a t h e r o f P r o t e u s s o o n c u t s s h o r t h i s s o n ' s l o v e - m a k i n g and s e n d s h i m a f t e r V a l e n t i n e . Upon j o i n i n g V a l e n t i n e , P r o t e u s f i n d s t h a t l o v e has c a p t u r e d h i s f r i e n d who r e v e a l s h i s p l a n n e d e l o p e m e n t w i t h S i l v i a . P r o t e u s i s so overcome w i t h l o v e f o r S i l v i a , upon s e e i n g h e r , t h a t he b e t r a y s t h e s a c r e d bond o f b r o t h e r h o o d and t e l l s S i l v i a ' s f a t h e r ( t h e Duke o f M i l a n ) o f t h e p l a n n e d e l o p e m e n t . V a l e n t i n e i s b a n i s h e d f r o m t h e c o u r t and P r o t e u s i s f r e e t o p u r s u e S i l v i a . I n t h e meantime, J u l i a d i s g u i s e s h e r s e l f as a page and e n t e r s t h e s e r v i c e o f h e r l o v e r , P r o t e u s , where she i s f r e e t o o b s e r v e h i s u n f a i t h f u l n e s s . S i l v i a r e j e c t s t h i s f a l s e l o v e r and r e n o u n c e s him as a t r a i t o r t o l o v e and f r i e n d s h i p . W i t h t h e a i d o f t h e f a i t h f u l k n i g h t , S i r E g l a m o u r , she goes i n s e a r c h o f V a l e n t i n e who i s now t h e n o b l e c a p t a i n o f a b a n d o f b r i g a n d s . I n t h e m e l o d r a m a t i c denouement, P r o t e u s r e s c u e s S i l v i a f r o m t h i s b a n d o f b r i g a n d s and demands a r e w a r d f r o m h e r f o r t h i s s e r v i c e . B e f o r e he c a n f o r c e h e r t o sub m i t t o h i s demands, V a l e n t i n e a p p e a r s . A f t e r P r o t e u s r e p e n t s , V a l e n t i n e o f f e r s t o r e n o u n c e a l l h i s c l a i m t o S i l v i a ; b u t a f i n a l r e v e l a t i o n , t h a t t h e page i s t h e f a i t h f u l J u l i a , f a c i l i t a t e s a s a t i s f a c t o r y r e u n i o n o f e a c h c o u p l e . The s i t u a t i o n r e v e a l e d i n t h e p l o t i s w e l l s u i t e d t o s a t i r e . P r o t e u s , who a c t u a l l y g a i n s more o f o u r a t t e n t i o n t h a n t h e p r o t a g o n i s t , d e g e n e r a t e s f r o m an i d e a l c o u r t l y 2 l o v e r t o an i n c o n s t a n t f r i e n d and l o v e r , f i l l e d w i t h l u s t and d e c e i t . When we see him i n the. e a r l y p a r t o f t h e p l a y he i s the t r u e l o v e r o f J u l i a and t h e c h e r i s h e d f r i e n d o f V a l e n t i n e . V a l e n t i n e s a y s o f him: Y e t h a t h S i r P r o t e u s ( f o r t h a t ' s h i s name) Made u s e and f a i r a d v a n t a g e o f h i s d a y s — H i s y e a r s b u t yo u n g , b u t h i s e x p e r i e n c e o l d ; H i s h e a d u n m e l l o w e d , b u t h i s judgment r i p e ; And i n a word ( f o r f a r b e h i n d h i s w o r t h Comes a l l t h e p r a i s e s t h a t I now bestow) He i s c o m p l e t e i n f e a t u r e and i n mind W i t h a l l good g r a c e t o g r a c e a g e n t l e m a n . ( I I . i v . 67-74-) P r o t e u s ' f a t h e r a l s o t h i n k s h i g h l y o f h i s s o n and, i n s e n d i n g ' 2 The e s t r a n g e m e n t o f t h e f r i e n d s , V a l e n t i n e and P r o t e u s , r e c a l l s the theme o f C h a u c e r ' s Knight,,'s, T a l e where, b e c a u s e b o t h l o v e the same l a d y , P a l a m o n~and"Arcite become b i t t e r enemies i n t h e i r p u r s u i t o f E m e l y e . him to the court of M i l a n , he hopes t h a t Proteus w i l l become the counterpart of the i d e a l c o u r t i e r . When Panthino d e s c r i b e s to Proteus' f a t h e r the advantages of t r a i n i n g i n t h i s c o u r t , as f o l l o w s : There s h a l l he p r a c t i c e t i l t s and tournaments, Hear sweet d i s c o u r s e , converse w i t h noblemen, And be i n eye o f every e x e r c i s e Worthy h i s youth and nobleness o f b i r t h . ( I . i i i . 3 0 - 3 3 ) we can expect Proteus to r e t u r n a c o u r t i e r worthy of C a s t i g l i o n e ' s i d e a l . B e f o r e p a r t i n g f o r M i l a n , Proteus takes a solemn oath of f a i t h f u l n e s s : Here i s my hand f o r my true constancy; And when that hour o ' e r s l i p s me i n the day Wherein I s i g h not, J u l i a , f o r thy sake, The next ensuing hour some f o u l mischance Torment me f o r my l o v e ' s f o r g e t f u l n e s s 1 ( I I . i i . 8 - 1 2 ) We soon l e a r n t h a t he i s n e i t h e r the t r u e l o v e r J u l i a expects him to be nor the noble c o u r t i e r h i s f a t h e r i n t e n d s . Treachery becomes h i s f a v o r i t e pastime as he b e t r a y s V a l e n t i n e and seeks to dupe the d u l l c o u r t i e r , T h u r i o , out of the love-match being arranged by S i l v i a ' s f a t h e r , the Duke of M i l a n . There i s a s t r o n g l y s a t i r i c a l v e i n i n the i n s t r u c t i o n s on how to woo a l a d y which Proteus d e l i v e r s to T h u r i o : You must l a y lime to t a n g l e her d e s i r e s By w a i l f u l sonnets, whose composed rhymes Should be f u l l fraught with s e r v i c e a b l e vows. • • • Say that upon the a l t a r o f her beauty You s a c r i f i c e your t e a r s , your s i g h s , your h e a r t , Write t i l l your i n k be dry, and with your t e a r s Moist i t again; and frame some f e e l i n g l i n e That may d i s c o v e r such, i n t e g r i t y . A f t e r your d i r e - l a m e n t i n g e l e g i e s , V i s i t by n i g h t your l a d y ' s chamber window With some sweet consort. To t h e i r instruments Tune a d e p l o r i n g dump. The n i g h t ' s dead s i l e n c e W i l l w e l l become such sweet-complaining grievance. T h i s , or e l s e n o t h i n g , w i l l i n h e r i t her. ( I I I . i i . 6 8 - 8 7 ) Here i s an unmistakable d e p r e c i a t i o n of the f a s h i o n a b l e Pe t r a r c han l o v e conventions."" The Duke's answer to Proteus u n d e r l i n e s the s a t i r e and i n s i n c e r i t y i n t h i s d e s c r i p t i o n o f c o u r t i n g : T h i s d i s c i p l i n e shows thou hast been i n l o v e . ( I I I . i i . 8 8 ) Indeed, Shakespeare seems to be s a y i n g , " I f t h i s i s the d i s c i p l i n e of l o v e , cannot you see the f a l s i t y and shallowness behind the d o c t r i n e s of c o u r t l y l o v e ? " P r o t e u s , the a n t i t h e s i s of c h i v a l r y and c o u r t l i n e s s , i s made to q u e s t i o n one of the most important i d e a l s o f c o u r t l y l o v e , constancy, i n h i s l a s t s i g n i f i c a n t speech: ' T i s t r u e . 0 heaven, were man But constant, he were p e r f e c t 1 . That one e r r o r F i l l s him w i t h f a u l t s , makes him run through a l l th' s i n s . (V.iv.110-112) T h i s man who f a i l e d as a c o u r t i e r and who could not be constant seems to be saying that constancy i s r a r e r than the conventions w i l l admit. I n r e a l i t y , l o v e i s ' c h a n g e f u l and . u n p r e d i c t a b l e i n i t s course, and constancy i s i m p o s s i b l e , except as an i d e a l which can never be a t t a i n e d . Just as Proteus i s a major source o f the s a t i r e on c o u r t l y l o v e i n t h i s p l ay so i s V a l e n t i n e . V a l e n t i n e i s the p e r f e c t f r i e n d and l o v e r who m a i n t a i n s a r o m a n t i c i d e a l i s m b u t can r e n o u n c e l o v e f o r f r i e n d s h i p i n t h e end. When we f i r s t meet him, he a p p e a r s t o be a r e a l i s t i c young ,nobleman who s c o r n s c o u r t l y l o v e and i t s c o n v e n t i o n s : To be i n l o v e , where s c o r n i s b o u g h t w i t h g r o a n s ; Coy l o o k s w i t h h e a r t - s o r e s i g h s ; one f a d i n g moment's m i r t h W i t h t w e n t y w a t c h f u l , w eary, t e d i o u s n i g h t s : I f h a p l y won, p e r h a p s a h a p l e s s g a i n ; I f l o s t , why t h e n a g r i e v o u s l a b o u r won; However — b u t a f o l l y b o u g h t w i t h w i t , Or e l s e a w i t - b y f o l l y v a n q u i s h e d . ( I . I . 29 -35) T h i s s c o f f i n g a t t i t u d e t o l o v e i s s h o r t - l i v e d and s o o n V a l e n t i n e s u f f e r s t h e u s u a l symptoms i n f a l l i n g i n l o v e w i t h S i l v i a ( I I . i v . 1 2 8 - 1 4 2 ) . He r e m a i n s c o n s t a n t i n h i s l o v e f o r h e r u n t i l f r i e n d s h i p i n t e r v e n e s . E v e n when P r o t e u s i s r e v e a l e d as e v i l and d e c e i t f u l , V a l e n t i n e r e a d i l y s u r r e n d e r s h i s l o v e d one i n r e s p o n s e t o a b r i e f s u p e r f i c i a l a p o l o g y . I n t h i s e p i s o d e S h a k e s p e a r e makes i t c l e a r t h a t c o u r t l y l o v e c a n be s u p e r f i c i a l . I n d o i n g s o , he u l t i m a t e l y d e g r a d e s , 3 V a l e n t i n e whom he had b u i l t up as an i d e a l c o u r t i e r , f o r V a l e n t i n e , i n a f i n a l a p p r a i s a l , a p p e a r s t o be an i n e f f e c t u a l h e r o who i s duped b e c a u s e o f h i s own s e n t i m e n t a l i t y and h i s a r t i f i c i a l d e v o t i o n t o h i s f r i e n d . 3 E v e n t h e murderous b r i g a n d s c o u l d see t h a t V a l e n t i n e f u l f i l l e d t h e r e q u i r e m e n t s o f t h e i d e a l c o u r t i e r : . . . A n d p a r t l y , s e e i n g y o u a r e b e a u t i f i e d W i t h g o o d l y s h a p e , and by y o u r own r e p o r t A l i n g u i s t , and a man o f s u c h p e r f e c t i o n . A s we do i n o u r q u a l i t y much want — ( I V . i . 5 5 - 5 8 ) 64 In addition to Proteus and Valentine, another courtier i s a source of s a t i r e on courtly love i n t h i s play. Thurio, who has been a contender for S i l v i a ' s hand, does not deserve the name of courtier. He cannot make love e f f e c t i v e l y , i n the customary manner, and he i s incapable of displaying the chivalry expected of him. When threatened lby Valentine's sword, he h a s t i l y resigns his claim to S i l v i a and makes a comment which i s r e a l i s t i c but unbecoming to one of his class: I hold him but a f o o l that w i l l endanger His body for a g i r l that loves him not. (V.iv. 133-134) This knight i s not of the s t u f f of Sidney's or Spenser's heroes. In addition to noting the mockery which the courtly class makes of courtly love, one cannot miss the r e f l e c t i o n s cast upon i t by the low comic characters i n this play. As i n Love's Labour's Lost, Shakespeare's treatment of love i n these low characters i s a s i g n i f i c a n t part of his attitudes towards courtly love. Speed and Launce, on the low l e v e l , provide the chief c r i t i c i s m of love and serve as contrasts to the courtly lovers. Speed's comments on the conventional lover are an important source of s a t i r e . His description of how he can t e l l that Valentine i s i n love i s worth quoting i n f u l l . Marry, by these special marks: f i r s t , you have l e a r n 1 d , l i k e S i r Proteus, to wreathe your arms l i k e a malcontent; to r e l i s h a love song l i k e a robin redbreast; to walk alone l i k e one that had the pestilence; to sigh l i k e a schoolboy that had lost his A B C ; to weep l i k e a young.wench that had buried her grandam; to fast l i k e one that 65 takes di e t ; to watch l i k e one that fears robbing; to speak puling l i k e a beggar at Hallowmas. You were wont, when you laughed,' to crow like, a cock; when you walk'd, to walk l i k e one of the l i o n s ; when you fasted, i t was presently after dinner; when you look 1 d sadly, i t was for want of money. And now you are metamorphis 1d with a mistress, that, when I look on you, I can hardly think you my master. (II . i . 18-34-) Here i s keen observation and an astute appraisal of the lover. In addition to functioning as a c r i t i c i s of love, Speed serves another purpose. Though he i s only a f o o l i n the play, he can see through deceptions that his master cannot. Speed quickly sees that S i l v i a has tricked Valentine into writing a love l e t t e r to h i m s e l f ( I I . i . I l . l 5 4 f f . ) . This episode serves to point to the true value of the clown as a commentary on the action of the play. Launce i s also important i n his r o l e , as a source of sa t i r e on the courtly theme. He describes his own love a f f a i r i n a coarse, unromantic manner i n an interlude with Speed which follows on the banishment of Valentine. I t i s si g n i f i c a n t that Shakespeare should present this low comedy interlude at a point i n the play when we are most interested i n the separation of the lovers. We cannot f a i l to notice that Launce, as he catalogues the charms of his wench, 4 parodies the Petrarchan lady. One incident regarding Launce, 4 Some of her charms include: "She can milk," "She brews good ale," "She can wash and scour," and "She can spin." Launce also l i s t s her vi c e s : "She i s not to be kiss'd f a s t i n g , i n respect of her breath," "She doth talk i n her sleep," "She i s proud," "She hath no teeth," and "She i s too l i b e r a l . " (III.I.260-374) may be t a k e n as an i m p o r t a n t comment on t h e whole theme o f c o u r t l y l o v e . I n A c t I V , Scene i v , he s a c r i f i c e s h i s own dog i n p l a c e o f t h e one w h i c h P r o t e u s gave h i m t o p r e s e n t t o S i l v i a . He t h i n k s he i s d o i n g t h e r i g h t t h i n g , b u t a c t u a l l y he i s n o t . T h i s e p i s o d e i s r e c a l l e d when V a l e n t i n e s a c r i f i c e s h i s l o v e f o r t h e f r i e n d s h i p o f P r o t e u s . A g a i n t h i s i s t h e wrong . t h i n g t o do. The s a c r i f i c e o f L a u n c e , w h i c h was w e l l - m e a n t b u t wrong, s e r v e s t o u n d e r l i n e t h e i n c o m p a t i b i l i t i e s and u n r e a l i t i e s o f t h e c o u r t l y c o n v e n t i o n s . S h a k e s p e a r e i s p o i n t i n g t o t h e u n s a t i s f a c t o r y a s p e c t s o f c o u r t l y l o v e f r o m t h e low l e v e l as w e l l as f r o m t h e h i g h . T h o u g h h i s c r i t i c i s m o f c o u r t l y l o v e i s n o t d e s t r u c t i v e o r b i t t e r i t i s condemning. I n 4 s J T o u _ L j . k e _ . l t , a p l a y w r i t t e n much l a t e r t h a n t h e two we have c o n s i d e r e d , t h e s a t i r i c a l a t t i t u d e t o c o u r t l y l o v e i s c o n t i n u e d . S h a k e s p e a r e t a k e s a common E l i z a b e t h a n p l o t i n w h i c h a c o u r t i e r i s p u r s u e d by a d i s g u i s e d l a d y who l o v e s him. I n t h i s s t o r y a r e f o u n d t y p i c a l e x i l e d c o u r t i e r s who l e a d a, happy l i f e i n an i d y l l i c , i m a g i n a r y . f o r e s t w h i c h , somehow, i s . i n h a b i t e d b y t h e s h e p h e r d s o f p a s t o r a l t r a d i t i o n . The d r a m a t i s t , i n a c c e p t i n g t h i s m a t e r i a l , makes f u l l u s e o f t h e s i t u a t i o n s and t h e c o n t r a s t s o f v a r i o u s c h a r a c t e r s w h i c h i t p r o v i d e s i n o r d e r t o r e v e a l t h e a r t i f i c i a l i t y o f t h e c o u r t l y theme. A n emphasis i s p l a c e d upon r e a l i s m and n a t u r a l n e s s i n l o v e and even s u c h a t y p i c a l c o u r t l y l o v e r as O r l a n d o who s i g h s , s u f f e r s , and w r i t e s i n s i p i d l o v e l y r i c s becomes a g e n u i n e l o v e r , f i n a l l y . The t r i u m p h o f n a t u r a l l o v e p u s h e s a s i d e c o u r t l y l o v e , a f t e r t h e l a t t e r has b e e n much s a t i r i z e d . H e r e a g a i n , as i n L o v e r s Labour' us L o s t and The Tlo„.£gn£le.Sen .of V e r o n a , S h a k e s p e a r e s a t i r i z e s c o u r t l y l o v e t h r o u g h a l l g r o u p s i n t h e p l a y . The l o v e o f t h e c l o w n , T o u c h s t o n e , f o r A u d r e y p r o v i d e s a comment on c o u r t l y l o v e and a b u r l e s q u e o f i t . T o u c h s t o n e has o n l y a c r u d e o p i n i o n o f l o v e : i t i s t h e a n i m a l d e s i r e o f man f o r woman. H i s l o v e - m a k i n g i s g r o t e s q u e b u t t h r o u g h him, w i t h h i s d i s l i k e f o r i n s i n c e r i t y and a f f e c t a t i o n , WE r e a l i z e j u s t how f a l s e a r e t h e p r i n c i p l e s u n d e r l y i n g t h e p a s t o r a l f a n t a s i e s w h i c h e n t e r t a i n t h e c o u r t l y s o c i e t y . H i s s c o r n f o r t h e a r t i f i c i a l l a n d where c o u r t i e r s and l a d i e s a r e f r e e d f r o m t h e i r c a r e s stamps h i m as t h e common s e n s e man: A y , now am I i n A r d e n , t h e more f o o l I i When I was a t home, I was i n a b e t t e r p l a c e ; b u t t r a v e l l e r s must be c o n t e n t . ( I I . i v . 1 6 - 1 8 ) A r d e n l a c k s t h e r e a l i t i e s t h a t T o u c h s t o n e so v a l u e s , b u t he t r i e s h a r d t o p o i n t o u t t h e a r t i f i c i a l i t i e s f o u n d t h e r e , and i n d o i n g so he c o n s t a n t l y r e m i n d s us t h a t a common e v e r y d a y w o r l d e x i s t s . H i s a t t i t u d e t o c o u r t l y l o v e i s s e e n when he r i d i c u l e s O r l a n d o , t h e t y p i c a l c o u r t l y l o v e r . H i s p a r o d y o f O r l a n d o ' s s o n n e t s d e p r e c i a t e s t h e c o n v e n t i o n o f s o n n e t e e r i n g and mocks t h e c u s t o m o f p r a i s i n g t h e l a d y : I f a h a r t do l a c k a h i n d , L e t him s e e k o u t R o s a l i n d e . I f t h e c a t w i l l a f t e r k i n d , So be s u r e w i l l R o s a l i n d e . W i n t e r garments must be l i n ' d , So must s l e n d e r R o s a l i n d e . T h e y t h a t r e a p must s h e a f and h i n d , T h e n t o c a r t w i t h R o s a l i n d e . S w e e t e s t n u t h a t h s o u r e s t r i n d , S u c h a n u t i s R o s a l i n d e . He t h a t s w e e t e s t r o s e w i l l f i n d Must f i n d l o v e ' s p r i c k , and R o s a l i n d e . ( I I I . i i . 1 0 6 - 1 1 8 ) The l o v e - m a k i n g o f S i l v i u s and Phebe h e l p s t o r e i n f o r c e T o u c h s t o n e ' s s a t i r e o f t h e c o u r t l y l o v e r s i n a p a s t o r a l s e t t i n g . T h e s e two a r e n a t i v e t o t h i s s e t t i n g and p a r o d y t h e l a n g u a g e o f p a s t o r a l l o v e r s . S i l v i u s , t h e s e n t i m e n t a l s h e p h e r d , employs t h e u s u a l e x t r a v a g a n t c o n c e i t s o f t h e c o u r t i e r i n h i s wooing o f Phebe, and i n d o i n g so he shows how a b s u r d a c o u r t i e r w o o i n g a s h e p h e r d e s s c a n 5 be. Phebe i s c r u e l i n h e r r e p l i e s , as a c o u r t l y 5 He d e s c r i b e s what b e i n g i n l o v e i s : I t i s t o be a l l made o f s i g h s and t e a r s ; And so am I f o r Phebe. » • • I t i s t o be a l l made o f f a i t h and s e r v i c e And so am I f o r Phebe. • • • I t i s t o be a l l made o f f a n t a s y , A l l made o f p a s s i o n , and a l l made o f w i s h e s , A l l a d o r a t i o n , duty, and o b s e r v a n c e , A l l h u m b l e n e s s , a l l p a t i e n c e , and i m p a t i e n c e , A l l p u r i t y , a l l t r i a l , a l l o b e d i e n c e ; And so am I f o r Phebe. ( V . i i . 9 1 - 1 0 5 ) 69 6 lady might be, and i n being c r u e l she helps to s a t i r i z e c o u r t l y l o v e . I n the denouement, love f i n a l l y triumphs but i t i s not because of the c o u r t l y wooing of S i l v i u s , but r a t h e r because he remained f a i t h f u l , even when Phebe was i n f a t u a t e d w i t h the d i s g u i s e d R o s a l i n d . Another important source of the s a t i r e on c o u r t l y love i s to be found i n Jaques. H i s c y n i c a l comments on the i d y l l i c s i t u a t i o n s i n the play help to support the s a t i r e of Touchstone. As a professed s a t i r i s t , Jaques' p o s i t i o n i s very c l e a r and he becomes an important c r i t i c of c o u r t l y s o c i e t y as he seea i t . Much of h i s scorn i s d i r e c t e d at the c o u r t l y lover.. I n h i s famous d e s c r i p t i o n of the seven ages of man, he n e a t l y tags the conventional l o v e r : And then the l o v e r , S i g h i n g l i k e furnace, w i t h a woful b a l l a d Made to h i s mistress' eyebrow. (II.vii.147-149) T h i s unfavorable opinion of the l o v e r i s upheld i n Jaques' encounter w i t h Orlando i n Act I I I , scene i i . Here he takes a frank d i s l i k e to l o v e r s such as Orlando and chides the c o u r t i e r : I would not be thy executioner. I f l y thee, f o r I would not i n j u r e thee, Thou t e l l ' s t me there i s murder i n mine eye: 'Tis p r e t t y , sure and very probable That eyes, that are the f r a i l ' s t and s o f t e s t t h i n g s , Who shut t h e i r coward gates on atomies, Should be c a l l 1 d t y r a n t s , butchers, murtherers i Now I do frown on thee with a l l my heart; And i f mine eyes can wound, now l e t them k i l l thee '. Now c o u n t e r f e i t to swound . . . . (III.v.8-17) The w o r s t f a u l t you have i s t o he i n l o v e . ( 1 . 299) Though J a q u e s i s p e r h a p s t o o b i t t e r i n h i s s a t i r e he t a k e s a d e f i n i t e s t a n d a g a i n s t u n r e a l i t y and a r t i f i c i a l i t y . He s e e s t h e c o u r t as "pompous" and does n o t want t o r e t u r n t o i t . F u r t h e r m o r e , h i s c o n d e m n a t i o n o f l o v e c a n n o t be t a k e n t o mean t h a t he d i s t r u s t s and condemns i t a l t o g e t h e r . I n t h e end, he s a y s t o O r l a n d o when he i s p a i r i n g t o g e t h e r t h e c o u p l e s t o c o n c l u d e t h e p l a y : Y o u t o a l o v e t h a t y o u r t r u e f a i t h d o t h m e r i t . . . .7 ( V . i v . 1 9 4 ) B e c a u s e he r e c o g n i z e s t r u e l o v e we c a n a t t a c h some s i g n i f i c a n c e t o h i s s a t i r e and n o t m e r e l y d i s m i s s i t as t h e g r u m b l i n g o f a d i s c o n t e n t e d m i s f i t . The most e f f e c t i v e s a t i r e on c o u r t l y l o v e i n As Y o u L i k e I t comes f r o m R o s a l i n d . She i s a p e r f e c t example o f t h e h i g h - b o r n , c u l t i v a t e d , w i t t y c o u r t l y l a d y , - y e t she i s r e a l . I n h e r c o n s t a n t r i d i c u l i n g o f c o u r t l y l o v e she r e t a i n s h e r d i g n i t y and womanly charm. H e r e i s a v o i c e f o r a n a t u r a l r e a l i s t i c l o v e , s t r i p p e d o f a r t i f i c i a l i t y and a f f e c t a t i o n . T h i s c o u r t l y l a d y has no d e l u s i o n s about h e r own s e x . H e r d e s c r i p t i o n o f t h e l o v e d one and w i f e i s f a r removed f r o m t h e c o n v e n t i o n a l i d e a l i z e d l a d y : M a i d s a r e May when t h e y a r e m a i d s , b u t t h e s k y c h a n g es when t h e y a r e w i v e s . I w i l l be more j e a l o u s o f t h e e t h a n a B a r b a r y c o c k - p i g e o n o v e r h i s hen, more c l a m o u r o u s t h a n a p a r r o t a g a i n s t r a i n , 7 I t must be remembered, t h o u g h , t h a t J a q u e s i s p e r f o r m i n g a m e c h a n i c a l f u n c t i o n o f p u t t i n g : a l l t h i n g s s t r a i g h t f o r t h e c o n c l u s i o n . more newfangled than an ape, more giddy i n my desires than a monkey. I w i l l weep for nothing, l i k e Diana i n the fountain, and I w i l l do that when you are dispos'd to be merry; I w i l l laugh l i k e a hyen, and that when thou art i n c l i n ' d to sleep. (IV. i . 148-157) S t i l l more s a t i r i c a l i s the account of a courtly lady being wooed which Rosalind gives to Orlando when she (disguised as Ganymede) t e l l s how she took the part of a lady to cure a lover: He was to imagine me his love, his mistress; and I set him every day to woo me. At which time would I, being a moonish youth, grieve, be effeminate, changeable, longing, and l i k i n g , proud, f a n t a s t i c a l , apish, shallow, and inconstant, f u l l of tears, f u l l of smiles; for every passion something and for no passion t r u l y anything, as boys and women are for the most part c a t t l e of t h i s colour . . . . (III.ii.427 - 4 3 6 ) Rosalind's perception here i s as sharp as i t i s i n her description of the customary courtly lover. She has been taught to recognize him by her Uncle and i n t e l l i n g Orlando that he does not have the appearance of such a lover, she mocks this type:: A lean cheek, which you have not; a blue eye and sunken, which you have not; a beard neglected, which you have not. • . . Then your hose should be ungarter'd, your bonnet unhanded, your sleeve unbutton'd, your shoe untied, and everything about you demonstrating a careless desolation. (III.ii.392-401) Rosalind's s a t i r e - o f the lady and the courtier i s matched with her sa t i r e of courtly love. She condemns love as madness (III*ii.420-424), but recognizes that a l l are susceptible to i t , even herself. S t i l l she cannot abide the nonsense found i n the courtly code. She sees love as desirable but sees i t i n i t s true relationship to man and l i f e . The courtly lover, l i k e Orlando, who would die for love i s denounced: The poor world i s almost s i x thousand years old, and i n a l l t h i s time there was not any man died i n his own person, v i d e l i c e t , i n a love cause. T r o i l u s had his brains dash'd out with a Grecian club; yet he did what he could to die before, and he i s one of the patterns of love. . . . But these are a l l l i e s . Men have died from time to time, and worms have eaten them, but not for love. (IV.i.94-108) This i s not a cynical appraisal of r e a l love, for Rosalind, i n the same scene, i s quick to admit to C e l i a that she i s i n love: 0 coz, coz, coz, my pretty l i t t l e coz, that thou didst know how many fathoms deep I am i n love. (11. 209-211) Though she i s quick to r i d i c u l e the a r t i f i c i a l love banter of Phebe, S i l v i u s , and Orlando as the "howling of I r i s h wolves against the moon" (V.ii.119), Rosalind i s also quick to recognize the true worth of genuine devotion. Her advice to Phebe may be given for a l l sincere lovers: Down on your knees, And thank heaven, f a s t i n g , for a good man's love . . . . (III.v.57-58) Rosalind's appraisal of love i n which she upholds s i n c e r i t y and faithfulness and condemns a r t i f i c i a l i t y and sham, labels courtly love as egregious. There i s no mistaking the i n t e n t i o n of the dramatist who uses nearly every c h a r a c t e r i n As You L i k e I t t o convey some a t t i t u d e towards l o v e and, i n h i s process o f c o n t r a s t i n g the d i f f e r e n t kinds o f l o v e r s , makes one of the most a c t i v e , w i t t i e s t , and best o f h i s women the spokesman f o r r e a l and s i n c e r e l o v e . C l e a r l y , Shakespeare was on the side o f t r u e , n a t u r a l l o v e . L n Love^s_Labour_.s_Lost, The Two Gentlemen of Veron,a, and AsJ_ou_LjJce_It, Shakespeare demonstrates h i s a b i l i t y to judge a set of conventions which were of common vogue i n h i s day. He does not t r e a t them d e s t r u c t i v e l y or denounce them as unacceptable but r a t h e r uses them t o poi n t out the common weaknesses o f mankind. By showing us how human beings conduct themselves when they accept f a l s e i d e a l s , Shakespeare suggests that there i s a more genuine set o f v a l u e s . Since he was aware o f the worst aspects o f c o u r t l y l o v e , i t i s to be expected that s a t i r e should 8 r e c u r i n many of h i s p l a y s . However, Shakespeare's i n t e r e s t i n the c o u r t l y theme extended beyond that o f s a t i r i z i n g i t as one may see by examining other p l a y s . 8 For example, i n Romeo and J u l i e t , much of the f i r s t act i s given to s a t i r i z i n g the c o n v e n t i o n a l pose o f Romeo i n h i s l o v e f o r the c r u e l , unheeding R o s a l i n e . CHAPTER IV THE COURTLY" THEME MD COMEDY A Midsummer N i g h t ' s Dream T w e l f t h , N i g h t H e n r y IV ( P a r t I ) H e n r y V CHAPTER IV There i s one group o f p l a y s i n which Shakespeare uses the c o u r t l y theme i n a v e i n o f comedy. Though, i n doing so, he i s o f t e n not f a r removed from s a t i r e , s t i l l t h e re i s a g e n t l e r and more f u n - l o v i n g a i r about the treatment o f l o v e i n these p l a y s than there was i n those we have j u s t considered. I n A, Midsummer N i g h t ' s Dream, T w e l f t h N i g h t , Henry, IV .(Part I),, and Henry, V c o u r t l y l o v e i s a source o f amusement. Shakespeare, i n these p l a y s , avoids the s e r i o u s n e s s w i t h which many of h i s contemporaries t r e a t e d the theme. As a r e s u l t , h i s l o v e o f fun f i n d s vent i n these plays and no s e r i o u s i s s u e i s allowed t o mar the comic atmosphere i n which c o u r t l y l o v e i s presented. The comic atmosphere i s p a r t i c u l a r l y dominant i n A Midsummer Night's, Dream. There are ample l o v e adventures i n the court o f Theseus and i n the enchanted wood near Athens where the v a r i o u s c o u r t l y l o v e sentiments are bandied about. I n the imaginary world o f t h i s p l ay the i r r a t i o n a l i t y of l o v e i s given f r e e r e i n and the comedy a r i s e s out of l u d i c r o u s s i t u a t i o n s . The impulsiveness o f love causes Lysander, Demetrius, Hermia, and Helena to f l e e i n t o the wood where the nature o f t h e i r p a s s i o n i s exposed f o r a l l t o laugh a t . T h e i r c o u r t l y p oise i s soon abandoned and they become u n r e s t r a i n e d , quarrelsome i n d i v i d u a l s . I n t h i s same wood, T i t a n i a (the f a i r i e s ' c o u n t e r p a r t o f a c o u r t l y lady) becomes i n f a t u a t e d w i t h B o t t o m , t h e weaver w i t h t h e h e a d o f an a s s . T h i s e p i s o d e r e d u c e s l o v e t o t h e l e v e l o f f a r c e and p r o v i d e s a c o n t r a s t t o t h e l o v e o f t h e c o u r t l y - f i g u r e s . No harm comes o f t h e s t r a n g e i n c o n g r u i t i e s i n t h e wood, f o r , b e f o r e t h e l o v e r s c a n i n j u r e one a n o t h e r and b e f o r e T i t a n i a c a n c a r r y h e r l o v e - m a k i n g t o o f a r , a l l i s r i g h t e d w i t h t h e m a g i c h e r b . Though we a r e made t o r e a l i z e t h a t l o v e has i t s e x t r a v a g a n c e s and a b s u r d i t i e s , we a l s o r e a l i z e t h a t i t has i t s amusing s i d e . A Midsummer N i g h t ' s Dream, i s a r o m a n t i c comedy w h i c h a p p e a l s t o t h e f a n c y w i t h i t s f a i r i e s , m a g i c h e r b s , and i t s f l o w i n g , l y r i c a l p o e t r y . I n f i d e l i t y i n l o v e i s h a n d l e d t r i v i a l l y a m i d s t t h e i m p o s s i b l e r e v e r s e s o f t h e p l a y , a d e q u a t e l y commented upon by B o t t o m , when he s t a t e s t h e themes " . . . r e a s o n and l o v e k e e p l i t t l e company . . ." (III.i.136-137). The p l o t , w h i c h i s f r i v o l o u s , u n f o l d s t h e a d v e n t u r e s o f two p a i r s o f young l o v e r s ( H e r m i a and L y s a n d e r and H e l e n a and D e m e t r i u s ) who s t r u g g l e t h r o u g h a d v e r s i t y , h i n d r a n c e s , and c r o s s r e l a t i o n s h i p s t o a c o n c l u s i o n w h i c h i s a c c e p t a b l e t o a l l . T h i s happy denoue-ment i s b r o u g h t about by s u p e r n a t u r a l a g e n t s . O b e r o n , a s s i s t e d by P u c k , t a n g l e s and u n t a n g l e s t h e p l o t w i t h t h e j u i c e s f r o m m a g i c h e r b s . T h i s c a p r i c i o u s a c t i v i t y o f t h e f a i r i e s f i n a l l y l e a d s t o t h e happy u n i o n o f H e l e n a and D e m e t r i u s w h i l e d o i n g no s e r i o u s harm t o t h e l o v e o f H e r m i a and L y s a n d e r . A l l t h i s m a g i c i s h a r d l y t h e m a c h i n e r y o f s e r i o u s drama, b u t i s r a t h e r t h a t o f l i g h t e n t e r t a i n m e n t d e s i g n e d t o d e l i g h t and amuse t h e E l i z a b e t h a n a u d i e n c e . The p l a y has two s e t t i n g s : one p l a c e d i n a n c i e n t A t h e n s where t h e a n a c h r o n i s t i c f i g u r e s f r o m E n g l i s h r u s t i c l i f e a r e s e e n and where t h e c o u r t o f Duke T h e s e u s h o l d s sway i n a r a t i o n a l , d a y l i g h t w o r l d . The o t h e r , i n d i r e c t c o n t r a s t t o t h e f i r s t , i s p l a c e d i n an e n c h a n t e d wood where t h e f a i r i e s r u l e ; - and where a l l i s p e r m e a t e d by f a n c y and 1 e n c h a n t i n g m o o n l i g h t . S u c h a p l o t and s e t t i n g g i v e ample o p p o r t u n i t y f o r t h e comedy w h i c h S h a k e s p e a r e p r e s e n t s i n h i s h a n d l i n g o f c o u r t l y l o v e i n t h i s p l a y . T h o s e c h a r a c t e r s w h i c h a r e p r e s e n t e d as c o u r t l y f i g u r e s i n c l u d e T h e s e u s , H i p p o l y t a , L y s a n d e r , H e r m i a , H e l e n a , and D e m e t r i u s . T h e s e u s i s a n o b l e g e n t l e m a n o f t h e R e n a i s s a n c e . He p o s s e s s e s t h e q u a l i t i e s w h i c h S h a k e s p e a r e most a d m i r e d I n t h e E l i z a b e t h a n nobleman: l e a d e r s h i p , s u p e r i o r i t y , and an a w areness o f h i s d u t y as a l e a d e r a c c o m p a n i e d w i t h t o l e r a n c e , k i n d n e s s , a s e n s e o f a u t h o r i t y , 2 and a c o o l r e a s o n . H i s b e t r o t h e d , H i p p o l y t a , i s o n l y l i g h t l y s k e t c h e d as a h a u g h t y c o u r t l y l a d y p o s s e s s i n g a 1 T h i s f a n c i f u l s e t t i n g r e c a l l s t h e i d y l l i c l o c a l e o f S i d n e y ' s A r c a d i a . 2 W i t h t h e l o v e o f T h e s e u s and H i p p o l y t a , S h a k e s p e a r e i n j e c t s a s e r i o u s n o t e i n t o t h e theme o f c o u r t l y l o v e . T h e s e two d e m o n s t r a t e t h a t l o v e s h o u l d l e a d t o a r a t i o n a l , s u b s t a n t i a l , and s a t i s f y i n g u n i o n a f t e r t h e f r e n z i e d o v e r - e m o t i o n a l p e r i o d o f y o u t h f u l c o u r t s h i p has p a s s e d . The l o v e o f t h e s e two i s n o t so much t h e c o u r t l y t y p e o f l o v e as i s t h a t o f t h e young c o u p l e s . R a t h e r , i t i s t h e l o v e o f a s e n s i b l e , r e s p o n s i b l e c o u p l e and s e r v e s t o u n d e r l i n e t h e e x t r a v a g a n c e s o f l o v e w h i c h t h e young c o u p l e s i n d u l g e i n . d i s t i n c t p l e a s u r e i n t h e n o b l e s p o r t o f h u n t i n g . The two y o u n g c o u p l e s a r e c o n v e n t i o n a l c o u r t l y l o v e r s , H e l e n a and H e r m i a b e i n g more d i s t i n c t l y drawn t h a n D e m e t r i u s and L y s a n d e r . I n t h e e a r l y s c e n e s o f t h e p l a y we see a l l f o u r a t t h e c o u r t i n A t h e n s where t h e y a r e g u i d e d b y t h e manners and p o l i t e n e s s c u s t o m a r y i n t h e i r s o c i e t y . When a l l have f l e d i n t o t h e wood and t h e men have b e e n charmed w i t h t h e m a g i c a l h e r b s , t h e l o v e r s abandon t h e i r c o u r t l y p o i s e and p r o c e e d f r o m a b u s i n g e a c h o t h e r t o open q u a r r e l i n g . S u c h b e h a v i o r exposes t h e c o u r t l y c o n v e n t i o n s and h e l p s us t o see t h e c o u r t i e r and t h e l a d y i n a t r u e l i g h t . I n t h e i r p u r s u i t o f l o v e , H e l e n a , H e r m i a , L y s a n d e r , and D e m e t r i u s a r e c o u r t l y l o v e r s . They o f t e n r e f e r t o l o v e and t o each o t h e r i n c o n v e n t i o n a l d i c t i o n w h i c h r e c a l l s t h e c h i v a l r i c l o v e code i n s u c h words as " l o y a l t y , " " k n i g h t , " " g e n t l e n e s s , " and " c o u r t e s y . " H e r m i a says t o L y s a n d e r , when t h e y a r e t o g e t h e r i n t h e wood: B u t g e n t l e f r i e n d , f o r l o v e o f c o u r t e s y L i e f u r t h e r o f f . . . . ^11.ii.56-57) .and L y s a n d e r , p r o m i s i n g t o l o v e and p r o t e c t h e r , r e p l i e s : . . . t h e n end l i f e when I end l o y a l t y I ( I I . i i . 6 3 ) L a t e r i n the same scene when L y s a n d e r has b e e n charmed by O b e r o n ' s m a g i c j u i c e and wakes t o a d o r e H e l e n a , she a p p e a l s t o h i s h o n o r by s a y i n g : I t h o u g h t y o u l o r d o f more t r u e g e n t l e n e s s . ( I I . i i . 1 3 2 ) He r e p l i e s t o t h i s i n t r u e c o u r t l y f a s h i o n : A n d a l l my p o w e r s , a d d r e s s y o u r l o v e and m i g h t To h o n o u r H e l e n , and t o be h e r k n i g h t . ( I I . i i . 1 4 3 - 1 4 4 ) 79 I n a d d i t i o n t o u s i n g t h e s e s t o c k c o u r t l y p h r a s e s , L y s a n d e r and D e m e t r i u s p r o t e s t t h e i r l o v e i n a h i g h l y s t y l i z e d manner. The f o r m e r , i n A c t I , s c e n e i , c a r r i e s on a c o n v e r s a t i o n w i t h H e r m i a w h i c h c o n t a i n s a l l t h e b a l a n c e and a r t i f i c i a l i t y o f p o p u l a r euphuism. L a t e r , L y s a n d e r , when w o o i n g H e l e n a , s p e a k s w i t h t h i s same e u p h u i s t i c manner i n s p e e c h e s w h i c h a r e c a r e -3 f u l l y b a l a n c e d and c o n t a i n e x t r a v a g a n t c o n c e i t s . I n c o n t r a s t t o t h e s t y l e o f L y s a n d e r ' s p r o t e s t a t i o n s , D e m e t r i u s f o l l o w s w i t h an e l a b o r a t e , P e t r a r c h a n c a t a l o g u e o f H e l e n a ' s charms. He c a l l s h e r l i p s c h e r r i e s and s a y s h e r hand i s w h i t e r t h a n " T a u r u s ' snow" a f t e r h a v i n g r e f e r r e d t o h e r c r u e l t y as 4 m u r d e r i n g him. The p l a y i s f u l l o f s u c h c o n v e n t i o n s and one c a n n o t m i s s t h e f u n t h a t S h a k e s p e a r e i s h a v i n g w i t h them. One i m p o r t a n t s o u r c e o f t h e f u n i s f o u n d i n t h e Pyramus and T h i s b y i n t e r l u d e w h i c h b u r l e s q u e s c o u r t l y l o v e . H e r e t h e r u d e a r t i s a n s p r e s e n t a p l a y w h i c h p a r o d i e s t h e e x t r a v a g a n t c o u r t l y l o v e p h r a s e s . E v e r y t h i n g i s a b s u r d i n t h e i r p r e s e n t a t i o n : t h e l a n g u a g e o f l o v e m a k i n g , t h e ¥ h y s h o u l d you t h i n k t h a t I s h o u l d woo i n s c o r n ? S c o r n and d e r i s i o n n e v e r come i n t e a r s . L o o k , when I vow, I Weep; and vows so b o r n , I n t h e i r n a t i v i t y a l l t r u t h a p p e a r s . How c a n t h e s e t h i n g s i n me seem s c o r n t o y o u B e a r i n g t h e badge o f f a i t h t o p r o v e them t r u e ? (III.ii.1 2 2 - 1 2 7 ) So s h o u l d t h e m u r t h e r e d l o o k , and so s h o u l d I P i e r c ' d t h r o u g h t h e h e a r t w i t h y o u r s t e r n c r u e l t y , Y e t y o u , t h e m u r t h e r e r , l o o k as b r i g h t , as c l e a r , A s y o n d e r Venus i n h e r g l i m m e r i n g s p h e r e . ( I I I . i i . 5 8 - 6 1 ) 80 s i t u a t i o n where b o t h l o v e r s k i l l t h e m s e l v e s b e c a u s e t h e y draw h a s t y c o n c l u s i o n s t h a t t h e o t h e r i s d e a d , and t h e a r t i f i c i a l p o e t r y s p o k e n by e a c h b e f o r e d y i n g . I n t h i s s c e n e , one o f t h e f u n n i e s t S h a k e s p e a r e e v e r w r o t e , c o u r t l y l o v e i s t h o r o u g h l y mocked. A n o t h e r s o u r c e o f amusement i n A Midsummer Night'^s Dream i s t h e wood s e t t i n g and i t s e f f e c t u pon t h o s e who e n t e r i t . T i t a n i a , i n a d d r e s s i n g O b e r o n , r e c a l l s a theme p o p u l a r i z e d by S i d n e y i n h i s A r c a d i a : , . . . . b u t I know When t h o u h a s t s t o l ' n away f r o m f a i r y l a n d , And i n t h e shape o f C o r i n s a t a l l day, P l a y i n g on p i p e s o f c o r n , and v e r s i n g l o v e To amorous P h i l l i d a . ( I I . i . 6 4 - 6 8 ) T h i s s e r v e s t o r e m i n d us o f t h e f a n c i f u l n o t i o n o f n o b l e m e n and l a d i e s b e i n g l o s t i n some i d y l l i c l a n d where t h e y c o u l d s p o r t w i t h s h e p h e r d s and s h e p h e r d e s s e s . However, we n o t i c e how t h i s n o t i o n i s mocked, i n d i r e c t l y , when we o b s e r v e B o t t o m t r a n s f o r m e d i n t o a g r o t e s q u e f i g u r e w i t h an a s s 1 h e a d b e i n g wooed by t h e queen o f t h e f a i r i e s and when we o b s e r v e how t h i s i d y l l i c s e t t i n g can a l t e r t h e a f f e c t i o n s o f D e m e t r i u s and L y s a n d e r w i t h u n p l e a s a n t r e s u l t s * When S h a k e s p e a r e g e t s t h e f o u r c o u r t l y l o v e r s , H e r m i a , H e l e n a , L y s a n d e r , and D e m e t r i u s i n t o t h e wood he i s f r e e t o have h i s fun. w i t h t h e i r l o v e - m a k i n g . . On e n t e r i n g t h e e n c h a n t e d w o r l d o f t h e f a i r i e s , t h e s e f o u r e n t e r a w o r l d where o n l y t h e i l l o g i c a l n e s s o f a dream r u l e s . H e r e t h e u n r e a s o n o f human e x p e r i e n c e t r i u m p h s and t h e l o v e r s who o a l y ) 81 a few h o u r s b e f o r e were d e c l a r i n g v e h e m e n t l y t h e i r l o v e and d e v o t i o n a r e soon, q u a r r e l i n g . L y s a n d e r , who a t c o u r t l o v e d H e r m i a , now d e c l a r e s h i s l o v e f o r H e l e n a . D e m e t r i u s , who once l o v e d H e l e n a b u t who t u r n e d h i s a f f e c t i o n t o H e r m i a , i s once more ( t h i s t i m e by t h e means o f m a g i c ) a t t r a c t e d t o H e l e n a . T o c o m p l i c a t e t h i n g s f u r t h e r , t h e two f a s t f r i e n d s , H e l e n a and H e r m i a , s o o n f a l l o u t . One c a n see i m m e d i a t e l y t h a t S h a k e s p e a r e was h a v i n g f u n w i t h t h e s e l o v e r s who d e m o n s t r a t e how c a p r i c i o u s l o v e r e a l l y i s . The c h a n g e f u l n e s s , i r r a t i o n a l i t y , and b r e v i t y o f l o v e a r e c l e a r l y s e e n . The c o u r t l y l o v e a d v e n t u r e s i n t h e wood a r e a s o u r c e o f l i g h t -h e a r t e d , c a r e f r e e e n j o y m e n t , on t h e s u r f a c e . U n d e r n e a t h i t a l l , we r e a l i z e t h e e xtreme t o w h i c h t h i s i r r a t i o n a l t y p e o f f a n c i f u l l o v e c a n go. T i t a n i a , t h e d e l i c a t e queen o f t h e f a i r i e s , i s f o u n d making l o v e t o a weaver w i t h an a s s ' h e a d : t h e r e i s n o t h i n g c o u r t l y a b o u t t h i s . U n d e r l y i n g t h e whole amusing t r e a t m e n t o f l o v e i s a n o t h e r theme w h i c h o n l y g e n t l y p o i n t s o u t a n o t h e r s i d e . T h i s i s t h e l o v e o f T h e s e u s and H i p p o l y t a w h i c h grows out o f a s t e a d y , s e a s o n e d , and b a l a n c e d a t t i t u d e t o t h e e m o t i o n w h i c h c l e a r l y i d e a l i z e s m a r r i a g e . I n t h i s p l a y , S h a k e s p e a r e c h o s e t o t r e a t l o v e i n a gay manner and i n so d o i n g h a d c o n s i d e r a b l e f u n w i t h t h e c o u r t l y l o v e theme. The same gay, c o m i c mood i s t o be f o u n d i n T w e l f t h N i g h t . I n A Midsummer Night',s Dream S h a k e s p e a r e had e x p o s e d t h e t r u e n a t u r e o f t h e y o u ng c o u r t l y l o v e r s . H e r e , i n T w e l f t h _ N i g h t , he r e v e a l s t h a t c o u r t l y l o v e c a n m i s l e a d l o v e r s . As i n the former p l a y , t h i s r e v e l a t i o n i s made on v a r i o u s l e v e l s , hut no c o m p l i c a t i o n i s s e r i o u s enough to mar the happy ending. O l i v i a , O r s i n o , S i r Andrew Aguecheek and M a l v a l i o are a l l m i s l e d i n t h e i r p u r s u i t o f c o u r t l y l o v e and the c o n f u s i o n has an important e f f e c t on V i o l a and S e b a s t i a n . However, c o u r t l y l o v e ends i n happiness f o r O l i v i a , O r s i n o , V i o l a , and S e b a s t i a n , and no one i s much concerned w i t h the f a t e o f S i r Andrew and M a l v o l i o . The main p l o t of t h i s p l a y provides comedy on a 5 h i g h l e v e l . There i s superb i r o n y i n the r o l e of V i o l a , whose d i s g u i s e as a page, C e s a r i o , i s a source of c o n f u s i o n to her a s s o c i a t e s and a source of amusement to the audience. Coming to the c o u r t of I l l y r i a , i n d i s g u i s e , V i o l a f a l l s i n l o v e with Duke Orsino while engaged as h i s love-messenger to the Countess O l i v i a . O l i v i a , who uses the death of her b r o t h e r as an excuse to remain secluded from a l l would-be c o u r t i e r s and f o r t u n e - h u n t e r s , spurns the Duke's l o v e -messages, f a i t h f u l l y r e c i t e d by V i o l a (as C e s a r i o ) , but f a l l s d e s p e r a t e l y i n l o v e w i t h the young page. To add to 5 V i o l a gives the c o m i c . s i t u a t i o n o f t h i s main p l o t i n r e f e r r i n g t o O l i v i a and O r s i n o : My master l o v e s her d e a r l y ; And I (poor monster) fond as much on him; And she (mistaken) seems to dote on me. What w i l l become of t h i s ? As I am man, My s t a t e i s desperate f o r my master's l o v e . As I am woman (now a l a s the day 1.), What t h r i f t l e s s sighs s h a l l poor O l i v i a breathe. ( I I . i i . 3 4 - 4 0 ) '83 t h e c o n f u s i o n , V i o l a ' s t w i n b r o t h e r , S e b a s t i a n , a p p e a r s and i s m i s t a k e n f o r h i s d i s g u i s e d s i s t e r . O l i v i a i m m e d i a t e l y u r g e s S e b a s t i a n t o e n t e r a bond o f m a r r i a g e and V i o l a f i n a l l y makes a l l c l e a r by r e v e a l i n g h e r t r u e s e x . The Duke has a r a p i d , c o n v e n i e n t s h i f t o f a f f e c t i o n w h i c h s a t i s f i e s 6 t h e y e a r n i n g o f V i o l a . The s i t u a t i o n i n t h i s m a i n p l o t gave S h a k e s p e a r e a n a t u r a l s o u r c e o f comedy w h i c h he u t i l i z e d t o show t h e humorous a s p e c t s o f c o u r t l y l o v e . T h e s e humorous a s p e c t s c a n be s e e n a l l t h r o u g h T w e l f t h N i g h t i n t h e f u t i l e l o v e o f O r s i n o f o r O l i v i a , i n t h e f u t i l e l o v e o f O l i v i a f o r V i o l a , and i n t h e s e e m i n g l y f u t i l e l o v e o f V i o l a f o r O r s i n o . The Duke f i r s t a p p e a r s as t h e t r a d i t i o n a l m e l a n c h o l y c o u r t i e r who i s s u f f e r i n g f o r l o v e . O l i v i a r e c o g n i z e s h i s n o b i l i t y . He i s a l l t h a t i s e x p e c t e d o f t h e I d e a l c o u r t i e r : Y e t I suppose him v i r t u o u s , know him n o b l e , O f g r e a t e s t a t e , o f f r e s h and s t a i n l e s s y o u t h ; I n v o i c e s w e l l d i v u l g ' d , f r e e , l e a r n ' d , and v a l i a n t , A n d i n d i m e n s i o n and t h e shape o f n a t u r e A g r a c i o u s p e r s o n . B u t y e t I c a n n o t l o v e him. He m i g h t have t o o k h i s answer l o n g ago. (I.v.277-282) 6 We m i g h t be amused by h i s p r u d e n t s h i f t o f a f f e c t i o n i f we remember how he e a r l i e r b o a s t e d t o h i s page t h a t he was an i d e a l l o v e r : Come h i t h e r , boy. I f e v e r t h o u s h a l t l o v e , I n t h e sweet pangs o f i t remember me; F o r s u c h as I am a l l t r u e l o v e r s a r e , U n s t a i d and s k i t t i s h i n a l l m o t i o n s e l s e S ave i n t h e c o n s t a n t image o f t h e c r e a t u r e . T h a t i s b e l o v ' d . (II.iv.15-20) 84 O l i v i a ' s r e f u s a l of one so noble and c o u r t l y shows the progress that woman has made towards independence si n c e the days of the troubadours when ishe was bound to r e c i p r o c a t e with her love i f her l o v e r were deserving. O l i v i a , however, does not y i e l d and Orsino's p e r s i s t e n t s u i t , c a r r i e d by V i o l a , 7 becomes quite amusing. V i o l a has learned her message w e l l and her r e c i t a l of Orsino 1 s l o v e , set i n Petrarchan language, i s funny to the audience who know what i s behind the d i s g u i s e and what V i o l a ' s true f e e l i n g s are. One f e e l s when V i o l a i s d e l i v e r i n g , i n high c o u r t l y tone, the Petrarchan p r a i s e of O l i v i a which Orsino has taught her that i t i s only h a l f -hearted: 'Ti s beauty t r u l y b l e n t , whose red and white Nature's own sweet and cunning hand l a i d on. Lady, you are the c r u e l l ' s t she a l i v e I f you w i l l l e a d these graces to the grave, And leave the world no copy. (I.v.257-261) O l i v i a remains deaf to such p r a i s e but the gentleness and the vat of V i o l a f a s c i n a t e her: Methinks I f e e l t h i s youth's p e r f e c t i o n s With an i n v i s i b l e and sub t l e s t e a l t h To creep i n at mine eyes. (I.v.315-317) Despite the e f f o r t s of V i o l a to discourage the advances of O l i v i a , t h i s c o u r t l y lady f a l l s h opelessly i n lov e . How amused we are when we see her abandon a l l her c o u r t l y poise Most r a d i a n t , e x q u i s i t e , and unmatchable beauty — I pray you t e l l me i f t h i s be the lady of the house, f o r I never saw her. I would be l o a t h to cast away my speech; f o r , besides that i t i s e x c e l l e n t l y w e l l penn'd, I have taken great pains t o con i t . Good beau t i e s , l e t me s u s t a i n no scorn. I am very comptible, even to the l e a s t s i n i s t e r usage. (I.v.181-188) 85 C e s a r i o by t h e r o s e s o f t h e s p r i n g , By m aidhood, h o n o u r , t r u t h , and e v e r y t h i n g , I l o v e t h e e so t h a t , maugre a l l t h y p r i d e , Nor w i t n o r r e a s o n c a n my p a s s i o n h i d e . Do n o t e x t o r t t h y r e a s o n s f r o m t h i s c l a u s e , F o r t h a t I woo, t h o u t h e r e f o r e h a s t no c a u s e ; B u t r a t h e r r e a s o n t h u s w i t h r e a s o n f e t t e r : L o v e s o u g h t i s good, b u t g i v e n u n s o u g h t i s b e t t e r . (III.i. 1 6 1 - 1 6 8 ) V i o l a ' s r e p l y i s f u l l o f i r o n y and, f o r t h e enjoyment o f t h e a u d i e n c e , g i v e s t h e t r u e s i t u a t i o n w h i l e i t o n l y s e r v e s t o make O l i v i a more d e s p e r a t e : By i n n o c e n c e I swear, and by my y o u t h , I have one h e a r t , one bosom, and one t r u t h , A n d t h a t no woman has ; n o r n e v e r none S h a l l m i s t r e s s be o f i t , s a v e I a l o n e . (III..1.1-69-172) So d e s p e r a t e I s O l i v i a t h a t she u r g e s the page t o r e t u r n , s u g g e s t i n g t h a t she may y e t h e e d O r s i n o ' s message. O f c o u r s e we k n o w t h a t she w i l l n o t . H e r ' l o v e f o r C e s a r i o has c a p t i v a t e d h e r t o t h e p o i n t where she becomes r e c k l e s s : What s h a l l y o u a s k o f me t h a t I ' l l deny, T h a t h o n o u r , s a v ' d , may upon a s k i n g g i v e ? (III.iv.2 3 1 - 2 3 2 ) O n l y t h e a r r i v a l on t h e s c e n e o f V i o l a ' s t w i n b r o t h e r , S e b a s t i a n , s a v e s O l i v i a . A f t e r S h a k e s p e a r e has e x t r a c t e d a maximum o f f u n f r o m t h e c o n f u s i o n i n t h i s p l o t , e v e r y t h i n g i s e x p l a i n e d and t h e c o u r t l y l o v e r s a r e bound i n m a r r i a g e . The c o n f u s i o n e v i d e n t i n t h e m a i n p l o t i s e c h o e d on a l o w e r l e v e l , w i t h t h e same amusing e f f e c t . B o t h M a l v o l i o , O l i v i a ' s s t e w a r d , and S i r Andrew A g u e c h e e k , t h e dupe and d r i n k i n g companion o f S i r T o b y B e l c h , a r e l e d a s t r a y by t h e i r a s p i r a t i o n s . M a l v o l i o i s a pompous, p r o u d , and n a r r o w - m i n d e d i n d i v i d u a l who t h i n k s he may w i n O l i v i a ' s hand and become C o u n t M a l v o l i o . T h o u g h he has a m b i t i o n s t o become a c o u r t i e r , 86 he i s h a r d l y n o b l e and makes no e f f o r t s t o woo O l i v i a i n t h e c o u r t l y s t y l e . O f c o u r s e , t o t h e E l i z a b e t h a n s , t h e i d e a t h a t t h i s man s h o u l d hope t o r i s e f r o m s t e w a r d t o m a s t e r o f h i s l a d y ' s e s t a t e w o u l d be l u d i c r o u s . M a l v o l i o i s d e g r a d e d f o r h i s s t u p i d i t y , c o n c e i t , and s e l f - r e g a r d i n g p r i d e by b e i n g i m p r i s o n e d by t h e r i o t o u s members o f O l i v i a ' s h o u s e , whom he 8 s c o r n s . However, h i s d e g r a d a t i o n i s n o t m a l i c i o u s b u t becomes t h e s o u r c e o f much o f t h e comedy i n t h e p l a y . M a r i a , i n d i s c l o s i n g h e r p l a n t o make a f o o l o f M a l v o l i o , s t a t e s c l e a r l y t h a t i t i s t o be done i n f u n : He has b e e n y o n d e r i ' t h e s u n p r a c t i s i n g b e h a v i o u r t o h i s own shadow t h i s h a l f h o u r . O b s e r v e him, f o r t h e l o v e o f mockery; f o r I know t h i s l e t t e r w i l l make a c o n t e m p l a t i v e i d i o t o f him. C l o s e , i n t h e name o f j e s t i n g ' . ( I I . v . 1 7 - 2 2 ) M a l v o l i o , as we w o u l d e x p e c t , f a l l s f o r t h e t r i c k . He i s t o o p r o u d and f o o l i s h t o r e a l i z e t h a t i t i s u n l i k e l y t h a t s u c h a c o u r t l y l a d y as O l i v i a w o u l d w r i t e s u c h a l e t t e r as he f i n d s . T h i s l e t t e r , composed by M a r i a , i s a s o u r c e o f much f u n , f o r we r e a l i z e t h a t t h i s i s h e r i d e a o f a c o u r t l y c h a r a c t e r : Some a r e b o r n g r e a t , some a c h i e v e g r e a t n e s s , and some have g r e a t n e s s t h r u s t upon 'em. Thy F a t e s open t h e i r hands; l e t t h y b l o o d and s p i r i t embrace them; and t o i n u r e t h y s e l f t o what t h o u a r t l i k e 8 M a l v o l i o i s o f t e n p l a y e d t r a g i c a l l y b u t i t seems u n l i k e l y t h a t S h a k e s p e a r e i n t e n d e d t h i s . M a l v o l i o p r o v i d e s u s w i t h much amusement when we c o n s i d e r what h i s a m b i t i o n s t o become a c o u r t l y l o v e r do t o him. T h a t S h a k e s p e a r e d i d n o t -want us t o a t t a c h t o o much s i g n i f i c a n c e t o h i s p u n i s h m e n t seems e v i d e n t f o r O l i v i a d i s m i s s e s him f r o m o u r minds w i t h h e r p a t r o n i z i n g comment: He h a t h b e e n most n o t o r i o u s l y a b u s ' d . ( V . i . 3 8 7 ) o7 to be, cast thy humble slough and appear f r e s h . Be opposite with a kinsman, s u r l y with s e r v a n t s . L e t thy tongue tang arguments of s t a t e ; put t h y s e l f i n the t r i c k of s i n g u l a r i t y . Thus she advises thee that s i g h s f o r thee. Remember who commended thy y e l l o w s t o c k i n g s and wish'd to see thee ever c r o s s - g a r t e r ' d . (II.v .157-167) Alas'. M a l v o l i o f o l l o w s t h i s f o o l i s h advice and i n doing so becomes no c o u r t i e r . I n a d d i t i o n , he b e w i l d e r s the l a d y he would win and makes her t h i n k he i s mad. When O l i v i a t u rns him over to S i r Toby B e l c h , M a l v o l i o i s made the l a u g h i n g stock of the servants and the two r i o t o u s k n i g h t s , S i r Toby and. S i r Andrew. C o u r t l y l o v e has made a g u l l of M a l v o l i o and the r i d i c u l e he s u f f e r s seems to be h i s j u s t reward. S i r Andrew Aguecheek, i n h i s a s p i r a t i o n s , rounds out the comedy on c o u r t l y l o v e . T h i s shadow o f a> knight i s no s o l d i e r , s c h o l a r , or l o v e r . So s t u p i d i s he that he l e t s S i r Toby spend h i s income o f three thousand ducats a year, on the promise that S i r Toby w i l l win h i s n i e c e , O l i v i a , f o r him. ' S i r Andrew has not f o l l o w e d the normal p u r s u i t s of the c o u r t i e r , as he t e l l s us, h i m s e l f : I would I had bestowed that time i n the tongues t h a t I have i n f e n c i n g , dancing, and b e a r - b a i t i n g . 0, had I but f o l l o w e d the a r t s '. ( I . i i i . 9 7 - 9 9 ) Furthermore, he c o u l d never q u a l i f y as a c o u r t l y l o v e r . He has no i d e a of how to go about wooing a l a d y and when he hears V i o l a d e l i v e r i n g the extravagant p r a i s e s of O r s i n o to O l i v i a , S i r Andrew b e l i e v e s he i s seeing j u s t how one makes l o v e and so he w r i t e s down the phrases f o r h i s own use: 88 That youth's a r a r e c o u r t i e r . 'Rain odours' — well'. • • • 'Odours, r 'pregnant,' and 'vouchsafed' — I ' l l get 'em a l l three a l l ready. (III.i.97-102) We are amused at S i r Andrew who becomes j e a l o u s of V i o l a and imagines t h a t O l i v i a i s b e i n g prevented from paying a t t e n t i o n to him. I n Act I I I , scene i i , S i r Andrew i s ready t o leave but S i r Toby t r i e s to arouse the v a l o r which S i r Andrew does not possess. An amusing c h a l l e n g e i s w r i t t e n out and sent t o V i o l a who, being a woman, s h r i n k s from a d u e l . S i r Andrew i s rewarded f i n a l l y f o r h i s a s f l n i n i t y when, mi s t a k i n g S e b a s t i a n f o r V i o l a , he s t r i k e s the youth and, i n r e t u r n , has h i s "head broke a c r o s s . " L i k e M a l v o l i o , t h i s would-be c o u r t l y l o v e r gets j u s t what he deserves. I n S i r Andrew Aguecheek and M a l v o l i o , Shakespeare rounds out the comedy wi t h which c o u r t l y l o v e i s t r e a t e d i n Tw^elfth^Night. I n two h i s t o r y p l a y s , Hen^_IV___Part_IJ. and Henry__V, Shakespeare a l s o uses comedy i n d e a l i n g w i t h the c o u r t l y theme which i s -not, however, the main i n t e r e s t of the pl a y as i t was i n A J _ i i d s j u m m e r a n d Twelfth_J_ight. C o u r t l y l o v e enters i n c i d e n t a l l y but the comic tone i s c l e a r . I n a few b r i e f scenes o f Henry IV (Part I) we see the author p l a y i n g with the theme when he presents the l o v e s o f Hotspur and Mortimer f o r t h e i r wives. Hotspur i s a c o u r t l y nobleman whom K i n g Henry p r a i s e s : A son who i s the theme of honour's tongue, Amongst a grove the very s t r a i g h t e s t p l a n t ; Who i s sweet Fortune's minion and her pr i d e . . . . (I.i.81-83) However, H o t s p u r i s h a r d l y t h e a l l - r o u n d R e n a i s s a n c e c o u r t i e r , f o r he i s t o o f o n d o f m aking war. The K i n g makes t h i s c l e a r hy r e f e r r i n g t o him as . . . M a r s i n s w a t h l i n g c l o t h e s , T h i s i n f a n t w a r r i o r . . . . , ( I I I . i i . 1 1 2 - 1 1 3 ) T h i s a s p e c t o f H o t s p u r * s c h a r a c t e r i s so p r o n o u n c e d t h a t i t p u t s h i s l o v e f o r h i s w i f e , L a d y K a t h e r i n e , i n a s u b o r d i n a t e p o s i t i o n . The s c e n e where t h e s e two a r e p a r t i n g r e v e a l s t h e r e l a t i o n s h i p . So f i l l e d w i t h war i s H o t s p u r ' s ' mind t h a t i t makes him m e l a n c h o l y and makes h i m n e g l e c t h i s w i f e . She r e p o r t s how she has b e e n !'.a b a n i s h ' d woman f r o m my H a r r y ' s b e d " ( I I . i i i . 4 2 ) and how h i s dreams a r e o f war: I n t h y f a i n t s l u m b e r s I by t h e e have w a t c h ' d , And h e a r d t h e e murmur t a l e s o f i r o n w a r s , Speak terms o f manage t o t h y b o u n d i n g s t e e d , C r y 'Courage 1, t o t h e f i e l d 1 . ' And t h o u has t a l k ' d O f s a l l i e s and r e t i r e s , o f t r e n c h e s , t e n t s , O f p a l i s a d o e s , f r o n t i e r s , p a r a p e t s , O f b a s i l i s k s , o f cannon, c u l v e r i n , O f p r i s o n e r ' s ransom, and o f s o l d i e r s s l a i n , A n d a l l t h e c u r r e n t s o f a h eady f i g h t . ( I I . i i i . 5 0 - 5 8 ) T h i s c o u r t l y l o v e r i s u n l i k e t h e t r a d i t i o n a l one who s u f f e r s r e s t l e s s s l e e p s b e c a u s e o f h i s l o v e f o r h i s l a d y . So e n g r o s s e d i s H o t s p u r w i t h war t h a t he s c a r c e l y h e a r s h i s l a d y p r o t e s t , e v e n t h o u g h t h e y a r e t o p a r t w i t h i n two h o u r s . K a t h e r i n e must a s k : Do y o u n o t l o v e me? Nay, t e l l me i f you s p eak i n j e s t o r no. . ( I I . i i i . 1 0 1 - 1 0 2 ) I f H o t s p u r were t o deny h i s l o v e t h e r e s h o u l d be no humor i n t h e s i t u a t i o n . However, he does n o t : . . . when I am a - h o r s e b a c k I w i l l swear I l o v e t h e e I n f i n i t e l y . T h i s e v e n i n g must I l e a v e y o u , g e n t l e K a t e . I know you w i s e ; h u t y e t no f a r t h e r w i s e T h a n H a r r y P e r c y ' s w i f e ; c o n s t a n t y o u a r e , B u t y e t a woman; and f o r s e c r e c y , No l a d y c l o s e r , f o r I w e l l b e l i e v e T h ou w i l t n o t u t t e r what t h o u d o s t n o t know, And so f a r , w i l l I t r u s t t h e e , g e n t l e K a t e . ( I I . i i i . 109-115) We c a n see t h a t H o t s p u r l o v e s h e r , b u t w i t h a b r u s q u e n e s s n o t f o u n d i n t h e u s u a l c o u r t l y l o v e r . One o t h e r s i t u a t i o n i n t h i s p l a y i s a s o u r c e o f humor. We a r e amused by t h e l o v e s c e n e b e t w e e n M o r t i m e r and h i s w i f e , the d a u g h t e r o f G l e n d o w e r . M o r t i m e r s t a t e s t h e s i t u a t i o n : T h i s i s t h e d e a d l y s p i t e t h a t a n g e r s me — My w i f e c a n s p e a k no E n g l i s h , I no W e l s h . (III.I.192-193) I n s p i t e o f t h i s h a n d i c a p , we a r e t o l d by G l e n d o w e r t h a t h i s d a u g h t e r weeps and i s a l m o s t d i s t r a c t e d f o r l o v e . G l e n d o w e r , t o o u r amusement, must a c t as an i n t e r p r e t e r f o r t h e l o v e r s , and i t i s t h r o u g h him t h a t t h e i n t e n s i t y o f L a d y M o r t i m e r ' s p a s s i o n i s c o n v e y e d . Though t h i s e p i s o d e i s b r i e f , i t s e r v e s t o p o i n t out t h a t S h a k e s p e a r e c o u l d t r e a t c o u r t l y l o v e w i t h comedy, w i t h o u t d e g r a d i n g i t . I n H e n r j ^ J / , t h e r e i s an amusing i n t e r l u d e when H e n r y i s wooing t h e P r i n c e s s K a t h e r i n e . Though H e n r y i s t h e i d e a l p r i n c e , b e i n g c o u r t l y , w i s e , s c h o l a r l y , and b r a v e i n war, he i s v e r y s t r a i g h t f o r w a r d i n h i s l o v e r m a k i n g . I n s p e a k i n g h i s t r u e m i n d t o f a i r K a t h e r i n e , he l i g h t - h e a r t e d l y mocks t h e c o u r t i e r s who c a n make l o v e i n t h e a c c e p t e d , t r a d i t i o n a l manner. He c l a i m s t o be a r u d e s o l d i e r , i g n o r a n t o f t h e u s u a l l a n g u a g e o f l o v e : W i l l y o u v o u c h s a f e t o t e a c h a s o l d i e r t e r m s S u c h as w i l l e n t e r a t a l a d y ' s e a r And p l e a d h i s l o v e s u i t t o h e r g e n t l e h e a r t ? ( V . i i . 9 9 - 1 0 1 ) T h i s p l a i n k i n g , as he c a l l s h i m s e l f , i s i n d e e d no u s u a l c o u r t i e r : I know no ways t o mince i t i n l o v e b u t d i r e c t l y t o say ' I l o v e y o u .' T h e n , i f y o u u r g e me f a r t h e r t h a n t o s a y , 'Do you i n f a i t h ? ' I wear out my s u i t . G i v e me y o u r answer; i ' f a i t h ? do'. And so c l a p hands and a b a r g a i n . How say y o u , l a d y ? (V.ii.129-136) H e n r y f o l l o w s t h i s c o l l o q u i a l - s o u n d i n g a v o w a l o f l o v e w i t h a c o a r s e j e s t t h a t w o u l d have s h o c k e d t h e c o u r t i e r s , S i d n e y o r C a s t i g l i o n e : I f I c o u l d w i n a l a d y a t l e a p f r o g , o r b y v a u l t i n g i n t o my s a d d l e w i t h my armour on my b a c k , u n d e r t h e c o r r e c t i o n o f b r a g g i n g be i t s p o k e n , I s h o u l d q u i c k l y l e a p i n t o a w i f e . ( V . i i . 1 4 2 - 1 4 5 ) I t i s c l e a r t h a t H e n r y has n e i t h e r t h e manners n o r t h e s e n s i b i l i t y o f t h e t r a d i t i o n a l c o u r t i e r . I n t h e same s p e e c h he becomes s a t i r i c a l i n d e n o u n c i n g t h e u s u a l c o u r t l y l o v e r : F o r t h e s e f e l l o w s o f i n f i n i t e t o n g u e t h a t c a n rhyme t h e m s e l v e i n t o l a d i e s ' f a v o u r s , t h e y do a l w a y s r e a s o n t h e m s e l v e s o u t a g a i n . What'. A s p e a k e r i s b u t a p r a t e r ; a rhyme i s b u t a b a l l a d . A good l e g w i l l f a l l , a s t r a i g h t b a c k w i l l s t o o p , a b l a c k b e a r d w i l l t u r n w h i t e , a c u r l ' d p a t e w i l l grow b a l d , a f a i r f a c e w i l l w i t h e r , a f u l l eye w i l l wax h o l l o w ; b u t a good h e a r t , K a t e , i s t h e sun and t h e moon, o r r a t h e r , t h e s u n , and n o t t h e moon, f o r i t s h i n e s b r i g h t and n e v e r c h a n g e s , b u t k e e p s h i s c o u r s e t r u l y . ( V . i i . 164-175) D e s p i t e t h i s s a t i r i c a l and r e a l i s t i c a c c o u n t o f t h e l o v e r , t h e l o v e s c e n e between H e n r y and K a t h e r i n e r e t a i n s i t s humor. We a r e amused when H e n r y a c t u a l l y w i n s t h i s c o u r t l y l a d y , i n s p i t e o f h i s u n o r t h o d o x method o f w o o i n g h e r . T h i s p l a y , a l o n g w i t h H e n r ^ _ I V _ ^ P a r t ^ I j ) . , Twe 1 f t h _ M g h t , and A Midsummer Night',s Dream. s e r v e s t o show t h a t S h a k e s p e a r e c o u l d d e a l w i t h t h e c o n v e n t i o n s o f c o u r t l y l o v e and s t i l l k e e p an open mind. H i s t r e a t m e n t o f t h e c o u r t l y theme as comedy does n o t s p o i l t h e p l a y s and does n o t d e p r e c i a t e t h e theme. A c t u a l l y , t h e S h a k e s p e a r e c a n o n i s r i c h e r b e c a u s e o f s u c h t r e a t m e n t . CHAPTER V THE COURTLY THEME AND ROMANTIC LOVE Romeo, and . J u l i e t TheJ_;inter_.s_Tale Cymbeline CHAPTER V A n o t h e r example o f t h e v a r i e t y w i t h w h i c h S h a k e s p e a r e t r e a t s t h e c o u r t l y theme may he s e e n i n t h e t h r e e p l a y s , Romeo and J u l i e t , The W i n t e r ' s T a l e , and Cj r m h e l i n e . I n t h e s e t h r e e , S h a k e s p e a r e t a k e s the theme and shows i t i n r e l a t i o n t o r o m a n t i c l o v e . One c a n s e e , f r o m t h e s e p l a y s , t h a t t h e d r a m a t i s t r e n d e r s r o m a n t i c l o v e as a deep, g e n u i n e p a s s i o n w h i c h i s e x p e r i e n c e d by t h e young c o u p l e s i n v o l v e d . E a c h o f t h e s e r o m a n t i c l o v e r s g i v e s h i m s e l f f u l l y t o t h e l y r i c a l b e a u t y o f t h e e m o t i o n and, i n so d o i n g , shows t h a t he has r e a l h e a r t and s o u l . A l l t h e c h a r a c t e r s who e x p e r i e n c e r o m a n t i c l o v e - i n t h e s e p l a y s e i t h e r have o r want t h e permanence o f a s a t i s f y i n g , m a r r i e d l i f e . S u c h i o v e g i v e s s t r e n g t h t o a l l t o meet and overcome a d v e r s i t y . I n The W i n t e r ' s , T a l e and Cy.mbel.ine, t h e a d v e r s i t y so o f t e n s u f f e r e d by a l l young l o v e r s n e a r l y r e s u l t s i n t r a g e d y b u t ends i n h a p p i n e s s . I n Romeo^and 1 J u l i e t , t h i s i s n o t t h e c a s e . S t i l l t h e d e t e r m i n a t i o n w h i c h l e a d s b o t h l o v e r s t o p r e f e r d e a t h t o s e p a r a t i o n and d i s g r a c e comes f r o m t h e same s o u r c e as i n t h e o t h e r two p l a y s . I n a l l t h r e e , r o m a n t i c l o v e grows i n t o an i d e a l , t r u e 1 5SS§g-^§S<L.j u,ilet ends i n t r a g e d y b u t t h i s i s n o t t h e n a t u r a l outcome o f t h e i r l o v e . C i r c u m s t a n c e s made t h e i r l o v e an i l l - f a t e d one and, b u t f o r a mere a c c i d e n t w h i c h c a u s e d F r i a r J o h n t o be q u a r a n t i n e d and t h u s p r e v e n t e d him f r o m d e l i v e r i n g F r i a r L a u r e n c e ' s message t o Romeo, t h e i r l o v e w o u l d have l e d t o a happy l i f e . L a t e r , i n s t u d y i n g t h e c o u r t l y theme and t r a g e d y , we s h a l l see t h a t t h e t r a g i c c o n c l u s i o n o f O t h e l l o f o l l o w s n a t u r a l l y b e c a u s e o f t h e j e a l o u s l o v e o f t h e v a l i a n t Ifloor. 96 l o v e w h i c h means more t h a n l i f e o r d e a t h t o t h e young l o v e r s c o n c e r n e d . The a r t i f i c i a l i t y , e x t r a v a g a n c e , and p o i s e o f c o u r t l y l o v e a r e abandoned f o r a more s i n c e r e and mature a t t i t u d e t o w a r d s l o v e . However, t h e c o u r t l y p e r s o n a l i t i e s o f t h e p l a y s we have c o n s i d e r e d a r e s t i l l met i n Romeo .and J u l i e t , TheJVinter.'.s,,Tale, and Cy_mbeline. C o u r t l y v a l u e s a r e s t i l l e v i d e n t and a r e u p h e l d , g e n e r a l l y , b y t h e m a i n l o v e r s o f t h e s e t h r e e p l a y s . Perhaps i n no other play has Shakespeare better drawn the d i s t i n c t i o n between the extravagances of courtly love and the genuineness which grows from romantic love than he has i n Romeo and J u l i e t . Early i n the play we see Romeo languishing i n a hopeless infatuation for the cool Rosaline. His father describes Romeo's reaction which i s so t y p i c a l of the rebuffed courtly lover: Many a morning hath he there been seen, With tears augmenting the fresh morning's dew, Adding to clouds more clouds with his deep sighs; But a l l so'soon as the all-cheering sun Should i n the farthest East begin to draw The shady curtains from Aurora's bed, Away from l i g h t steals home my heavy son And private i n his chamber pens himself, Shuts up his windows, locks f a i r daylight out, And makes himself an a r t i f i c i a l night. Black and portentous must th i s humour prove Unless good counsel may the cause remove. (I.i.138-149) We are soon convinced that t h i s i s an accurate description when we hear Romeo describing the Petrarchan cruelty of his lady: She'11 not be h i t With Cupid's arrow. She hath Dian's wit, And, i n strong proof of chastity well arm'd From Love's weak c h i l d i s h bow she l i v e s unharm'd. She w i l l n o t s t a y t h e s i e g e o f l o v i n g t e r m s , Nor b i d e t h 1 e n c o u n t e r o f a s s a i l i n g e y e s , Nor ope h e r l a p t o s a i n t - s e d u c i n g g o l d . 0 , she i s r i c h i n b e a u t y ; o n l y p o o r T h a t , when she d i e s , w i t h b e a u t y d i e s h e r s t o r e . ( I .i.2 1 5 - 2 2 3 ) So overcome w i t h t h i s a f f e c t e d l o v e i s Romeo t h a t he i s made h e l p l e s s and c a n n o t j o i n i n t h e r e v e l r y o f h i s companions. I n r e f u s i n g t o j o i n them he s a y s o f C u p i d : I am t o o s o r e e n p i e r c e d w i t h h i s s h a f t To s o a r w i t h h i s l i g h t f e a t h e r s ; and so bound I c a n n o t bound a p i t c h above d u l l woe. Under l o v e ' s h e a v y b u r t h e n do I s i n k . ( I . i v . 1 9 - 2 2 ) T h i s i s a l l a p o s e , however, s i n c e Romeo i s n o t r e a l l y i n l o v e . When he s e e s J u l i e t he s u d d e n l y f o r g e t s h i s P e t r a r c h a n l a d y and h i s l u x u r i a t i n g i n l o v e : D i d my h e a r t l o v e t i l l now? F o r s w e a r i t , s i g h t i F o r I n e ' e r saw t r u e b e a u t y t i l l t h i s n i g h t . ( I . v . 54—55) Romeo i s soo n overcome by a p a s s i o n a t e l o v e . H i s v e r y f i r s t words w i t h J u l i e t a r e a r t i f i c i a l and r e c a l l L a n c e l o t 1 s t r e a t m e n t o f h i s l a d y as a r e l i g i o u s s h r i n e i n C h r e t i e n de 2 T r o y e s ' Roman de l a .C h a r r e t e : I f I p r o f a n e w i t h my u n w o r t h i e s t hand T h i s h o l y s h r i n e , t h e g e n t l e f i n e i s t h i s : My l i p s , two b l u s h i n g p i l g r i m s , r e a d y s t a n d To smooth t h a t r o u g h t o u c h w i t h a t e n d e r k i s s , ( I .v.9 5 - 9 8 ) However, Romeo i s r e c o g n i z e d by J u l i e t as b e i n g more t h a n a w o r s h i p p e r who mouths a r t i f i c i a l i t i e s . He i s w o r t h y o f h e r l o v e . E v e n h e r f a t h e r who h a t e s Romeo's f a m i l y s a y s o f t h e c o u r t l y y o u t h : 2 C f . C h a p t e r I , page 2 0 , above. 'A b e a r s h i m l i k e a p o r t l y g e n t l e m a n , And, t o s a y t r u t h , V e r o n a b r a g s o f him To be a v i r t u o u s and w e l l - g o v e r n ' d y o u t h . ( I . v . 6 8 - 7 0 ) The r e m a i n i n g f o u r a c t s w h i c h f o l l o w t h e e n c o u n t e r o f Romeo and J u l i e t b e a r o u t o l d C a p u l e t ' s a p p r a i s a l . Romeo i s no 3 l o n g e r t h e l o v e r o f t h e c o n v e n t i o n a l P e t r a r c h a n l o v e p o e t r y . D e s p i t e t h e i n t e n s e r i v a l r y b e t w e e n t h e C a p u l e t s and t h e M o n t a g u e s , b o t h Romeo and J u l i e t l e t no o b s t a c l e p r e v e n t t h e i r l o v e f r o m coming t o f r u i t i o n . J u l i e t i s so i n l o v e t h a t she w o u l d w i l l i n g l y g i v e up h e r f a m i l y name,. r e g a r d l e s s o f t h e c o n s e q u e n c e s o f s u c h a s t e p i n h e r s o c i e t y : 0 Romeo, Romeo 1, w h e r e f o r e a r t t h o u Romeo? Deny t h y f a t h e r and r e f u s e t h y name '. O r , i f t h o u w i l t n o t , be b u t sworn my l o v e , And I ' l l no l o n g e r be a C a p u l e t . ( I I . i i . 3 3 - 3 6 ) The f e u d o f t h e two f a m i l i e s c a n n o t b a r t h e l o v e o f t h e s e two n o r c a n t h e w a l l s o f t h e C a p u l e t o r c h a r d . Romeo overcomes a l l f e a r o f t h e C a p u l e t s and r i s k s h i s l i f e i n e n t e r i n g t h e f o r b i d d e n - g r o u n d s : 3 One s h o u l d n o t m i s s S h a k e s p e a r e ' s comic t r e a t m e n t o f c o u r t l y l o v e i h A c t I I , s c e n e i . H e r e M e r c u t i o i s ma k i n g f u n o f Romeo and h i s l o v e f o r R o s a l i n e : Romeo', humours', madman', p a s s i o n ' , l o v e r ' . A p p e a r t h o u i n t h e l i k e n e s s o f a s i g h ; S peak b u t one rhyme, and I am s a t i s f i e d ' . C r y b u t 'Ay me'.' p r o n o u n c e b u t ' l o v e ' and 'dove* . . . . ( 1 1 . 7 - 1 0 ) O f c o u r s e Romeo (who o v e r h e a r s t h i s m o c k i n g o f h i m s e l f ) i s now s i n c e r e l y i n l o v e w i t h J u l i e t . 99 W i t h l o v e ' s l i g h t w i n g s do I o ' e r p e r c h t h e s e w a l l s ; F o r s t o n y l i m i t s c a n n o t h o l d l o v e o u t , A n d what l o v e c a n do, t h a t d a r e s l o v e a t t e m p t T h e r e f o r e t h y k i n s m e n a r e no l e t t o me. ( I I . i i . 6 6 - 6 9 ) W h i l e Romeo i s wooing J u l i e t i n t h i s b e a u t i f u l m o o n l i g h t s c e n e t h e r e i s s t i l l some o f t h e o l d , c o n v e n t i o n a l l o v e r i n him: I have n i g h t ' s c l o a k t o h i d e me f r o m t h e i r s i g h t ; And b u t t h o u l o v e me, l e t them f i n d me h e r e . • My l i f e were b e t t e r ended by t h e i r h a t e T h a n d e a t h p r o r o g u e d , w a n t i n g ' o f t h y l o v e . ( I I . i i . 7 5 - 7 8 ) J u l i e t , i n d i s c l o s i n g h e r l o v e t o Romeo, shows t h a t h e r v a l u e s a r e n o t m e r e l y c o n v e n t i o n a l : 0 g e n t l e Romeo, I f t h o u d o s t l o v e , p r o n o u n c e i t f a i t h f u l l y . Or i f t h o u t h i n k e s t I am t o o q u i c k l y won, I ' l l f r o w n , and be p e r v e r s e , and say t h e e nay , So t h o u w i l t woo; b u t e l s e , n o t f o r t h e w o r l d . I n t r u t h , f a i r Montague, I am t o o f o n d , And t h e r e f o r e t h o u mayst t h i n k my h a v i o u r l i g h t ; B u t t r u s t me, g e n t l e m a n , I ' l l p r o v e more t r u e T h a n t h o s e t h a t have more c u n n i n g t o be s t r a n g e . I s h o u l d have b e e n more s t r a n g e , I must c o n f e s s , B u t t h a t t h o u o v e r h e a r d ' s t , e r e I was ware, My t r u e - l o v e p a s s i o n . T h e r e f o r e p a r d o n me, A n d n o t i m p u t e t h i s y i e l d i n g t o l i g h t l o v e , Which t h e d a r k n i g h t h a t h so d i s c o v e r e d . ( I I . i i . 9 3 - 1 0 6 ) I n t h i s r o m a n t i c s c e n e , t r u e l o v e i s v a l u e d h i g h l y . As so o f t e n happens i n S h a k e s p e a r e ' s p l a y s , h e r e t h e woman p r e s e n t s t h e n a t u r a l , r e a s o n e d v i e w o f l o v e . J u l i e t , i n answer t o Romeo's r e q u e s t t h a t each exchange vows, s e e s t h a t t h i s i s n o t n e c e s s a r y t o t h o s e whose l o v e i s deep and s i n c e r e : My b o u n t y i s as b o u n d l e s s as t h e s e a , My l o v e as deep; t h e more I g i v e t o t h e e , The more I h a v e , f o r b o t h a r e i n f i n i t e . ( I I . i i . 1 3 3 - 1 3 5 ) T h i s k i n d o f l o v e has o n l y one s u i t a b l e end, w h i c h C a s t i g l i o n e a d v i s e d t h e c o u r t l y l a d y t o s e e k . J u l i e t 100 r e c o g n i z e s t h i s i n h e r p r o m i s e t o Romeo: I f t h a t t h y b e n t o f l o v e he h o n o u r a b l e , Thy p u r p o s e m a r r i a g e , 'send me word to-morrow, • • • And a l l my f o r t u n e s a t t h y f o o t I ' l l l a y And f o l l o w t h e e my l o r d t h r o u g h o u t t h e w o r l d . ( I I . i i . 1 4 3 - 1 4 8 ) T h i s a vowal i s t h e n a t u r a l r e s u l t o f t h e i r c o u r t s h i p . F r i a r L a u r e n c e , a f t e r h e a r i n g Romeo c o n f e s s t h a t he n e v e r r e a l l y 4 l o v e d R o s a l i n e and a f t e r h e a r i n g t h a t Romeo i s t r u l y i n l o v e , a g r e e s t o m a r r y them i n s e c r e t . H i s a d v i c e t o Romeo m i g h t be t h e a d v i c e t o a l l i m p e t u o u s l o v e r s , and s e r v e s t o s u g g e s t th e d i f f e r e n c e b etween the I m a g i n e d t y p e o f c o u r t l y l o v e w h i c h Romeo f e l t f o r R o s a l i n e and t h e r e a l , permanent, and b a l a n c e d 5 l o v e he s h o u l d f e e l f o r a w i f e : T h e s e v i o l e n t d e l i g h t s have v i o l e n t ends And i n t h e i r t r i u m p h d i e , l i k e f i r e and powder, Which as t h e y k i s s , consume. The s w e e t e s t honey I s l o a t h s o m e i n h i s own d e l i c i o u s n e s s A n d i n t h e t a s t e c o n f o u n d s t h e a p p e t i t e . T h e r e f o r e l o v e m o d e r a t e l y : l o n g l o v e d o t h so; Too s w i f t a r r i v e s as t a r d y as t o o sl o w . ( I I . v i . 9 - 1 5 ) 4 Romeo s a y s t o t h e F r i a r : T h e n p l a i n l y know my h e a r t ' s d e a r l o v e i s s e t On t h e f a i r d a u g h t e r o f r i c h C a p u l e t ; A s mine on h e r s , so h e r s i s s e t on mine, And a l l combin'd, save what t h o u must combine By h o l y m a r r i a g e . ( I I . i i i . 5 7 - 6 1 ) 5 We must remember t h a t t h i s new l o v e w h i c h Romeo e x p e r i e n c e s h as j u s t b e e n r e v e a l e d t o t h e F r i a r who a c t u a l l y knows h i m as t h e c o u r t l y l o v e r who has l o n g s o r r o w e d b e c a u s e R o s a l i n e s p u r n e d h i s a r t i f i c i a l l o v e . 101 The l o v e w h i c h Romeo and J u l i e t f e e l f o r each o t h e r has a f i r m f o u n d a t i o n w h i c h h e l p s e a c h t o meet the e v e n t s t h a t f o l l o w on t h e b r a w l between t h e C a p u l e t and Montague f a c t i o n s . W i t h Romeo 1s b a n i s h m e n t f o r k i l l i n g J u l i e t ' s c o u s i n , T y b a l t , t h e t r a g e d y w h i c h ends i n t h e d e a t h o f t h e l o v e r s i s p r e c i p i t a t e d . The Romeo o f t h e l a t e r p l a y i s e s s e n t i a l l y a d i f f e r e n t man. However, o n c e , upon l e a r n i n g t h a t he i s b a n i s h e d and must p a r t w i t h h i s b r i d e , he r e t u r n s t o h i s o l d h a b i t o f b e i n g e x t r a v a g a n t , a r t i f i c i a l , and p i t i f u l i n d e m o n s t r a t i n g h i s s o r r o w . E v e n t h e c o a r s e n u r s e s e e s t h a t h i s d e s p a i r i s unmanly and must admonish him: S t a n d up, s t a n d up 1. S t a n d , and y o u be a man. F o r J u l i e t ' s s a k e , f o r h e r s a k e , r i s e and stand'. Why s h o u l d y o u f a l l i n t o so deep an 0? (III.iii.8 8 - 9 0 ) The F r i a r ' s s c o l d i n g i s e s s e n t i a l l y t h e same when he p r e v e n t s Romeo f r o m u s i n g t h e d a g g e r he has drawn: H o l d t h y d e s p e r a t e hand: A r t t h o u a man? Thy f o r m c r i e s out t h o u a r t ; T h y t e a r s a r e womanish, t h y w i l d a c t s d e n o t e The u n r e a s o n a b l e f u r y o f a b e a s t . (III.iii.108-111) H i s a p p e a l i s t o a r e a l c o u r t i e r , n o t t o a sham one: Thy n o b l e shape i s b u t a f o r m o f wax, D i g r e s s i n g f r o m t h e v a l o u r o f a man; Thy d e a r l o v e sworn b u t a h o l l o w p e r j u r y , K i l l i n g t h a t l o v e w h i c h t h o u h a s t vow'd t o c h e r i s h ; Thy w i t , t h a t ornament t o shape and l o v e , M i s s h a p e n i n t h e c o n d u c t o f them b o t h . • • • What, a r o u s e t h e e , man'. Thy J u l i e t i s a l i v e F o r whose d e a r sake t h o u was b u t l a t e l y dead. (III.iii.126-136) 102 We so o n l e a r n t h a t t h i s r e a c t i o n o f Romeo i s s h o r t - l i v e d , f o r t h e t r u e l o v e he has e x p e r i e n c e d g i v e s h i m c o u r a g e t o r i s e t o a c t i o n . When he r e c e i v e s t h e f a u l t y news t h a t J u l i e t i s de a d , h i s i m m e d i a t e r e s p o n s e i s manly: I s i t e'en so? T h e n I d e f y y o u , s t a r s ' . ( V . i . 2 4 ) Romeo c o u l d n o t have made t h i s c o u r a g e o u s r e s p o n s e e a r l i e r . J u l i e t i s c o u r a g e o u s , l i k e w i s e , i n h e r t r u e l o v e . She keeps h e r h e a d when h e r f a t h e r h a s t e n s t h e p l a n s f o r h e r m a r r i a g e w i t h P a r i s and k e e p s h e r s e c r e t m a r r i a g e f r o m h e r d o m i n e e r i n g mother. Though J u l i e t i s young i n y e a r s she meets t h e s i t u a t i o n w i t h s t r e n g t h and s e l f - p o s s e s s i o n . She f e a r s she may n e v e r wake f r o m t h e d r u g s w h i c h t h e F r i a r g i v e s h e r , y e t she r i s k s d e a t h f o r t r u e l o v e . Though she h a t e s t h e t h o u g h t o f b e i n g p u t i n t o t h e f a m i l y tomh and o f wa k i n g among t h e d e c a y i n g c o r p s e s , i n c l u d i n g t h e r e c e n t one o f h e r c o u s i n , T y b a l t , s t i l l t h i s g i r l whose p a r e n t s have t u r n e d a g a i n s t h e r i s r e s o l u t e . She i s j u s t as d e t e r m i n e d as Romeo who q u i c k l y d e v i s e s a p l a n : W e l l , J u l i e t , I w i l l l i e w i t h t h e e t o - n i g h t . ( V . i . 3 4 ) He f e a r l e s s l y b u y s t h e d r u g s w h i c h w i l l be h i s sudden d e a t h . T h e r e i s b e a u t y and p a t h o s i n t h e t r a g e d y w h i c h f o l l o w s . The l o v e between Romeo and J u l i e t r e m a i n s r o m a n t i c t o t h e end. I n Romeo's l a s t s p e e c h h i s p r a i s i n g o f J u l i e t 1 s b e a u t y i s s i n c e r e and i r o n i c : 0 my l o v e '. my w i f e '. D e a t h , t h a t h a t h s u c k ' d t h e honey o f t h y b r e a t h , H a t h h a d no power y e t - U p o n t h y b e a u t y . T hou a r t n o t c o n q u e r ' d . B e a u t y ' s e n s i g n y e t I s c r i m s o n i n t h y l i p s and i n t h y c h e e k s , 103 A n d d e a t h ' s p a l e f l a g i s n o t a d v a n c e d t h e r e . ( V . i i i . 9 1 - 9 6 ) Romeo d i e s w i t h a k i s s as does J u l i e t when she r e v i v e s t o see h e r h u s band dead. We do n o t f e e l t h a t d e a t h t r i u m p h s o v e r s u c h l o v e w h i c h S h a k e s p e a r e shows t o be deep and s i n c e r e . B u t f o r an a c c i d e n t , t h i s l o v e w o u l d have b r o u g h t h a p p i n e s s t o a l l and u n i t e d t h e q u a r r e l s o m e f a m i l i e s . The F r i a r ' s comment on t h e t r a g e d y b e a r s t h i s o u t : A g r e a t e r power t h a n we c a n c o n t r a d i c t H a t h t h w a r t e d o u r i n t e n t s . ( V . i i i . 1 5 3 - 1 5 4 ) However, we f e e l t h a t t h e r o m a n t i c l o v e o f Romeo and J u l i e t s t o o d a l l t e s t s o f l i f e and d e a t h . I n The, W i n t e r ' s T a l e , . S h a k e s p e a r e p r e s e n t s c o u r t l y f i g u r e s who f i n d h a p p i n e s s i n m a r r i a g e t h r o u g h r o m a n t i c l o v e . T h i s i s shown i n two p l o t s , t h a t o f L e o n t e s , P o l i x e n e s , and H e r m i o n e and t h a t o f F l o r i z e l and P e r d i t a . I n t h e f i r s t p l o t we see t h e l o v e o f K i n g L e o n t e s f o r h i s Queen, H e r m i o n e , d i s r u p t e d by j e a l o u s y . When t h e p l a y o p e n s , L e o n t e s and H e r m i o n e a r e h a p p i l y m a r r i e d and L e o n t e s i s h o n o r e d w i t h a v i s i t f r o m h is d e a r f r i e n d , K i n g P o l i x e n e s , whom he c a l l s h i s b r o t h e r . The a i r o f h a p p i n e s s and f r i e n d s h i p i s s o o n m a r r e d , however, when L e o n t e s becomes j e a l o u s upon s e e i n g H e r m i o n e p l a y f u l l y p e r s u a d i n g P o l i x e n e s t o s t a y l o n g e r i n t h e S i c i l i a n 6 c o u r t . I n s p i t e o f H e r m i o n e ' s avowal o f l o v e , L e o n t e s 6 104 r a p i d l y becomes i n s a n e l y j e a l o u s : Too h o t , t o o h o t I To m i n g l e f r i e n d s h i p f a r , i s m i n g l i n g b l o o d s . I have t r e m o r c o r d i s on me; my h e a r t d a n c e s , B u t n o t f o r j o y ; n o t j o y . ( I . i i . 1 0 8 - 1 1 1 ) He h a s no r e a l p r o o f o f h i s l a d y ' s i n f i d e l i t y , b u t u n r e s t r a i n e d 7 i n h i s d e l u s i o n , L e o n t e s does n o t h e e d t h e a d v i c e o f h i s c o u r t b u t has h i s w i f e i m p r i s o n e d and p l o t s t o p o i s o n h i s d e a r f r i e n d . H a p p i l y , P o l i x e n e s i s t o l d o f t h e p l o t i n t i m e t o e s c a p e . I n commenting on t h e j e a l o u s y o f h i s f r i e n d who now terms P o l i x e n e s h i s enemy, P o l i x e n e s r e c o g n i z e s t h e c o u r t l y c h a r a c t e r 8 o f H e r mione and r e a l i z e s how d a n g e r o u s i s j e a l o u s y : T h i s j e a l o u s y I s f o r a p r e c i o u s c r e a t u r e . As s h e ' s r a r e , Must i t be g r e a t ; and as h i s p e r s o n ' s m i g h t y , Must i t be v i o l e n t ; and as he does c o n c e i v e He i s d i s h o n o u r ' d b y a man w h i c h e v e r P r o f e s s ' d t o him, why, h i s r e v e n g e s must I n t h a t be made more b i t t e r . F e a r o ' e r s h a d e s me. ( I . i i . 4 5 2 - 4 5 7 ) L e o n t e s 1 j e a l o u s h a t r e d and r a g e i s n o t c o u r t l y and c a u s e s much u n n e c e s s a r y m i s e r y . When Hermione has a l i t t l e g i r l , L e o n t e s i s f u r t h e r e n r a g e d , h a v i n g c o n v i n c e d h i m s e l f o f h i s 7 C a m i l l o a p p r a i s e s t h e k i n g ' s s t a t e o f mind a c c u r a t e l y , i n a d v i s i n g him: Good, my l o r d , be c u r ' d O f t h i s d i s e a ' d o p i n i o n , and b e t i m e s ; F o r ' t i s most d a n g e r o u s . ( I . i i . 2 9 6 - 2 9 8 ) 8 The theme o f a l a d y c a u s i n g j e a l o u s y b e t w e e n two sworn b r o t h e r s r e c a l l s C h a u c e r ' s Knight_.s_Ta.le and S h a k e s p e a r e ' s Two, G e n t l e m a n o f V e r o n a . I n " l h e W i n t e r ' s , T a l e , , j e a l o u s y i s d e a l t w i t h d i f f e r e n t l y . " I t i s p o t e n t i a l l y " " " * " t r a g i c and the t r a g e d y i s b a r e l y a v e r t e d . 105 wife's u n f a i t h f u l n e s s . The baby i s c a r r i e d away at h i s order and Hermione i s reported t o be dead. To add to the misery, the son of the r o y a l couple dies f o r g r i e f because he has been separated from h i s mother, l e a v i n g S i c i l y without an h e i r . The unhappy, f o o l i s h k i n g i s brought down i n despair. During the s i x t e e n years which f o l l o w these unhappy i n c i d e n t s , Leontes has time to repent. H i s repentance i s genuine and we see how d e a r l y he r e a l l y loved h i s queen and how he r e a l i z e s h i s mistakes when he stands before what he supposes to be the statue of Hermione: 0 thus she stood, Even w i t h such l i f e of majesty (warm l i f e , As now i t c o l d l y stands), when f i r s t I woo'd her i I am asham1 d. Does not the stone rebuke me For being more stone than i t ? ( V . i i i . 3 4 - 3 8 ) I n t h i s winter's t a l e , much l i k e a f a i r y s t o r y , the statue steps down and i t i s revealed that Hermione has been a l i v e a l l these years and has been i n h i d i n g to escape Leontes' 9 wrath. True love i s again r e s t o r e d to t h i s couple and we have f i n a l proof that Leontes has been s p i r i t u a l l y re-born when he confesses h i s f o l l y and i s r e c o n c i l e d w i t h h i s wife and h i s f r i e n d : Both your pardons, That e'er I put between your holy looks My i l l - s u s p i c i o n . ( V.iii.147-149) 9 I t was customary i n the medieval romances f o r the lady who had been u n f a i t h f u l to r e t i r e i n t o a nunnery where she could have ample time to repent. The retirement of Hermione from the court r e c a l l s t h i s convention, though, of course, she i s blameless i n t h i s play. W i t h t h i s r e q u e s t , t h e happy m a r r i a g e and t h e happy f r i e n d s h i p w h i c h we w i t n e s s e d i n t h e o p e n i n g o f t h e p l a y a r e b o t h r e s t o r e d . The s e c o n d a r y p l o t o f T h e ^ i n t e r J ^ s ^ T a l e j . t h a t o f P e r d i t a and F l o r i z e l , a l s o shows t h e c o u r t l y theme i n r e l a t i o n t o r o m a n t i c l o v e . I n t h i s p l o t , w h i c h d e a l s w i t h t h e a d v e n t u r e s o f L e o n t e s 1 l o s t d a u g h t e r who has been b r o u g h t up by a s h e p h e r d , we a r e t a k e n i n t o t h e w o r l d o f S i d n e y 1 s A r c a d i a . P e r d i t a , who has b e e n r a i s e d as a s h e p h e r d e s s , i s wooed by F l o r i z e l , t h e s o n o f K i n g P o l i x e n e s o f Bohemia. Though t h e i r l o v e s t o r y i s p l a c e d i n an i d y l l i c s e t t i n g and has t h e a p p e a r a n c e o f a c o n v e n t i o n a l c o u r t l y l o v e , s t i l l i t i s i n t e r e s t i n g t o n o t e how S h a k e s p e a r e d e p i c t s t h i s l o v e . I t i s t r e a t e d r o m a n t i c a l l y b u t i s more t h a n a d i v e r s i o n i n th e p l a y . F l o r i z e l and P e r d i t a a r e more t h a n mere t y p e s : t h e y a r e c r e d i b l e i n d i v i d u a l s . S h a k e s p e a r e makes i t p l a i n t h a t o u t o f t h e i r l o v e grows a r e a l , l a s t i n g r e l a t i o n s h i p w h i c h l e a d s t o m a r r i a g e . L o v e i s more t h a n a s p o r t i n g p a s t i m e . When we f i r s t meet t h e s e two t h e y a r e a l r e a d y h a p p i l y i n l o v e . P r i n c e F l o r i z e l , as P e r d i t a t e l l s u s , has d i s g u i s e d h i m s e l f as a s h e p h e r d , i n t r a d i t i o n a l manner, i n o r d e r t o woo h e r : Y o u r h i g h s e l f The g r a c i o u s mark o' t h ' l a n d , y ou have o b s c u r ' d W i t h a s w a i n ' s w e a r i n g ; and me, poor l o w l y m a i d , Most g o d d e s s - l i k e p r a n k ' d up. (IV.:"iv.7-10) 107 She, e v e n i n h e r r o l e as a s h e p h e r d e s s , e q u a l s t h e c o u r t l y l a d i e s i n h e r b e a u t y and c h a s t i t y and F l o r i z e l vows she i s t h e o b j e c t o f h i s t r u e l o v e . S p e a k i n g o f t h e gods t h a t d i s g u i s e d t h e m s e l v e s f o r l o v e , F l o r i z e l s a y s : T h e i r t r a n s f o r m a t i o n s Were n e v e r f o r a p i e c e o f b e a u t y r a r e r , N o r i n a way so c h a s t e , s i n c e my d e s i r e s Run n o t b e f o r e mine h o n o u r , n o r my l u s t s B u r n h o t t e r t h a n my f a i t h . ( I V . i v . 31-34-) E v e n h e r s u p p o s e d f a t h e r r e c o g n i z e s she i s no mere s h e p h e r d e s s : Y o u a r e r e t i r ' d , As i f y o u were a f e a s t e d one, and n o t The h o s t e s s o f t h e m e e t i n g . ( I V . i v . 6 2 - 6 4 ) T h i s o b s e r v a t i o n i s s i m i l a r t o t h a t o f t h e d i s g u i s e d P o l i x e n e s (who i s t r y i n g t o d i s c o v e r why h i s son has b e e n a b s e n t f r o m c o u r t ) : T h i s i s t h e p r e t t i e s t l o w - b o r n l a s s t h a t e v e r -Ran on t h e g r e e n s w a r d . N o t h i n g she does o r seems B u t smacks o f s o m e t h i n g g r e a t e r t h a n h e r s e l f , Too n o b l e f o r t h i s p l a c e . (IV.iv. 1 5 6 - 1 5 9 ) J u s t as P e r d i t a c a n n o t d i s g u i s e h e r c o u r t l y b i r t h and b e a r i n g , 10 so c a n n o t F l o r i z e l . P e r d i t a r e c o g n i z e s t h a t h i s c o u r t l i n e s s 10 I t was g e n e r a l l y b e l i e v e d t h a t a c o u r t l y l a d y and g e n t l e m a n c o u l d n o t c o n c e a l t h e i r b i r t h o r b e a r i n g e v e n i n t h e g a r b o f a s h e p h e r d . S p e n s e r d e a l t v e r y f u l l y w i t h t h i s c o n v e n t i o n i n t h e S i x t h Book o f t h e F a i r i e Queene. I n t h i s p a s t o r a l i n t e r l u d e , S i r C a l i d o r e i s c o n t r a s t e d t o t h e s h e p h e r d C o r i d o n , and t h e b a s e n e s s o f t h e l a t t e r i s made c l e a r . S p e n s e r s a y s o f t h e s h e p h e r d : F i t t o keepe s h e e p e , u n f i t f o r l o v e s c o n t e n t : The g e n t l e h e a r t s c o r n e s b a s e d i s p a r a g e m e n t . ( V I . x . 3 7 ) The c o u r t l y k n i g h t w ins P a s t o r e l l whose c o u r t l y b e a r i n g b e t r a y e d t h e f a c t t h a t she was n o b l e b o r n . I n t h e end she l e a r n s o f h e r t r u e p a r e n t a g e . 108 shows through the disguise when she reveals her reaction to his love: Your praises are too large. But that your youth, And the true blood which peeps so f a i r l y through't, Do p l a i n l y give you out an unstain'd shepherd, With wisdom I might fear, My Doricles, You woo'd me the false way. (IV.iv.147-15 D This speech i s very important i n showing us the nature of love i n t h i s plot. Such love i s the romantic love of youth which seeks happy f u l f i l l m e n t and a promise to love forever. The beauty of this love i s reported by Perdita's supposed father: He says he loves my daughter. I think so too; for never gaz'd the moon Upon the water as h e ' l l stand and read, As 'twere, my daughter's eyes; and to be p l a i n , I think there i s not h a l f a kiss to choose Who loves another best. (IV.iv.171-176) Their love i s genuine and permanent. This i s proved by F l o r i z e l ' s willingness to give up his heritage and his father for his true love, upon being discovered by Polixenes: L i f t up thy looks. From my succession wipe me, father'. I Am heir to my a f f e c t i o n . (IV.iv.490-492) To Perdita he vows his love again: Dear, look up. Though Fortune, v i s i b l e an enemy, Should chase us, with my father, pow'r ho jot Hath she to change our loves. (v. i .215-218) Such unselfish devotion as i s found i n t h i s i d e a l love deserves to be rewarded. True love has grown from the 109 conventional pattern of a courtier disguised as a shepherd wooing a shepherdess. When Perdita i s f i n a l l y revealed as the l o s t daughter of Leontes, the young lovers are free to marry. This i s a f i t t i n g ending to a tale where the wrong kind of jealous love brought misery to a l l concerned, but where the right kind of un s e l f i s h , forgiving love f i n a l l y 11 brought happiness. Gj/mbeline i s another play which, l i k e TheJ£int,er_s Tale, has a fant a s t i c plot. But, l i k e TheJ_int^r_s_Tale, i t deals with the subject of romantic love and presents some very positive attitudes towards i t . As i n The Winter's Tale and Romeo ^ d J u l i e t , the course of love i s not smooth but the passion i s strong enough to triumph over adversity i n the end. While we must make allowances for the sensational 12 elements i n t h i s play we cannot f a i l to notice that various aspects of the courtly theme are presented with true love f i n a l l y triumphant. 11 Some incidental s a t i r e should not be missed i n th i s play. The shepherd and his son, the clown, c l e a r l y s a t i r i z e the upstart courtiers. There are some amusing scenes i n which the Clown brags of his connections at court, now that his " s i s t e r " (Perdita) i s found to be a princess. 12 The improbable, sensational type of play, given impetus by the work of Beaumont and Fletcher, was i n vogue when Cymbeline was written (c. 1610). Some of the sensational elements i n this play include: the testing of a wife's virtue by giving a l e t t e r of recommendation to a companion, an attempted poisoning, an attempted rape, a decapitation (where Cloten's body i s found dressed i n the clothing of Posthumus and i s mistaken by Imogen for her husband), a l o s t princess disguised as a youth, who, unknowingly, finds her brothers who were kidnapped as babies, and a supposed death where the princess i s buried and "comes to l i f e " again. The v a r i o u s a s p e c t s o f t h e c o u r t l y theme w h i c h S h a k e s p e a r e p r e s e n t s i n C y m b e l i n e may be s e e n i n t h e c h a r a c t e r s o f C l o t e n , t h e Queen, and I a c h i m o , i n a d d i t i o n 13 t o t h e two l o v e r s o f t h e p l a y , Posthumus and Imogen. P r i n c e C l o t e n , t h e a s p i r i n g son d f t h e e v i l Queen, s e r v e s as a c o n t r a s t t o t h e c o u r t l y Posthumus. T h i s e v i l p r i n c e i s f i l l e d w i t h l u s t f o r Imogen, t h e w i f e o f Posthumus, and p r o v i d e s a s a t i r e on t h e b a s e c o u r t i e r who p r e t e n d s t o n o b i l i t y i n h i s s e a r c h f o r power. The w i c k e d , s c h e m i n g Queen i s c o n t r a s t e d t o t h e g e n t l e , u n s e l f i s h Imogen. The Q u e e n . i s no P e t r a r c h a n l a d y i n h e r l o v e f o r C y m b e l i n e , w h i c h i s n o t a c t u a l l y l o v e b u t a m b i t i o n . I a c h i m o , whose p r i d e and t r i c k e r y cause t h e u n h a p p i n e s s b e t w e e n t h e two l o v e r s , i s a n o t h e r c o u r t l y t y p e who l e a r n s t h r o u g h h i s m i s t a k e s , what t r u e h o n o r and c h a s t i t y a r e . He a d m i t s t h i s i n c o n f e s s i n g h i s d e c e p t i o n o f Imogen and Posthumus t o C y m b e l i n e : W e l l may y o u , s i r , Remember me a t c o u r t , where I was t a u g h t O f y o u r c h a s t e d a u g h t e r t h e wide d i f f e r e n c e ' T w i x t amorous and v i l l a n o u s . (V. v. 192-195) The e v i l i n t h i s p l a y s e r v e s t o h e i g h t e n t h e good w h i c h overcomes i t i n t h e end. The s t r e n g t h o f t r u e l o v e , championed b y Imogen, w i t h s t a n d s a l l s h o c k s , and h a p p i n e s s 13 A l s o , t h e two sons o f C y m b e l i n e , G u i d e r i u s and A r v i r a g u s , a r e examples o f c o u r t l y y o u t h s whose u p -b r i n g i n g i n a c a v e c a n n o t h i d e t h e i r t r u e g e n t i l i t y . L i k e S p e n s e r ' s P a s t o r e l l and S h a k e s p e a r e ' s P e r d i t a and F l o r i z e l t h e i r t r u e n a t u r e shows t h r o u g h t h e i r r u d e s u r r o u n d i n g s and g a r b . I l l i s b r o u g h t o u t o f n e a r - t r a g e d y . The main i n t e r e s t o f S h a k e s p e a r e ' s t r e a t m e n t o f l o v e i n t h i s p l a y c e n t r e s a r o u n d Imogen and Posthumus who a r e s e c r e t l y m a r r i e d when we f i r s t meet them. Though Posthumus i s no p r i n c e , he i s t h e i d e a l c o u r t l y g e n t l e m a n w o r t h y o f a p r i n c e s s ' l o v e . One o f C y m b e l i n e ' s c o u r t i e r s s a y s t h a t Posthumus: . . . l i v ' d i n c o u r t (Which r a r e i t i s t o . d o ) most p r a i s ' d , most l o v ' d , A sample t o t h e . y o u n g e s t , t o t h e more ma t u r e A g l a s s t h a t f e a t e d them, and t o the g r a v e r A c h i l d t h a t g u i d e d d o t a r d s . T o h i s m i s t r e s s , F o r whom he now i s b a n i s h ' d — h e r own p r i c e P r o c l a i m s how she esteem'd him and h i s v i r t u e . B y h e r e l e c t i o n may be t r u l y r e a d What k i n d o f man he i s . (I.i.46-54) H i s l o v e f o r h i s w i f e i s deep and h i s s o r r o w a t p a r t i n g s i n c e r e : My queen, my m i s t r e s s I 0 l a d y , weep no more, l e s t I g i v e c a u s e To be s u s p e c t e d o f more t e n d e r n e s s T h a n d o t h become a man. I w i l l r e m a i n The l o y a l ' s t h u s b a n d t h a t d i d e ' e r p l i g h t t r o t h . . . . (I.i.92-96) T h i s o a t h w h i c h he t a k e s i s n e v e r b r o k e n d e s p i t e t h e d i s i l l u s i o n t h a t Posthumus e x p e r i e n c e s when I a c h i m o r e t u r n s w i t h a p p a r e n t p r o o f ( w h i c h he o b t a i n e d by b e i n g smuggled i n t o Imogen's bed-chamber i n a t r u n k ) t h a t Imogen was u n f a i t h f u l t o h e r b a n i s h e d husband. The r o m a n t i c l o v e w h i c h Posthumus and Imogen e x p e r i e n c e i s n e v e r m a r r e d t h r o u g h u n f a i t h f u l n e s s on e i t h e r s i d e , r e g a r d l e s s o f t h e t e s t s t o w h i c h i t i s s u b m i t t e d . Thus t h e i d e a l i s m a s s o c i a t e d w i t h r o m a n t i c l o v e i s n o t s h a t t e r e d and t h e r e c o n c i l i a t i o n a t t h e end o f t h e p l a y forms a n a t u r a l , happy c o n c l u s i o n . The u n h a p p i n e s s between t h e two l o v e r s a r i s e s f r o m a wager w h i c h Posthumus makes on t h e c h a s t i t y o f Imogen t o t h e Roman, I a c h i m o . Though t h i s wager i s f a n t a s t i c , s i n c e i t p r o v i d e s t h a t I a c h i m o i s f r e e t o woo-Imogen, i t i s u n d e r s t a n d a b l e , f o r t h e f a i t h o f t r u e l o v e i s s t r o n g . I n w a g e r i n g h i s diamond r i n g , a p r e c i o u s k e e p s a k e f r o m Imogen, a g a i n s t I a c h i m o ' s t e n t h o u s a n d d u c a t s , Posthumus has u t t e r f a i t h i n Imogen: My m i s t r e s s e x c e e d s i n goodness t h e h u g e n e s s o f y o u r u n w o r t h y t h i n k i n g . I d a r e you t o t h i s match. (I.iv.156-158) O f c o u r s e Imogen i s u n a s s a i l a b l e . She i s t o l d by I a c h i m o t h a t Posthumus has b e e n u n f a i t h f u l when he woos h e r i n an u n c o u r t l y f a s h i o n : R evenge i t i I d e d i c a t e m y s e l f t o y o u r sweet p l e a s u r e , More n o b l e t h a n t h a t r u n a g a t e t o y o u r b e d , A n d w i l l c o n t i n u e f a s t t o y o u r a f f e c t i o n , S t i l l c l o s e as s u r e . (I.vi.135-139) I m o g e n . i s c o n s t a n t and c o u r t l y i n h e r r e p l y , d e t e c t i n g t h e f a l s e h o o d : I f t h o u were h o n o u r a b l e , T hou w o u l d s t have t o l d t h i s t a l e f o r v i r t u e , n o t F o r s u c h an end t h o u s e e k ' s t , as b a s e as s t r a n g e . Thou wrong' s t a g e n t l e m a n who i s as f a r From t h y r e p o r t as t h o u f r o m h o n o u r , and S o l i c i t ' s t h e r e a l a d y t h a t d i s d a i n s Thee and t h e d e v i l a l i k e . ( I . v i . 1 4 2 - 1 4 8 ) When C l o t e n t r i e s t o s e d u c e h e r she i s j u s t as c o n s t a n t and she makes c l e a r t h e d i f f e r e n c e b e t w e e n t h i s f a l s e c o u r t i e r 113 and h e r t r u e l o r d i n s p u r n i n g C l o t e n : He n e v e r c a n meet more m i s c h a n c e t h a n come T o he nam'd o f t h e e . H i s meanest garment T h a t e v e r h a t h b u t c l i p p ' d h i s b o dy i s d e a r e r I n my r e s p e c t t h a n a l l t h e h a i r s above t h e e , Were t h e y a l l made s u c h men. ( I I . i i i . 1 3 7 - 1 4 - 1 ) The one s u s t a i n i n g e l e m e n t i n t h e p l a y i s t h e f a i t h , hope, and d e v o t i o n o f Imogen. She n e v e r denounces h e r h usband, n o r g i v e s up h e r b e l i e f t h a t t h e y w i l l be r e - u n i t e d . S i n c e r h e r l o v e f o r him i s i n f i n i t e , t h e r e i s n e v e r a q u e s t i o n o f d o u b t i n g h i s l o v e . E v e n t h e n o b l e Posthumus becomes d i s i l l u s i o n e d when I a c h i m o b r i n g s a p p a r e n t e v i d e n c e t h a t he has b e e n r e w a r d e d w i t h Imogen's f a v o r s . H i s r e s p o n s e , w h i c h d e p r e c i a t e s a l l women, shows t h e b i t t e r d i s a p p o i n t m e n t he f e e l s : L e t t h e r e be no h onour Where t h e r e i s b e a u t y ; t r u t h , where s e m b l a n c e ; l o v e , Where t h e r e ' s a n o t h e r man'. The vows o f women Of no more bondage be t o where t h e y a r e made Than t h e y a r e t o t h e i r v i r t u e s , w h i c h i s n o t h i n g 1 0, above measure f a l s e ! ( I l . i v . 1 0 8 - 1 1 3 ) I n a s o l i l o q u y w h i c h f o l l o w s , Posthumus becomes b i t t e r i n h i s d e n u n c i a t i o n . T h i s i s a f a r c r y f r o m t h e c o n v e n t i o n a l c o u r t l y p r a i s e o f women: F o r t h e r e ' s no m o t i o n T h a t t e n d s t o v i c e i n man b u t I a f f i r m I t i s t h e woman's p a r t . Be i t l y i n g , n o t e i t , The woman's; f l a t t e r i n g , h e r s ; d e c e i v i n g , h e r s ; L u s t and r a n k t h o u g h t s , h e r e , h e r s ; r e v e n g e s , h e r s ; A m b i t i o n s , c o v e t i n g s , change o f p r i d e s , d i s d a i n , , N i c e l o n g i n g , s l a n d e r s , m u t a b i l i t y — A l l f a u l t s t h a t may be nam'd,,nay, t h a t h e l l knows, 114 Why, h e r s i n p a r t o r a l l ; b u t r a t h e r a l l ! F o r even t o v i c e T h e y a r e n o t c o n s t a n t , b u t a r e c h a n g i n g s t i l l One v i c e b u t o f a m i n u t e o l d f o r one Wot h a l f so o l d as t h a t . I ' l l w r i t e a g a i n s t them, D e t e s t them, c u r s e them. (II.v.20-33) S u c h i s t h e r e a c t i o n o f a young h u s b a n d who has j u s t r e c e i v e d e v i d e n c e w h i c h seems t o be c o n c l u s i v e t h a t h i s w i f e was u n f a i t h f u l . However, S h a k e s p e a r e d i d n o t i n t e n d t o l e a v e us w i t h t h i s v i e w o f young l o v e , f o r s o o n a l l i s r i g h t e d . Imogen i s r e s t o r e d t o h e r f a t h e r and h u s b a n d , t h e l o s t p r i n c e s a r e a l s o r e s t o r e d t o t h e i r f a t h e r , t h e w i c k e d Queen d i e s , and I a c h i m o c o n f e s s e s and i s f o r g i v e n . B e f o r e Posthumus f i n d s t h a t Imogen s t i l l l i v e s , he r e v e a l s t h a t he s t i l l l o v e s h e r and t h a t he i s t o blame f o r t h i n k i n g she • c o u l d n o t be v i r t u o u s : The t e m p l e O f v i r t u e was she; y e a , and she h e r s e l f . • • • 0 Imogen'. My queen, my l i f e , my w i f e 1 . 0 Imogen, Imogen, Imogen'. (V.v.220-226) As t h e y a r e h a p p i l y r e - u n i t e d we may r e c a l l I a c h i m o ' s r e a c t i o n t o Imogen's r e f u s a l and r e a l i z e how p r o p h e t i c h i s w i s h e s were: 0 happy L e o n a t u s I I may s a y The c r e d i t t h a t t h y l a d y h a t h o f t h e e D e s e r v e s t h y t r u s t , and t h y most p e r f e c t goodness H e r a s s u r ' d c r e d i t . B l e s s e d l i v e y o u l o n g , A l a d y t o t h e w o r t h i e s t s i r t h a t e v e r C o u n t r y c a l l 1 d h i s I and you h i s m i s t r e s s , o n l y F o r t h e most w o r t h i e s t f i t i (I.vi.156-162) The p r o m i s e o f r o m a n t i c l o v e i s f u l f i l l e d and the p l a y i s b r o u g h t t o a happy c o n c l u s i o n as C y m b e l i n e s a y s : P a r d o n ' s t h e word t o a l l . (V.v.422) I n Romeo and J u l i e t , The W i n t e r ' s T a l e and C y m b e l i n e t h e r o m a n t i c l o v e o f t h o s e c o u r t l y f i g u r e s who e x p e r i e n c e i t l e a d s them t h r o u g h a d v e r s i t y t o a permanent r e l a t i o n s h i p . A f t e r s t u d y i n g S h a k e s p e a r e ' s t r e a t m e n t . o f t h i s l o v e , we f e e l t h a t o n l y a t r u e , l a s t i n g l o v e c o u l d s t a n d the t r i a l s i t i s put t o i n t h e s e t h r e e p l a y s . CHAPTER VI REVERSAL OF THE THEME: THE LADY IN LOVE (Venus and A d o n i s ) , Much Ado about N o t h i n g M e a s u r e f o r J ^ e a s u r e , R i c h a r d I I 117 CHAPTER V I A f u r t h e r example o f t h e v a r i e t y w i t h w h i c h S h a k e s p e a r e t r e a t s c o u r t l y l o v e may be f o u n d i n t h e f o u r p l a y s A l l , 1 s, W e l l that, Ends W e l l , Much Ado ab o u t N o t h i n g M e a s u r e for, M e a s u r e , and R i c h a r d I I , I n e a c h o f t h e s e , we see a l a d y i n l o v e , e v e n when h e r l o r d does n o t r e t u r n h e r l o v e . I n e a c h c a s e t h e lady, i s t h e p u r s u e r . T h i s theme has b e e n met i n T w e l f t h ^ N i g h t where O l i v i a was h o p e l e s s l y i n l o v e w i t h C e s a r i o ( V i o l a ) and V i o l a was d e s p e r a t e l y i n l o v e w i t h O r s i n o . However, i n t h i s p l a y , t h e c o u r s e o f l o v e i s c o m p l i c a t e d b y m i s t a k e s w h i c h r e s u l t f r o m V i o l a ' s d i s g u i s e . Upon r e m o v i n g t h e d i s g u i s e , V i o l a w i n s h e r l o r d when he d i s c o v e r s t h e t r u e s i t u a t i o n : O l i v i a has a l r e a d y f o u n d a r e s p o n s i v e l o v e r i n t h e b e w i l d e r e d S e b a s t i a n and V i o l a l o v e s h i m d e a r l y . I n the gro u p o f p l a y s t o be c o n s i d e r e d i n t h i s c h a p t e r , t h e p u r s u i n g l a d y i s n o t m i s l e d o r hampered b y m i s t a k e n i d e n t i t i e s . R a t h e r , when t h e d i s g u i s e i s u s e d ( a s i t i s i n a l l b u t R i c h a r d , I I ) i t i s u s e d t o t r i c k t h e man i n t o g i v i n g h i s l o v e , where f o r m e r l y he h a d r e f u s e d . I n t h e s e f o u r p l a y s , t h e male c o u r t l y l o v e r i s d e g r a d e d , t o some e x t e n t , b e c a u s e t h e l a d y ' s d e v o t i o n i s f a r more i n s t r u m e n t a l i n b r i n g i n g a b o u t a r e a l i z a t i o n o f h e r l o v e t h a n i s t h e man's c o n s t a n c y o r h i s w i l l i n g n e s s t o woo h e r i n t h e c o u r t l y f a s h i o n . S u c h love,:, where t h e l a d y i s so d e s p e r a t e t h a t she must s t o o p t o t r i c k e r y , i s n o t i n k e e p i n g w i t h t h e h i g h e s t i d e a l s o f c o u r t l y l o v e . N e v e r t h e l e s s , i t p r o v i d e s an i n t e r e s t i n g s t u d y o f S h a k e s p e a r e ' s d e s i r e t o see t h e 118 r e a l i t y l y i n g b e h i n d t h e c o n v e n t i o n . T h i s u n u s u a l v a r i a t i o n o f t h e c o u r t l y theme, where t h e l a d y i s t h e wooer, was f o r e s h a d o w e d i n t h e e a r l y Venus and A d o n i s . I n t h i s poem t h e goddess o f l o v e p u r s u e s t h e y o u t h f u l , n o b l e , b u t u n h e e d i n g A d o n i s . She t r i e s a l l t h e s n a r e s o f t h e f l e s h , i n s e e k i n g t o w i n him, b u t h i s r e a s o n overcomes h e r p a s s i o n and he r e j e c t s h e r s u i t : H u n t i n g he l o v ' d , b u t l o v e he l a u g h e d t o s c o r n . ( 1 . 4) H e r p r a i s e s o f A d o n i s a r e l i k e t h e P e t r a r c h a n p r a i s e s t h a t t h e c o u r t i e r w r o t e t o h i s l a d y : • T h r i c e f a i r e r t h a n m y s e l f , 1 t h u s she b e g a n , 'The f i e l d s c h i e f f l o w e r , sweet above compare, S t a i n t o a l l nymphs, more l o v e l y t h a n a man, More w h i t e and r e d t h a n d o v es o r r o s e s a r e , N a t u r e t h a t made t h e e , w i t h h e r s e l f a t s t r i f e , S a i t h t h a t t h e w o r l d h a t h e n d i n g w i t h t h y l i f e . ( 1 1 . 7 - 1 2 ) I n s p i t e o f h e r p l e a d i n g and w e e p i n g , A d o n i s c a n n o t be won. He i s l i k e t h e c r u e l P e t r a r c h a n l a d y who was d i s d a i n f u l and p i t i l e s s : ' P i t y I 1 s h e c r i e s , 1 some f a v o u r , some remorse'.' Away he s p r i n g s and h a s t e t h t o h i s h o r s e . ( 1 1 . 2 5 7 - 2 5 8 ) So d e s p e r a t e i s Venus t h a t she p r e t e n d s t o be dead b e c a u s e o f h i s c r u e l t y i n o r d e r t o t r i c k t h e y o u t h . However, t h o u g h she f a l l s down as i f dead and s c a r e s t h e boy, she n e v e r q u i t e t r i u m p h s . A d o n i s s u c c e s s f u l l y s t a y s h e r a d v a n c e s , making i t p l a i n t h a t t h e r e i s a d i s t i n c t i o n between l u s t and l o v e : I h a t e n o t l o v e , b u t y o u r d e v i c e i n l o v e , T h a t l e n d s embracements u n t o e v e r y s t r a n g e r . You do i t f o r i n c r e a s e . 0 s t r a n g e e x c u s e , When r e a s o n i s t h e bawd t o l u s t ' s abuse I ( 1 1 . 7 8 9 - 7 9 2 ) B e f o r e she c a n d e v i s e new t r i c k s t o w i n h e r l o v e d one, A d o n i s i s k i l l e d i n a b o a r h u n t . I n t h i s poem we see t h e l i m i t s t o w h i c h t h e l a d y w i l l go i n o r d e r t o w i n t h e o b j e c t o f h e r l o v e . The c o m p a r i s o n o f l o v e and l u s t i s r e p e a t e d c o n s t a n t l y i n t h e s t r u g g l e b e t w e e n Venus and A d o n i s . The d e s p e r a t i o n o f V e n u s and t h e s t r u g g l e between l o v e and l u s t a r e e s p e c i a l l y r e c a l l e d i n A l l ' s , W e l l t h a t Ends W e l l , and i n M e a s u r e f o r M e a s u r e . I n A l l ' s W e l l t h a t Ends, W e l l , S h a k e s p e a r e g i v e s h i s f u l l e s t t r e a t m e n t o f t h e c o u r t l y theme r e v e r s e d , w i t h t h e l a d y p u r s u i n g t h e man. H e l e n a i s i n l o v e w i t h t h e r e l u c t a n t B e r t r a m , a c o u r t i e r who i s above h e r i n s o c i a l s t a t i o n . She f i r s t schemes t o make him h e r h u s b a n d and i s s u c c e s s f u l when t h e k i n g a l l o w s h e r t o c h o o s e whomever she w i s h e s as a r e w a r d f o r c u r i n g h i s s e r i o u s a i l m e n t . However, H e l e n a ' s q u e s t does n o t end when she o b t a i n s B e r t r a m f o r h e r hu s b a n d , b u t she must p r o c e e d t o w i n h i s l o v e . She t h i n k s n o t h i n g o f r e s o r t i n g t o t r i c k e r y a s e c o n d t i m e , b u t has h e r s e l f s u b s t i t u t e d f o r D i a n a , t h e o b j e c t o f B e r t r a m ' s i l l i c i t l o v e . F i n a l l y , h e r l o v e and d e v o t i o n a r e r e w a r d e d when i t i s p r o v e d t o B e r t r a m t h a t he has k e p t a l o v e t r y s t w i t h h i s own w i f e , and he a c c e p t s h e r . Though H e l e n a seems t o be d r i v e n t o d e s p e r a t e ends when she wagers h e r l i f e i n o r d e r t o c o n v i n c e t h e k i n g t h a t she c a n c u r e him i n r e t u r n f o r a h u s b a n d o f h e r c h o o s i n g and when she forms a p l a n t o t r i c k h e r h u s b a n d and be w i t h him, s t i l l 1 S h a k e s p e a r e e m p h a s i z e s h e r t r u e w o r t h and h e r c o u r t l y b e a r i n g . 1 C f . C h a p t e r I I , page 34 f o r the e s s e n t i a l q u a l i f i c a t i o n s o f t h e c o u r t l y l a d y , as o u t l i n e d by c a s t i g l i o n e . The i r r a t i o n a l i t y o f l o v e seems t o g r i p h e r b u t she r e m a i n s p o i s e d and c o u r a g e o u s i n h e r u n d e r t a k i n g s and d i s p l a y s i n t e l l i g e n c e , shrewdness, and d e t e r m i n a t i o n . The K i n g r e c o g n i z e s h e r t r u e w o r t h : Thy l i f e i s d e a r ; f o r a l l t h a t l i f e c a n r a t e W o r t h name o f l i f e i n t h e e h a t h e s t i m a t e — Y o u t h , b e a u t y , wisdom, c o u r a g e , a l l T h a t h a p p i n e s s and prime c a n happy c a l l . ( I I . i . 1 8 2 - 1 8 5 ) T h i s a p p r a i s a l s t r e n g t h e n s t h a t o f h e r g u a r d i a n , t h e C o u n t e s s ( B e r t r a m ' s mother),, who p r a i s e d H e l e n a ' s e d u c a t i o n , h o n e s t y , and goodness ( I . i . 4 3 - 5 3 ) . • T h i s young l a d y has a l l t h e q u a l i t i e s w h i c h make up f o r B e r t r a m ' s n o b l e r a n k , and w h i c h a r e l i k e l y t o q u a l i f y h e r as a new l a d y i n t h e E l i z a b e t h a n a r i s t o c r a c y o f t h e nouveau r i c h e . B e r t r a m , t h o u g h o f n o b l e r a n k , i s n e c e s s a r i l y d e g r a d e d as a h e r o . T h i s does n o t mean t h a t he i s t o t a l l y u n w orthy o f h i s c l a s s o r o f H e l e n a . We a r e t o l d , e a r l y i n th e p l a y , o f h i s p o t e n t i a l i t i e s . H i s mother t e l l s us t h a t he i s an u n s c h o o l e d c o u r t i e r who p r o m i s e s w e l l : T h y b l o o d and v i r t u e C o n t e n d f o r e m p i r e i n t h e e , and t h y good n e s s S h a r e w i t h t h y b i r t h r i g h t ' . • • o • F a r e w e l l , my l o r d . ' T i s an u n s e a s o n ' d c o u r t i e r ; good my l o r d , A d v i s e him. ( I . i . 7 1 - 8 1 ) B e i n g a young c o u r t i e r , he l o n g s f o r h o n o r i n b a t t l e , as we see when he c o m p l a i n s t h a t he i s k e p t a t t h e K i n g ' s c o u r t : I am commanded h e r e and k e p t a c o i l w i t h — 'Too young,' and 'The n e x t y e a r , ' and ' T i s to o e a r l y . ' ( I I . i . 2 7 - 2 8 ) 121 I n t h e m a t t e r s o f l o v e he i s u n r e s p o n s i v e and even mean, r e j e c t i n g H e l e n a b e c a u s e she l a c k s p o s i t i o n : She had h e r b r e e d i n g a t my f a t h e r ' s c h a r g e . A p o o r p h y s i c i a n ' s d a u g h t e r my w i f e ? D i s d a i n R a t h e r c o r r u p t me e v e r I (II.iii.121-123) The K i n g ' s r e p l y t o t h i s r e j e c t i o n i s t r u l y E l i z a b e t h a n i n i t s e v a l u a t i o n o f r a n k and h o n o r : She i s young, w i s e , f a i r ; I n t h e s e t o n a t u r e s h e ' s i m m e d i a t e h e i r ; And t h e s e b r e e d h o n o u r . T h a t i s h o n o u r ' s s c o r n W h i c h c h a l l e n g e s i t s e l f as h o n o u r ' s b o r n And i s n o t l i k e t h e s i r e . • • • I f t h o u c a n s t l i k e t h i s c r e a t u r e as a m a i d , I c an c r e a t e t h e r e s t . V i r t u e and she I s h e r dower; h o n o u r and w e a l t h f r o m me. (II.iii.138-151) When B e r t r a m s t i l l c a n n o t a c c e p t H e l a n a , we r e a l i z e i t i s h i s i n a b i l i t y t o a c c e p t l o v e and m a r r i a g e . Though t h e K i n g d e c r e e s t h a t B e r t r a m must m a r r y h e r , he vows n o t t o a c c e p t t h i s a b s o l u t e d e c r e e : 0 my P a r o l l e s , t h e y have m a r r i e d me'. I ' l l t o t h e T u s c a n war's, and n e v e r b e d h e r . (II.iii.289-290) B e r t r a m m i g h t be e x p e c t e d t o r e b e l a t t h i s f o r c e d m atch, y e t he n e v e r redeems h i m s e l f as a c o u r t l y l o v e r . When we see him l a t e r wooing D i a n a , a f t e r he has f l e d f r o m F r a n c e and h i s w i f e , we a r e n o t r e a l l y i m p r e s s e d w i t h h i s p e r f o r m a n c e . H i s i n t e n t i o n s a r e n o t h o n o r a b l e , and, i n d e e d , o n l y t h e s u b s t i t u t i o n o f h i s w i f e (unknown t o him.)' f o r D i a n a s a v e s h i s h o n o r . H i s u n c o u r t l y a c t i o n i s r e p o r t e d by D i a n a ' s mother i n h e r r e p l y t o H e l e n a ' s s u g g e s t i o n t h a t B e r t r a m s o l i c i t D i a n a i n h i s u n l a w f u l p u r p o s e : 122 He does i n d e e d 1 . And b r o k e s w i t h a l l t h a t c a n i n s u c h a s u i t C o r r u p t t h e t e n d e r - h o n o u r o f a maid; B u t she i s arm'd f o r him, and keeps h e r g u a r d I n h o n e s t e s t d e f e n c e . (III.v. 7 3 - 7 7 ) When we see B e r t r a m w o o i ng D i a n a i n t h e u s u a l c o u r t l y manner we a r e aware o f h i s d i s h o n o r a b l e i n t e n t i o n s , and a r e n o t i m p r e s s e d by t h e semblance o f s i n c e r i t y w i t h w h i c h he s e e k s t o j u s t i f y t h e abandonment o f h i s w i f e : I p r i t h e e , do n o t s t r i v e a g a i n s t my vows. I was c o m p e l l ' d t o h e r , b u t I l o v e t h e e By l o v e ' s own sweet c o n s t r a i n t , and w i l l f o r e v e r Do t h e e a l l r i g h t s o f s e r v i c e . ( I V . i i . 1 4 - 1 7 ) A s he a r r a n g e s f o r a s e c r e t l o v e r e n d e v o u s w i t h D i a n a , he i s g u i d e d by l u s t and i s u n c o n c e r n e d w i t h t h e s a n c t i t y o f h i s m a r r i a g e vows: Be n o t so h o l y - c r u e l . L o v e i s h o l y , A n d my i n t e g r i t y ne' e r knew t h e c r a f t s T h a t y o u do c h a r g e men w i t h . S t a n d no more o f f , B u t g i v e t h y s e l f u n t o my s i c k d e s i r e s , Who t h e n r e c o v e r . ( i v . i i . 3 2 - 3 6 ) H i s abandon t o t h i s l u s t f u l l o v e i s c o m p l e t e and makes e a s y H e l e n a ' s p l a n t o t r i c k h i m and w i n h i s l o v e : H e r e , t a k e my r i n g ! My h o u s e , mine h o n o u r , y e a , my l i f e , be t h i n e , And I ' l l be b i d b y t h e e . ( I V . i i . 51-53) S u c h i s t h e man whom H e l e n a l o v e s w i t h a l l h e r h e a r t . However, S h a k e s p e a r e s a v e s B e r t r a m f r o m u t t e r d e g r a d a t i o n and w o r t h -l e s s n e s s and t h u s p r e v e n t s t h e e n d i n g , where t h e r e l u c t a n t h u s b a n d and t h e p e r s i s t e n t w i f e a r e h a p p i l y u n i t e d , f r o m b e c o m i n g i n c r e d i b l e . The r a s h B e r t r a m i s redeemed, t o some 1 2 3 e x t e n t , ' w h e n he r e a l i z e s t h a t he has "been m i s g u i d e d hy t h e 2 f a l s e c o u r t i e r , P a r o l l e s . Though he does n o t d e s e r v e H e l e n a , we f e e l , a t l e a s t he shows p r o m i s e o f i m p r o v i n g and "becoming a t r u e l o v e r and husband. T h r o u g h o u t t h e p l a y , H e l e n a h o l d s o u r r e a l i n t e r e s t as a c o u r t l y l o v e r . I t i s she who s u f f e r s f o r l o v e and must make a l l t h e a d v a n c e s , as t h e u s u a l c o u r t l y l o v e r h a d done, I n an e a r l y s o l i l o q u y , h e r d e s p a i r i s e v i d e n t and h e r d o t i n g upon B e r t r a m 1 s handsome f e a t u r e s e x p r e s s e s h e r l o v e : T h e r e i s no l i v i n g , none, I f B e r t r a m be away. 'Twere a l l one T h a t I s h o u l d l o v e a b r i g h t p a r t i c u l a r s t a r And t h i n k t o wed i t , he i s so above me. I n h i s b r i g h t r a d i a n c e and c o l l a t e r a l l i g h t M ust I be c o m f o r t e d , n o t i n h i s s p h e r e . Th' a m b i t i o n i n my l o v e t h u s p l a g u e s i t s e l f . The h i n d t h a t w o u l d be mated by t h e l i o n Must d i e f o r l o v e . 'Twas p r e t t y , t h o u g h a p l a g u e , To see him e v e r y h o u r ; t o s i t and draw. H i s a r c h e d b rows, h i s h a w k i n g e y e , h i s c u r l s , I n o u r h e a r t ' s t a b l e — h e a r t t o o c a p a b l e O f e v e r y l i n e and t r i c k o f h i s sweet f a v o u r . B u t now h e ' s gone, and my i d o l a t r o u s f a n c y Must s a n c t i f y h i s r e l i c s . ( I . I . 9 5 - 1 0 9 ) 2 I n d e p i c t i n g P a r o l l e s as a f o o l i s h , u p s t a r t c o u r t i e r and i n e x p o s i n g h i s c o w a r d i c e , S h a k e s p e a r e i s s a t i r i z i n g t h e a m b i t i o u s c o u r t i e r o f h i s own day. The b a d i n f l u e n c e w h i c h P a r o l l e s has b e e n i s r e p o r t e d by L a f e w t o t h e C o u n t e s s : No, no, no', y o u r s o n was m i s l e d w i t h a s n i p t - t a f f e t a f e l l o w t h e r e , whose v i l l a n o u s s a f f r o n w o u l d have made a l l t h e unbak'd and doughy y o u t h o f a n a t i o n i n h i s c o l o u r . ( I V . v . 1 - 4 ) 124 We may detect the conventional dejection which the lover suffers for unrequited love. Helena reveals the symptoms of the usual lover, as the Countess observes: H-er eye i s sick on't. • ( I . i i i . 1 4 2 ) v. Like the usual courtly lover, Helena wishes to be a vassal i n love: My master, my dear l o r d he i s , and I His servant l i v e and w i l l his vassal die. (I.iii.164-165) This young lady does not accept the s i t u a t i o n passively, but quickly devises the scheme which wins Bertram. Her deter-mination to win his hand i s rewarded, as i s her determination to win his love. Though she has to do t h i s by t r i c k e r y , her persistence gains the desired end. We may wonder why Helena wanted Bertram so badly, especially when he refuses to be t r u t h f u l about the love intrigue (with one whom he supposes to be Diana): Let your Highness Lay a more noble thought upon mine honour Than for to think that I would sink i t here. (V.iii.179-181) Again his uncourtly manner i s evident when his ring i s discovered i n the possession of Diana and he must confess what i s apparently a dishonorable love a f f a i r : Certain i t i s I l i k ' d her, And boarded her i ' th' wanton way of youth. She knew her distance and did angle for me, Madding my eagerness with her r e s t r a i n t , As a l l impediments i n fancy 1s course Are motives of more fancy; and, i n f i n e , Her i n f i n i t e cunning, with her modern grace, Subdu'd me to her rate. She got the r i n g , And I had that which any i n f e r i o r might At market price have bought. (Y.iii.210-219) T h i s c o u r t i e r i s an u n p l e a s a n t f e l l o w , i n t h a t h i s a c c o u n t o f t h e a f f a i r i s f a l s e and h i s d e p r e c i a t i o n o f D i a n a ' s r e p u t a t i o n i s u n j u s t . However, H e l e n a , who was r e a l l y h i s l o v e r i n t h i s e p i s o d e , l o v e s him i n s p i t e o f h i s a t t i t u d e . S u c h l o v e c a n n o t be e x p l a i n e d b u t i t i s n o t n e c e s s a r y t h a t i t s h o u l d be. As a l l i s r i g h t e d , t h e K i n g s t r i k e s a happy, f o r g i v i n g n o t e i n h i s f i n a l s p e e c h : A l l y e t seems w e l l ; and i f i t end so meet, The b i t t e r p a s t , more welcome i s t h e sweet. ( V . i i i . 3 3 3 - 3 3 4 ) I n Much Ado about N o t h i n g t h e l a d y as p u r s u e r may be s e e n i n t h e C l a u d i o - H e r o p l o t . However, i n t h i s p l a y C l a u d i o r e a l l y wants H e r o ' s l o v e b u t has n o t t h e a g g r e s s i v e -n e s s o f t h e u s u a l c o u r t l y l o v e r . He does n o t t r y t o e s c a p e f r o m l o v e as does B e r t r a m , b u t i s r a t h e r h a l f - h e a r t e d i n h i s a t t e m p t t o w i n i t . He i s g l a d t o l e t Don P e d r o woo H e r o f o r him and when she i s won he i s e a s i l y p e r s u a d e d o f h e r s u p p o s e d d i s l o y a l t y . We m i g h t e x p e c t more o f C l a u d i o , t h e y oung c o u r t i e r , when we h e a r an e a r l y r e p o r t o f how t h e P r i n c e has r e w a r d e d him f o r h i s v a l o r : 3 T h i s p l o t i s s u b o r d i n a t e i n i n t e r e s t t o t h e one o f B e a t r i c e and B e n e d i c k where l o v e i s t r e a t e d as comedy. The c l a s h e s o f w i t i n w h i c h t h e s e two r a i l a g a i n s t l o v e p r o v i d e the a u d i e n c e w i t h amusement. F i n a l l y , i n agreement w i t h t h e happy e n d i n g o f t h e C l a u d i o - H e r o p l o t , B e a t r i c e and B e n e d i c k c o n f e s s t h e i r l o v e f o r e a c h o t h e r , even t h o u g h t h e y h a d b e e n t r i c k e d i n t o b e l i e v i n g t h e one was i n l o v e w i t h t h e o t h e r . T h e s e two were mockers o f l o v e and n e i t h e r e x p e r i e n c e d i t as d i d t h e P e t r a r c h a n l o v e r o r h i s l a d y . T h e i r m a r r i a g e i s more t h e u n i o n o f two e q u a l l y m a t c h e d i n t e l l e c t s t h a n t h e r e w a r d o f two d o t i n g c o u r t l y l o v e r s . Much d e s e r v ' d on h i s p a r t , and e q u a l l y remember'd by Don P e d r o . He h a t h b o r n e h i m s e l f b e y o n d t h e p r o m i s e o f h i s age, d o i n g i n t h e f i g u r e o f a lamb t h e f e a t s o f a l i o n . He h a t h i n d e e d b e t t e r b e t t e r ' d e x p e c t a t i o n t h a n you must e x p e c t o f me t o t e l l y o u how. (I.i.12-17) When we meet C l a u d i o , t h e l o v e r , we see one who i s u n s u r e o f h i m s e l f . He r e v e a l s h i s h e s i t a n c e when he s a y s t o t h e P r i n c e : How s w e e t l y y o u do m i n i s t e r t o l o v e , T h a t know l o v e ' s g r i e f by h i s complexion'. B u t l e s t my l i k i n g m i g h t t o o sudden seem, I w o u l d have s a l v ' d i t w i t h a l o n g e r t r e a t i s e . (I.i.314-317) A f t e r e n t r u s t i n g h i s w o o i n g t o Don P e d r o , C l a u d i o e a s i l y becomes d i s t r u s t f u l o f h i s f r i e n d and q u i c k l y d e s p a i r s o f w i n n i n g H e r o : The P r i n c e wooes f o r h i m s e l f . F r i e n d s h i p i s c o n s t a n t i n a l l o t h e r t h i n g s S a v e i n t h e o f f i c e and a f f a i r s o f l o v e . T h e r e f o r e a l l h e a r t s i h l o v e use y o u r own t o n g u e s ; L e t e v e r y eye n e g o t i a t e f o r i t s e l f A n d t r u s t no a g e n t ; f o r b e a u t y i s a w i t c h A g a i n s t whose charms f a i t h m e l t e t h i n t o b l o o d . T h i s i s an a c c i d e n t o f h o u r l y p r o o f , T/hich I m i s t r u s t e d not'. F a r e w e l l t h e r e f o r e H e r o 1 (II.i.181-189) I n s p i t e o f t h e i n e f f e c t i v e n e s s o f C l a u d i o as a l o v e r , H e r o i s won f o r him. H i s r e s p o n s e , upon b e i n g i n f o r m e d by L e o n a t o ( t h e f a t h e r o f H e r o ) t h a t H e r o i s h i s , i s p r o s a i c and f o r m a l : S i l e n c e i s t h e p e r f e c t e s t h e r a l d o f j o y . I were b u t l i t t l e happy i f I c o u l d s a y how much. L a d y , as you a r e mine, I am y o u r s . I g i v e away m y s e l f f o r y o u and d o t e upon t h e e x c h ange. (II.i.317-320) LZ'/ C l a u d i o l a c k s t h e i n i t i a t i v e o f a c o u r t l y l o v e r and we a r e h a r d l y s u r p r i s e d t h a t i t i s t h e m a c h i n a t i o n o f L e o n a t o , H e r o , B e a t r i c e , and B e n e d i c k w h i c h f i n a l l y b r i n g s a happy c o n -c l u s i o n t o t h e p l a y . H e r o , l i k e H e l e n a i n A l l _ _ s J M l ^ r e m a i n s d e v o t e d t o C l a u d i o , e v e n when she i s p u b l i c l y d e nounced and d i s g r a c e d . H e r l o v e r a c c e p t s t h e s t o r y o f t h e d i s c o n t e n t e d J o h n t h e B a s t a r d and upon v e r y f l i m s y e v i d e n c e i s p e r s u a d e d t h a t H e r o i s f a l s e . H i s f i r s t t h o u g h t i s t o e x p o s e h e r , e v e n b e f o r e he has h a d p r o o f o f h e r i n f i d e l i t y : I f I see a n y t h i n g t o - n i g h t why I s h o u l d n o t m a rry h e r to-morrow, i n t h e c o n g r e g a t i o n where I s h o u l d wed, t h e r e w i l l I shame h e r . ( I I I . i i . 1 2 6 - 1 2 8 ) When h i s i n t e n t i o n t o shame h e r i s f u l f i l l e d C l a u d i o e x p r e s s e s h i s r e g r e t f o r f a l l i n g i n l o v e and h i s d i s i l l u s i o n : 0 H e r o 1 what a H e r o h a d s t t h o u b e e n I f h a l f t h y o u t w a r d g r a c e s had b e e n p l a c ' d A bout t h y t h o u g h t s and c o u n s e l s o f t h y h e a r t ? B u t f a r e t h e e w e l l , most f o u l , most f a i r I F a r e w e l l , T h ou p u r e i m p i e t y and i m p i o u s p u r i t y ' . F o r t h e e I ' l l l o c k up a l l t h e g a t e s o f l o v e , . A n d on my e y e l i d s s h a l l c o n j e c t u r e hang, To t u r n a l l b e a u t y i n t o t h o u g h t s o f harm, And n e v e r s h a l l i t more be g r a c i o u s . ( I V . i . 1 0 1 - 1 0 8 ) Though H e r o swoons f r o m t h i s f a l s e a c c u s a t i o n , she r e c o v e r s and w i l l i n g l y e n t e r s i n t o t h e F r i a r ' s p l a n t o e s t a b l i s h h e r i n n o c e n c e and w i n b a c k C l a u d i o : Y o u r d a u g h t e r h e r e t h e p r i n c e s l e f t f o r d e a d , L e t h e r a w h i l e be s e c r e t l y k e p t i n A n d p u b l i s h i t t h a t she i s d e ad i n d e e d . . . . ( I V . i . 2 0 3 - 2 0 5 ) 128 C l a u d i o i s s o o n overcome w i t h r e m o r s e and i s so p e n i t e n t t h a t , upon l e a r n i n g o f John t h e B a s t a r d ' s v i l l a i n y , he a g r e e s t o m a rry L e o n a t o ' s n i e c e , i f i t w i l l make t h e o l d man happy. However, t h e n i e c e t u r n s out t o he L e o n a t o ' s d a u g h t e r , H e r o , who comes t o t h e wedding masked. B y h e l p i n g t o d e c e i v e C l a u d i o i n t o t h i n k i n g she was dead and by c o m i n g t o t h e wedding masked, as a s u p p o s e d c o u s i n who was unknown t o C l a u d i o , H e r o f i n a l l y w ins h e r l o v e r , whoa we f e e l h a r d l y d e s e r v e s h e r f o r , h i s f o o l i s h n e s s and u n k i n d n e s s . I n M e a s u r e f o r M e a s u r e we r e t u r n t o t h e u n p l e a s a n t atmosphere o f a l a d y d e v o t e d t o an u n w o r t h y man who has f o u l i n t e n t i o n s . As i n A l l ^ s J [ e J L l _ _ t _ i a t _ E n d s J f e l l , t h e p u r s u i n g l a d y w i n s t h e man she l o v e s by s u b s t i t u t i n g h e r s e l f f o r t h e l a d y whose h o n o r t h e man i n t e n d s t o a t t a c k . The e v i l n a t u r e o f A n g e l o i s o f no c o n s e q u e n c e t o M a r i a n a who, r e g a r d l e s s o f t h e f a c t t h a t h e , b r o k e h i s p r o m i s e t o m a r r y h e r b e c a u s e h e r dowry was l o s t , and r e g a r d l e s s o f t h e f a c t t h a t he i s d r i v e n Tby l u s t t o p e r v e r t t h e l a w , i s w i l l i n g t o do a n y t h i n g t o w i n him. When we f i r s t meet A n g e l o , t h e Duke i s s u r r e n d e r i n g h i s power t o him, h o p i n g t h a t A n g e l o may be a b l e t o e n f o r c e t h e law f o r b i d d i n g u n m a r r i e d l o v e . The Duke b e l i e v e s t h a t A n g e l o i s w o r t h y o f h i s t r u s t : I f any i n V i e n n a be o f w o r t h . To u n d e r g o s u c h ample g r a c e and h o n o u r , I t i s L o r d A n g e l o . ( I . i . 23-25) 129 However, t h e Duke i s n o t w i t h o u t h i s s u s p i c i o n s o f t h i s s e e m i n g l y v i r t u o u s man and, i n t e m p o r a r i l y s u r r e n d e r i n g h i s powers, means t o d i s g u i s e h i m s e l f as a f r i a r and o b s e r v e h i s d e p u t y : . . . L o r d A n g e l o i s p r e c i s e , S t a n d s , a t a. g u a r d w i t h envy, s c a r c e c o n f e s s e s T h a t h i s b l o o d f l o w s o r t h a t h i s a p p e t i t e I s more t o b r e a d t h a n s t o n e ; hence s h a l l we s e e , I f power change p u r p o s e , what our seemers be. ( I . i i i . 50-54) The Duke's s u s p i c i o n s a r e j u s t i f i e d f o r we see t h a t i t i s p o s s i b l e t o sway A n g e l o . When I s a b e l l a comes t o p l e a d a g a i n s t t h e d e a t h p e n a l t y i m p o s e d on h e r b r o t h e r , C l a u d i o , f o r h i s l o v e a f f a i r w i t h J u l i e t , A n g e l o i s overcome w i t h h e r b e a u t y and b e a r i n g . H i s l u s t f o r h e r knows no bounds and he p r o m i s e s t o s p a r e C l a u d i o i n r e t u r n f o r I s a b e l l a ' s h o n o r . H o n o r i s p r i z e d v e r y c h e a p l y i n d e e d by t h i s u n p l e a s a n t c o u r t i e r . H i s e v i l n a t u r e i s r e v e a l e d c l e a r l y a f t e r I s a b e l l a has o f f e r e d t o expose him f o r h i s u n c o u r t l y a d v a n c e s : Who w i l l b e l i e v e t h e e , I s a b e l ? My u n s o i l ' d name, t h ' a u s t e r e n e s s o f my l i f e , My v o u c h a g a i n s t y o u , and my p l a c e i ' t h ' s t a t e W i l l so y o u r a c c u s a t i o n o v e r w e i g h T h a t you s h a l l s t i f l e i n y o u r own r e p o r t And s m e l l o f calumny. I have begun, And now I g i v e my s e n s u a l r a c e t h e r e i n . F i t t h y c o n s e n t t o my s h a r p a p p e t i t e ; L a y by a l l n i c e t y and p r o l i x i o u s b l u s h e s T h a t b a n i s h what t h e y sue f o r . Redeem t h y b r o t h e r By y i e l d i n g up t h y body t o my w i l l , Or e l s e he must n o t o n l y d i e the d e a t h , B u t t h y u n k i n d n e s s s h a l l h i s d e a t h draw o u t T o l i n g ' r i n g s u f f e r a n c e . Answer me to-morrow, Or, by t h e a f f e c t i o n t h a t now g u i d e s me most, I ' l l p r o v e a t y r a n t t o h i m t As f o r y o u , Say what y o u c a n ; my f a l s e o ' e r w e i g h s y o u r t r u e . (II.iv.154-170) 130 T h i s i s t h e u n d i s c i p l i n e d h y p o c r i t e t h a t M a r i a n a i s s t r o n g l y d e v o t e d t o . One wonders how any c o u r t l y l a d y c o u l d r e m a i n d e v o t e d t o s u c h a man, e s p e c i a l l y a f t e r t h e Duke ( d i s g u i s e d as a f r i a r ) t e l l s I s a b e l l a how A n g e l o c a s t a s i d e M a r i a n a : L e f t h e r i n h e r t e a r s and d r i e d n o t one o f them w i t h h i s c o m f o r t ; s w a l l o w e d h i s vows w h o l e , p r e t e n d i n g i n h e r d i s c o v e r i e s o f d i s h o n o u r ; a few, b e s t o w ' d h e r on h e r own l a m e n t a t i o n , w h i c h she y e t wears f o r h i s s a k e ; and he, a m a r b l e t o h e r t e a r s , i s washed w i t h them b u t r e l e n t s n o t . (III.i.234-239) The k i n d o f d e v o t e d l o v e w h i c h M a r i a n a e x p e r i e n c e s c a n h a r d l y be e x p l a i n e d . A s i n A l l ^ s W e l l _ t h a t Ends W e l l , l o v e c a u s e s the p u r s u i n g l a d y t o i g n o r e t h e f a u l t s o f h e r l o v e d one. T h u s , a g a i n , t h e l a d y i s d e g r a d e d b e c a u s e o f h e r e f f o r t s t o w i n a man who most o f us w o u l d a g r e e was u n w o r t h y . So s t r o n g i s M a r i a n a ' s p a s s i o n f o r A n g e l o t h a t she i s w i l l i n g t o a c c e p t t h e Duke's p l a n t o g a i n h i m by d e c e p t i o n . The Duke d i s c l o s e s h i s p l a n t o I s a b e l l a , i n a s k i n g f o r h e r c o - o p e r a t i o n : . . . we s h a l l a d v i s e t h i s wronged m a i d t o s t e a d up y o u r a p p o i n t m e n t , go i n y o u r p l a c e . I f t h e e n c o u n t e r a c k n o w l e d g e i t s e l f h e r e a f t e r , i t may compel h i m t o h e r r e compense; and h e r e , b y t h i s , i s , y o u r b r o t h e r s a v e d , y o u r h o n o u r u n t a i n t e d , t h e p o o r M a r i a n a a d v a n t a g e d , and t h e c o r r u p t d e p u t y s c a l e d . ( I I I . i . 6 0 - 6 6 ) The p l a n works as t h e Duke i n t e n d e d , a n d a l l i s r i g h t e d i n t h e end. The Duke, i n h i s d i s g u i s e , p r e v e n t s t h e d e c e p t i v e A n g e l o , who meant t o hang C l a u d i o and e n j o y I s a b e l l a r e g a r d l e s s o f h i s b a r g a i n , f r o m t u r n i n g t h e p l a y i n t o a t r a g e d y . When A n g e l o i s d i s c o v e r e d and shamed he i s t r u l y r e p e n t a n t : 1.31 T h e n , good p r i n c e , No l o n g e r s e s s i o n h o l d u pon my shame, B u t l e t my t r i a l be mine own c o n f e s s i o n . Immediate s e n t e n c e t h e n , and s e q u e n t d e a t h , I s a l l t h e g r a c e I b e g . ( V . i . 3 7 5 - 3 7 9 ) H a p p i l y , t h e Duke i s f o r g i v i n g and commands A n g e l o t o m a r r y M a r i a n a who a s k s no o t h e r r e w a r d f o r h e r d e v o t i o n : . 0 my d e a r l o r d 1 I. c r a v e no o t h e r , n o r no b e t t e r man. ( V . i . 4 3 0 - 4 3 1 ) Though h e r b e t r o t h e d i s n o t t h e i d e a l c o u r t i e r , t h e f o r g i v i n g M a r i a n a h o l d s hope f o r him: T h e y say b e s t men a r e m o u l d e d o u t o f f a u l t s , And, f o r t h e most, become much more t h e b e t t e r F o r b e i n g a l i t t l e b a d . ( V . i . 444-446) S h a k e s p e a r e does n o t p e r m i t us t o f e e l o u t r a g e d b u t , i n an a t m o sphere o f f o r g i v i n g , w i s h e s h a p p i n e s s t o a l l . The Duke v o i c e s t h i s as M a r i a n a i s t r i u m p h a n t i n h e r q u e s t : J o y t o y o u , M a r i a n a ' . L o v e h e r , A n g e l o . I have c o n f e s s ' d h e r , and I know h e r v i r t u e . ( V . i . 5 3 2 - 5 3 3 ) I n R i c h a r d ^ I I we once more meet t h e l a d y who i s p u r s u i n g h e r l o v e d one. U n l i k e t h e l a d i e s i n t h e o t h e r p l a y s o f t h i s c h a p t e r , t h e Queen i s a l r e a d y m a r r i e d when t h e p l a y b e g i n s . However, she has f a i l e d t o o b t a i n t h e l o v e o f R i c h a r d and l o n g s t o e x p e r i e n c e l o v e i n t h e c u s t o m a r y f a s h i o n . H e r l o n g i n g i s n o t a c c o m p a n i e d by any c l e v e r t r i c k s t o w i n h e r l o r d . O n l y h e r p l e a d i n g r e v e a l s h e r d i s a p p o i n t m e n t . I n All',,s„ Well„ t h a t _ j l n d s J f e l l . , Much Ado about N o t h i n g , and M§a_lliE§,_-£2__l§,§is.li£§,> "the p u r s u i n g l a d y i s f i n a l l y t r i u m p h a n t . I n R i c h j . r d _ I < I , t h i s i s n o t t h e c a s e . The Queen's p l e a s a r e 132 s p o k e n i n v a i n s i n c e R i c h a r d i s c o n c e r n e d o n l y w i t h h i s own f a t e . However, t h o u g h he i s weak, r e c k l e s s , and s e l f - p i t y i n g , he i s c a p a b l e o f w i n n i n g t h e Queen's f i r m d e v o t i o n . When-e v e r we see h e r she i s s a d a t t h e t h o u g h t o f p a r t i n g : Y e t I know no c a u s e Why I s h o u l d welcome s u c h a g u e s t as g r i e f Save b i d d i n g f a r e w e l l t o so sweet a g u e s t As my sweet R i c h a r d . ( I I . i . 6 - 9 ) She s a d l y r e a l i z e s t h e f u l l e f f e c t s o f R i c h a r d ' s d e p o s i t i o n : Ah, t h o u t h e model where o l d T r o y d i d s t a n d , Thou map o f h o n o u r , t h o u K i n g R i c h a r d ' s tomb, A n d n o t K i n g R i c h a r d ' . (V.i.11-13) The f u t i l i t y o f h e r d e v o t e d l o v e f o r him i s made e v i d e n t when h i s o n l y r e s p o n s e t o h e r g r i e f i s t o a d v i s e h e r t o e n t e r a n u n n e r y and f o r g e t him: L e a r n , good s o u l , T o t h i n k pur f o r m e r s t a t e a happy dream; From w h i c h awak'd, t h e t r u t h o f what we a r e Shows us b u t t h i s . • • « H i e t h e e t o F r a n c e And c l o i s t e r t h e e i n some r e l i g i o u s h o u s e . (V.i.17-23) H i s u n k i n d n e s s and t h o u g h t l e s s n e s s i s h a r d l y w o r t h y o f h i s r a n k : T h i n k I am dead, and t h a t e v e n h e r e t h o u t a k e s t , As f r o m my d e a t h b e d , t h y l a s t l i v i n g l e a v e . (V.i.38-39) As t h e y t a k e t h e i r f i n a l p a r t i n g , t h e Queen r e a l i z e s how h o p e l e s s i t i s t o g i v e h e r h e a r t t o h e r h u s b a n d : Give' me mine own a g a i n . 'Twere no good p a r t To t a k e on me t o keep and k i l l t h y h e a r t . So, now I have mine own a g a i n , be gone, T h a t I may s t r i v e t o k i l l i t w i t h a g r o a n . (V.i.97-100) R i c h a r d ' s r e f u s a l o f h e r l o v e i s - s h a r p and f i n a l : 133 We make woe wanton w i t h t h i s f o n d d e l a y . Once more a d i e u 1 . The r e s t l e t s o r r o w s a y . (V.i. 1 0 1 - 1 0 2 ) S u c h an a t t i t u d e k i l l s l o v e and as t h e two p a r t we r e a l i z e t h a t t h e man f a i l s as a c o u r t l y l o v e r and t h e l a d y f a i l s t o g a i n h e r l o v e . I n p r e s e n t i n g t h e u n p l e a s a n t a s p e c t s o f c o u r t l y l o v e i n A l l l ^ J i e l l _ < t a _ a t _ < E n d s M_^h_Ado_.ab_out.Nothing, and M e a s u r e f o r ^ M e a s u r e and t h e f a i l u r e o f c o u r t l y l o v e i n R i c h a r d I I , S h a k e s p e a r e was p r o b i n g i n t o t h e v e r y h e a r t o f t h e t r a d i t i o n and l o o k i n g a t i t r e a l i s t i c a l l y . S u c h p l a y s as t h e s e show t h a t he was aware t h a t c o u r t l y l o v e was n o t a l w a y s a m a t t e r o f p l e a s a n t s p o r t i n g and a happy p a i r i n g - u p o f n o b l e c o u p l e s . I n t h e s e p l a y s , S h a k e s p e a r e , c a u g h t i n t h e age o f humanism, l o o k s a t man w i t h a c r i t i c a l eye and p r e s e n t s what he s e e s . Though t h e r e s u l t i s n o t a l w a y s p l e a s a n t , we must n o t c o n c l u d e t h a t S h a k e s p e a r e i s d e n o u n c i n g man o r c o u r t l y l o v e . We c a n n o t , however, f a i l t o d e t e c t t h e n o t e o f d i s i l l u s i o n m e n t w h i c h a c c o m p a n i e s t h e p o r t r a y a l o f s u c h c o u r t l y men as B e r t r a m , C l a u d i o , and A n g e l o . A l s o , we c a n n o t m i s s t h e t r u e i m p l i c a t i o n o f s u c h c o u r t l y l a d i e s as H e l e n a , H e r o , and M a r i a n a , who seem t o be w i l l i n g t o do a n y t h i n g t o w i n t h e i r man. When we l o o k a t B e r t r a m we s e e one who r e b e l s a t t h e e s t a b l i s h e d custom o f a r r a n g e d m a r r i a g e s and i n t h e same r e b e l l i o n d e s e r t s t h e a c c e p t e d s t a n d a r d o f c o u r t l y l o v e . C l a u d i o , i n Much Ado, about N o t h i n g , i s a l s o l e s s t h a n an i d e a l c o u r t i e r . He i s a weak l o v e r and i s t o o h a s t y i n h i s t r e a t m e n t o f H e r o , g i v i n g 134 c r e d e n c e t o t h e f l i m s y s t o r y o f t h e d i s r e p u t a b l e J o hn t h e B a s t a r d . B o t h H e l e n a , i n A l l ' s W e l l t h a t Ends W e l l , and H e r o , i n Much Ado about, Nothing!;, a r e t o o r e a d y t o p u r s u e t h e one t h e y l o v e , b o t h r e s o r t i n g t o t r i c k e r y . I n M e a s u r e f o r M e a s u r e , t h e c h a r a c t e r s a r e even more u n p l e a s a n t . C l a u d i o , t h e i m p r i s o n e d l o v e r who n e a r l y l o s e s h i s l i f e b e c a u s e o f h i s d i s h o n o r a b l e r e l a t i o n s w i t h J u l i e t , a t t a c h e s no v a l u e t o c h a s t i t y . He i s w i l l i n g t o s u r r e n d e r h i s s i s t e r ' s h o n o r t o s a v e h i s own l i f e . C l a u d i o ' s d e s p i c a b l e n e s s i s outdone by A n g e l o . He s p u r n s M a r i a n a and i s d e s p e r a t e i n h i s l u s t f u l d e s i g n s on I s a b e l l a . F i n a l l y , M a r i a n a r e c o v e r s h e r l o v e d one, A n g e l o , b y s u b s t i t u t i n g h e r s e l f f o r I s a b e l l a a n d s u b m i t t i n g t o h i s l u s t . S h a k e s p e a r e ' s t r e a t m e n t o f c o u r t l y l o v e i s f a r f r o m i d e a l i s t i c h e r e . He i s s h o w i n g men and women as t h e y r e a l l y a r e . Gone i s t h e c o n v i c t i o n o f t h e e a r l y R e n a i s s a n c e b e l i e f i n man's e s s e n t i a l g o o d n e s s . We r e a l i z e t h a t h e r e a r e p e o p l e t h a t r e a l l y e x i s t . S u c h p e o p l e who a l l o w t h e i r t r u e n a t u r e s t o g u i d e them and i n d u l g e t h e i r l o w d e s i r e s c a n end t h e i r l i v e s i n t r a g e d y . I n t h e s e p l a y s , w h i c h show man's u n p l e a s a n t s i d e , r e a l t r a g e d y i s b a r e l y a v e r t e d . T e c h n i c a l l y , t h e y a r e c o m e d i e s ; b u t p o t e n t i a l l y , t h e y a r e t r a g e d i e s . We have a l r e a d y s e e n t h a t The Winter'.s T a l e and Cy^mbeline came c l o s e t o e n d i n g i n t r a g e d y due t o t h e j e a l o u s y and h a t r e d o f c e r t a i n i n d i v i d u a l s and were o n l y s a v e d i n a t w i l i g h t hope f o r man. I n t h e t h r e e p l a y s t o be d e a l t w i t h n e x t , S h a k e s p e a r e a c t u a l l y l o o k s d e e p e r i n t o c o u r t l y l o v e and p r e s e n t s i t as i t s i n k s i n t o t r a g e d y . CHAPTER VII THE COURTLY THEME AND TRAGEDY T r o i l u s and O r e s s i d a Hamlet O t h e l l o CHAPTER V I I I n T r o i l u s and C r e s s i d a , H a m l e t and O t h e l l o , w r i t t e n a b o u t t h e same t i m e as t h e p l a y s d e a l t w i t h i n t h e l a s t c h a p t e r , S h a k e s p e a r e f o l l o w s t h r o u g h h i s t r e a t m e n t o f t h e u n p l e a s a n t and r e a l i s t i c a s p e c t s o f t h e c o u r t l y theme t o i t s n a t u r a l , t r a g i c c o n c l u s i o n . S h a k e s p e a r e , i n T r o i l u s and C r e s s i d a — as i n no o t h e r p l a y he w r o t e — shows how s h a l l o w was t h e outmoded m e d i e v a l c h i v a l r y , s u c h as S p e n s e r i d e a l i z e d . Though he c h o o s e s a s t o r y f r o m G r e e k a n t i q u i t y t o do t h i s , t h e c h a r a c t e r s a r e c o u r t l y k n i g h t s and l a d i e s and t h e s i t u a t i o n s a r e m e d i e v a l . When we r e a c h t h e end o f t h e p l a y , we r e a l i z e t h a t we have w i t n e s s e d a v i g o r o u s r e a l i s t i c c r i t i c i s m o f t h e i d e a l s w h i c h g u i d e d t h e k n i g h t i n l o v e and war. We a r e aware t h a t S h a k e s p e a r e d e t e c t e d t h e t r u e n a t u r e o f t h e c o u r t l y l o v e r e l a t i o n s h i p and t h e t r u e i m p l i c a t i o n o f a war waged f o r u n j u s t ends as we see C r e s s i d a l e f t t o e n j o y h e r new-found p a s s i o n , T r o i l u s d e f e a t e d i n l o v e w i t h h i s dreams s h a t t e r e d , and H e c t o r b a r b a r o u s l y s l a i n when he i s c a u g h t unarmed by t h e s u p p o s e d l y k n i g h t l y A c h i l l e s . The s a c r e d code o f l o v e and h o n o r i s e x p o s e d i n t h i s p l a y w h i c h g i v e s no hope o f l a s t i n g h a p p i n e s s t o any, b u t l e a v e s us m u s i n g on t h e s h a l l o w n e s s o f t h e d o c t r i n e s o f c o u r t l y l o v e and t h e h y p o c r i s y o f t h e code o f c h i v a l r i c h o n o r . T r o i l u s , h i m s e l f , s a y s t h a t h o n o r i s f u n d a m e n t a l l y i r r a t i o n a l : Nay, i f we t a l k o f r e a s o n , L e t 1 s s h u t o u r g a t e s and s l e e p . Manhood and h o n o u r S h o u l d have h a r e h e a r t s , w o u l d t h e y b u t f a t t h e i r t h o u g h t s 1 3 7 W i t h t h i s cramm'd r e a s o n . ( I I . i i . 4 6 - 4 9 ) S u c h an o p i n i o n o f h o n o r h a r d l y c o n v i n c e s " us t h a t i t c o u l d be a v a l u e t o g u i d e a l l men. T h e r e i s much t h a t i s c o n v e n t i o n a l i n Shakespeare'js p r e s e n t a t i o n o f T r o i l u s and C r e s s i d a and y e t t h e r e i s a new v i s i o n w h i c h s e e s t h r o u g h t h e i d e a l i s m o f t r a d i t i o n a l c o u r t l y l o v e . When we f i r s t see T r o i l u s he i s s u f f e r i n g f o r l o v e and p r a i s i n g h i s i n c o m p a r a b l e l a d y i n t h e c u s t o m a r y f a s h i o n : I t e l l t h e e I am mad I n G r e s s i d 1 s l o v e . Thou a n s w e r ' s t 'She i s f a i r ' '. P o u r ' s t i n t h e open u l c e r o f my h e a r t H e r e y e s , . h e r h a i r , h e r che e k , h e r g a i t , h e r v o i c e ; H a n d i e s t i n t h y d i s c o u r s e , 0, t h a t h e r hand, I n whose c o m p a r i s o n a l l w h i t e s a r e i n k W r i t i n g t h e i r own r e p r o a c h , t o whose s o f t s e i z u r e The c y g n e t ' s down i s h a r s h and s p i r i t o f s e n s e < H a r d as t h e palm o f ploughman'. T h i s t h o u t e l l ' s t me, A s t r u e t h o u t e l l ' s t me, when I say I l o v e h e r , B u t s a y i n g t h u s , i n s t e a d o f o i l and b a l m Thou l a y ' s t i n e v e r y g a s h t h a t l o v e h a t h g i v e n me The k n i f e t h a t made i t . ( I . i . 5 1 - 6 3 ) < C r e s s i d a , l i k e w i s e , i s c o n v e n t i o n a l i n h e r seeming r e l u c t a n c e . She s p u r n s t h e s o l i c i t i n g s w h i c h P a n d a r u s makes on b e h a l f • o f h i s f r i e n d , T r o i l u s , e v e n when T r o i l u s i s d e s c r i b e d as h a v i n g a l l t h e r e q u i r e m e n t s o f t h e i d e a l c o u r t i e r : Have you any e y e s ? Do you know what a man i s ? I s n o t b i r t h , b e a u t y , good shape, d i s c o u r s e , manhood, l e a r n i n g , g e n t l e n e s s , v i r t u e , y o u t h , l i b e r a l i t y , and s u c h - l i k e , t h e s p i c e and s a l t t h a t s e a s o n a man? ( I . i i . 2 7 4 - 2 7 8 ) 138 I n d e e d , C r e s s i d a i s aware o f T r o i l u s , as she shows i n h e r s o l i l o q u y w h i c h f o l l o w s : Words, vows, g i f t s , t e a r s , and l o v e ' s f u l l s a c r i f i c e He o f f e r s i n a n o t h e r ' s e n t e r p r i s e . B u t more i n T r o i l u s t h o u s a n d f o l d I see T h a n i n t h e g l a s s o f P a n d a r ' s p r a i s e may he. Y e t I h o l d o f f . Women a r e a n g e l s , wooing: T h i n g s won a r e done; j o y ' s s o u l l i e s i n the d o i n g . T h a t she b e l o v ' d knows na u g h t t h a t knows n o t t h i s ' . Men p r i z e t h e t h i n g u n g a i n ' d more t h a n i t i s . T h a t she was n e v e r y e t t h a t e v e r knew Lov e got so sweet as when d e s i r e d i d sue. T h e r e f o r e t h i s maxim out o f l o v e I t e a c h : A c h i e v e m e n t i s command; u n g a i n ' d , b e s e e c h . T h e n , t h o u g h my h e a r t ' s c o n t e n t f i r m l o v e d o t h b e a r , N o t h i n g o f t h a t s h a l l f r o m mine eyes a p p e a r . (I.ii.3 0 8 - 3 2 1 ) H e r e we see a c o o l , c a l c u l a t i n g woman who knows what she i s d o i n g when she assumes t h e c r u e l t y and a l o o f n e s s e x p e c t e d o f h e r . S u c h s c h e m i n g makes mockery o f the d e v i c e o f c r u e l t y w h i c h s u p p o s e d l y t e s t e d t h e l o v e r ' s s i n c e r i t y and p a t i e n c e . C r e s s i d a i s n o t a l o n e i n h e l p i n g us t o see t h r o u g h many o f t h e c o u r t l y d o c t r i n e s . When T r o i l u s i s d i s c u s s i n g , w i t h h i s b r o t h e r s , t h e n e e d f o r f i g h t i n g t o keep H e l e n i n the T r o j a n camp, he u r g e s them t o t a k e a c t i o n , n o t b e c a u s e i t i s r i g h t t o k e e p H e l e n , b u t b e c a u s e i t i s a m a t t e r o f h o n o r . H e r e we a r e 1 r e m i n d e d o f T r o i l u s ^ e a r l i e r a s s e r t i o n t h a t r e a s o n had n o t h i n g t o do w i t h h o n o r . I n a s p e e c h , w h i c h abounds w i t h c h i v a l r i c p h r a s e s , T r o i l u s s t a t e s h i s v i e w s : Were i t n o t g l o r y t h a t we more a f f e c t e d T h a n t h e p e r f o r m a n c e o f o u r h e a v i n g s p l e e n s , I w o u l d n o t w i s h a d r o p o f T r o j a n b l o o d S p e n t more i n h e r d e f e n c e . B u t , w o r t h y H e c t o r , She i s a theme o f h o n o u r and renown, A s p u r t o v a l i a n t and magnanimous d e e d s , Whose p r e s e n t c o u r a g e may b e a t down o u r f o e s , And fame i n t i m e t o come c a n o n i z e u s . F o r I presume b r a v e H e c t o r w o u l d n o t l o s e 139 So r i c h a d v a n t a g e o f a p r o m i s ' d g l o r y As s m i l e s upon t h e f o r e h e a d o f t h i s a c t i o n F o r t h e wide w o r l d ' s r e v e n u e . (II.ii. 1 9 5 - 2 0 6 ) We c a n n o t f a i l t o d e t e c t t h e s e l f i s h m o t i v e b e h i n d t h i s a p p e a l . T r o i l u s s e e s t h a t h e r e i s an o p p o r t u n i t y f o r h i s b r o t h e r s t o g a i n fame and he a p p e a l s d i r e c t l y t o t h e s e l f -e s t e e m o f H e c t o r who r e m i n d e d them t h a t H e l e n was t h e l e g a l w i f e o f S p a r t a ' s k i n g . T h e r e i s n o t h i n g n o b l e i n k e e p i n g a s t o l e n w i f e i n o r d e r t o w i n fame. I f s u c h s e l f i s h n e s s be b e h i n d c o u r t l y d o c t r i n e s , we c a n e x p e c t them t o l e a d t o t r a g e d y . The t r a g e d y o f t h e p l a y , by w h i c h S h a k e s p e a r e e x p o s e s t h e u n h a p p i e s t p o s s i b i l i t i e s o f c o u r t l y l o v e , stems f r o m t h e l o v e o f T r o i l u s and C r e s s i d a . The f o r m e r i s b l i n d i n h i s w o o i n g , f a i l i n g t o d e t e c t t h e o b v i o u s wantonness o f C r e s s i d a ' s f i r s t words o f l o v e . When P a n d a r u s f i n a l l y s u c c e e d s i n 2 b r i n g i n g t h e two t o g e t h e r , we a r e t o l d t h e n a t u r e o f t h i s u n i o n ; I f my l o r d g e t a boy o f y o u , y o u ' l l g i v e h i m me. Be t r u e t o my l o r d . I f he f l i n c h , c h i d e me f o r i t . ( I I I . i i . 1 1 2 - 1 1 4 ) 1 C f . H o t s p u r ' s s p e e c h , H e n r y IV . ( P a r t I ) , f o r t h e same theme o f k n i g h t l y h o n o r : ~" * "" B y h e a v e n , m e t h i n k s i t were an e a s y l e a p To p l u c k b r i g h t h o n o u r f r o m t h e p a l e - f a c ' d moon, Or d i v e i n t o t h e b o t t o m o f t h e deep, Where fadorn l i n e c o u l d n e v e r t o u c h t h e g r o u n d , A n d p l u c k up drowned honour by t h e l o c k s , So he t h a t d o t h redeem h e r t h e n c e m i g h t wear W i t h o u t c o r r i v a l a l l h e r d i g n i t i e s ; B u t o ut upon t h i s h a l f - f a c ' d f e l l o w s h i p ' . (I.iii. 2 0 1 - 2 0 8 ) , 2 We a r e r e m i n d e d h e r e o f e a r l y m e d i e v a l c o u r t l y l o v e w h i c h p e r m i t t e d s u c h u n i o n s r a t h e r t h a n t h e l a t e r c o u r t l y l o v e o f the s i x t e e n t h c e n t u r y w h i c h h e l d m a r r i a g e t o be t h e o n l y a c c e p t a b l e end. 140 T r o i l u s was not wrong, according to the code, i n accepting th i s type of love. The mistake he made was i n f a i l i n g to detect Cressida's r e a l nature and i n expecting to b u i l d a true, l a s t i n g love out of t h i s relationship. Cressida's f i r s t words of love show her smouldering desire: Boldness comes to me now and brings, me heart. Prince T r o i l u s , I have lov'd you night and day For many weary months. . . . Hard to seem won; but I was won, my l o r d , With the f i r s t glance that e v e r . — pardon me I I f I confess much, you w i l l play the tyrant. I love you now; but t i l l now not so much But I might master i t . In f a i t h , I, l i e ' . My thoughts were l i k e unbridled children, grown Too headstrong for their mother. See, we fools I Why have I blabb'd? (III.ii.121-132) Cressida might be expected to confess her love, but here she confesses much more, revealing her inner nature. She desires T r o i l u s , yet suddenly fears she may lose him for her i n d i s c r e t i o n . In t h i s scene we witness more romantic love-making between these two than i n any other i n the play. S t i l l , there i s an unhealthy atmosphere about i t . The vows of constancy which the two exchange are not convincing. In the midst of them, Tr o i l u s expresses his doubt and skepticism: 0 that I thought i t could be i n a woman (As, i f i t can, I w i l l presume i n you) To feed for aye her lamp and flame of love; To keep her constancy i n pli g h t and youth, Outliving beauties outward, with a mind That doth renew swifter than blood decays I Or that persuasion could but thus convince me, That my i n t e g r i t y and truth to you Might be affronted with the match and weight Of such a winnowed purity i n love I How were I then u p l i f t e d , but, alas, 1 am true as truth's s i m p l i c i t y And simpler than the infancy of truth. (III.ii.165-177) 141 I f T r o i l u s 1 i n t u i t i o n i s w a r n i n g him h e r e , i n t h i s b r i e f moment, he i s i n c a p a b l e o f h e e d i n g t h e w a r n i n g . C r e s s i d a swears h e r c o n s t a n c y and T r o i l u s i s l o s t : I f I be f a l s e , o r swerve a h a i r f r o m t r u t h , When t i m e i s o l d and h a t h f o r g o t i t s e l f , When w a t e r d r o p s have worn t h e s t o n e s o f T r o y , And b l i n d o b l i v i o n s w a l l o w ' d c i t i e s up, And m i g h t y s t a t e s c h a r a c t e r l e s s a r e g r a t e d To d u s t y n o t h i n g — y e t l e t memory, From f a l s e t o f a l s e , among f a l s e maids i n l o v e , U p b r a i d my f a l s e h o o d ! When t h ' have s a i d 1 as f a l s e A s a i r , as w a t e r , w i n d , o r s a n d y e a r t h , As f o x t o lamb, o r w o l f t o h e i f e r ' s c a l f , P a r d t o t h e h i n d , o r stepdame t o h e r s o n ' — 'Yea,' l e t them s a y , t o s t i c k t h e h e a r t o f f a l s e h o o d , 'As f a l s e as C r e s s i d . ' (III.ii. 1 9 1 - 2 0 3 ) We s o o n r e a l i z e how s i g n i f i c a n t i s t h i s s p e e c h i n i t s p r o p h e t i c i r o n y and how h o l l o w a r e t h e vows o f C r e s s i d a . A f t e r t h e y a r e s p o k e n , P a n d a r u s , the go-between, whose i d e a o f l o v e i s a p u r e l y p h y s i c a l one, r e f e r s t o t h e u n i o n t h a t he has e n g i n e e r e d i n a manner w h i c h s t r i p s l o v e o f i t s b e a u t y o r i d e a l i s m : Whereupon I w i l l show you. a chamber w i t h a b e d , w h i c h , b e c a u s e i t s h a l l n o t s p eak o f y o u r p r e t t y e n c o u n t e r s , p r e s s i t t o d e a t h . ' Away! (III.ii.2 1 5 - 2 1 8 ) T h i s i s t h e c u l m i n a t i o n o f t h e l o v e o f T r o i l u s and C r e s s i d a and t h e b r i e f n i g h t s p e n t t o g e t h e r i s a l l t h e r e w a r d w h i c h t h e a f f a i r y i e l d s . I n the m o r n i n g , C r e s s i d a i s p a r t e d f r o m T r o i l u s , b e i n g e x c h a n g e d t o t h e G r e e k s f o r a T r o j a n p r i s o n e r , A n t e n o r . I t i s t h i s p a r t i n g w h i c h wrecks t h e i r l o v e , g i v i n g C r e s s i d a t h e o p p o r t u n i t y t o p r o v e h e r t r u e n a t u r e and s h a t t e r T r o i l u s ' dreams. The t r a g i c e n d i n g o f c o u r t l y l o v e i n t h i s p l a y i s e m p h a s i z e d c l e a r l y i n t h e s c e n e s where we see C r e s s i d a q u i c k l y y i e l d i n g t o t h e a d v a n c e s o f t h e G r e e k , Diomedes. I n t h e s e s c e n e s we r e a l i z e t h a t t h e t r a g e d y o f T r o i l u s i s h i s f o l l y i n t r u s t i n g a wanton. He was b l i n d t o t h e n a t u r e o f he p a s s i o n , a s s e r t i n g h i s b e l i e f i n h e r f i d e l i t y , b e f o r e t h e y p a r t e d : I s p eak n o t 'Be t h o u t r u e ' as f e a r i n g t h e e , F o r I w i l l throw my g l o v e t o D e a t h h i m s e l f T h a t t h e r e ' s no m a c u l a t i o n i n t h y h e a r t . . . ( I V . i v . 6 4 - 6 6 ) H i s t r u s t i n h e r and h i s s t r a i g h t f o r w a r d n e s s s h a r p e n t h e t r a g e d y o f h e r u n f a i t h f u l n e s s : W h i l s t some w i t h c u n n i n g g i l d t h e i r c o p p e r crown, W i t h t r u t h and p l a i n n e s s I do wear mine b a r e . F e a r n o t my t r u t h . The m o r a l o f my.wit I s ' p l a i n and t r u e ' ; t h e r e ' s a l l t h e r e a c h o f i t . ( I V . i v . 1 0 7 - 1 1 0 ) H i s p l a i n n e s s and h i s t r u t h f u l n e s s make h i m w o r t h y o f h e r l o v e and c o n s t a n c y . M o r e o v e r , a c c o r d i n g t o t h e c o d e , T r o i l u s had a r i g h t t o e x p e c t t h e s e . C r e s s i d a , however, w o u l d r a t h e r become someone's m i s t r e s s , i f i t were t o h e r i m m e d i a t e a d v a n t a g e . Diomedes s e e s t h i s , and h i s a c c u r a t e , i n s t a n t a n e o u s a p p r a i s a l o f h e r makes i t c l e a r : F a i r L a d y C r e s s i d , So p l e a s e y o u , s a v e the t h a n k s t h i s p r i n c e e x p e c t s . The l u s t r e i n y o u r eye, h e a v e n i n y o u r cheek, P l e a d s y o u r f a i r u s a g e ; and t o Diomed Y o u s h a l l be m i s t r e s s and command him w h o l l y . ( I V . i v . 1 1 8 - 1 2 2 ) She does become m i s t r e s s t o D i o m e d e s , c o n t r a r y t o t h e e s t a b l i s h e d customs o f c o u r t l y l o v e , s o o n p u t t i n g T r o i l u s 143 out of her heart. T r o i l u s has an opportunity to spy on them and witness Diomedes' conquest. He hears C r e s s i d a say: Sweet honey Greek, tempt me no more to f o l l y . ( V . i i . 1 8 ) Diomedes does tempt her and win her i n s p i t e of her weak pr o t e s t . T r o i l u s sees her give the sleeve to Diomedes which he had given to her on p a r t i n g and hears C r e s s i d a weakly f i g h t i n g with her own conscience: You look upon that sleeve? Behold i t w e l l . He loved me — 0 f a l s e wench'. — Give't me again. (V.ii.69-70) The unhappy T r o i l u s sees the one he loved and t r u s t e d won e a s i l y and hears her b i d f a r e w e l l to him:.-Good n i g h t . I p r i t h e e come. T r o i l u s , farewell'. One eye yet looks on thee, But w i t h my.heart the other eye doth see. Ah,- poor our sex I t h i s f a u l t i n us I f i n d , The e r r o r of our eye d i r e c t s our mind. What e r r o r leads must e r r . 0, then conclude Minds sway'd by eyes are f u l l of t u r p i t u d e . (V.ii.106-112) The comment of Thersiteis, which f o l l o w s t h i s speech, c l e a r l y l a b e l s Cressida's a c t i o n s : A proof of strength she could not p u b l i s h more Unless she s a i d 'My mind i s now turn'd whore.' (V.ii.113-114) T r o i l u s at l a s t r e a l i z e s he has l o s t her: This she? No t h i s i s Diomed's C r e s s i d a ! I f beauty have a s o u l , t h i s i s not she; I f souls guide vows, i f vows be sanctimonies, I f sanctimony be the god's d e l i g h t , I f there be r u l e i n u n i t y i t s e l f — This i s not she. (V.ii.137-142) H i s b i t t e r n e s s and unhappiness show h i s changed a t t i t u d e to l o v e : 144 I n s t a n c e , 0 i n s t a n c e I s t r o n g as P l u t o ' s g a t e s : C r e s s i d i s m i n e, t i e d w i t h t h e bonds o f h e a v e n . I n s t a n c e , 0 i n s t a n c e ' , s t r o n g as h e a v e n i t s e l f : The bonds o f h e a v e n a r e s l i p p ' d , d i s s o l v ' d , and l o o s ' d . A n d w i t h a n o t h e r k n o t , f i v e - f i n g e r - t i e d , The f r a c t i o n s o f h e r f a i t h , o r t s o f h e r l o v e , The f r a g m e n t s , s c r a p s , t h e b i t s , and g r e a s y r e l i c s O f h e r o 1 e r e a t e n f a i t h , a r e g i v e n t o Diomed. ( V . i i . 1 5 3 - 1 6 0 ) T r o i l u s n e v e r r e c o v e r s f r o m t h e d i s i l l u s i o n and d i s a p p o i n t m e n t w h i c h c o u r t l y l o v e b r i n g s t o him. H i s d e n u n c i a t i o n o f C r e s s i d a r e m a i n s w i t h us t o t h e end o f t h e p l a y : 0 C r e s s i d ' . 0 f a l s e C r e s s i d ' . f a l s e , f a l s e , f a l s e ' . L e t a l l u n t r u t h s s t a n d by t h y s t a i n e d name And they' 1 1 seem g l o r y . ( V . i i . 1 7 8 - 1 8 0 ) E v e n h i s d e a r f r i e n d P a n d a r u s i s denounced i n t h e l a s t words. w h i c h T r o i l u s s p e a k s : Hence, b r o k e r , l a c k e y ' . Ignomy and shame P u r s u e t h y l i f e and l i v e aye w i t h t h y name'. (V.v.3 3 - 3 4 ) S h a k e s p e a r e , i n showing t h e u n h a p p i n e s s and h a t r e d w h i c h c o u l d r e s u l t f r o m c o u r t l y l o v e , was aware t h a t s u c h an e n d i n g was l o g i c a l . The comments o f T h e r s i t e s when T r o i l u s i s ' f i g h t i n g w i t h Diomedes and when Menelaus- i s f i g h t i n g w i t h P a r i s m i g h t e a s i l y be S h a k e s p e a r e ' s own: H o l d t h y whore, G r e c i a n ' . Now f o r t h y Whore, T r o y a n l Now t h e s l e e v e ' , now t h e s l e e v e ' . ( V . i v . 25-27) The c u c k o l d and t h e c u c k o l d - m a k e r a r e a t i t . ( V . v i i . 9 ) Gone i s t h e c u s t o m a r y i d e a l i z a t i o n o f women. We a r e l e f t t o t h i n k how n a s t y c o u r t l y l o v e c a n be. E v e n C h a u c e r had more p i t y f o r h i s c o u r t l y l a d y , C r i s e y d e , b e i n g r e l u c t a n t t o t r e a t t h e end o f h i s n a r r a t i v e a f t e r p r e s e n t i n g h e r l o v e f o r 145 T r o i l u s as s o m e t h i n g b e a u t i f u l . S h a k e s p e a r e m e r e l y l e a v e s h i s f a i t h l e s s l a d y i n d u l g i n g h e r l a t e s t p a s s i o n and l e a v e s h i s c o u r t i e r f i g h t i n g f u r i o u s l y b e c a u s e o f t h e h a t r e d and b i t t e r n e s s w h i c h have grown out o f h i s e x p e r i e n c e i n c o u r t l y l o v e . I n H a m l e t , t h e c o u r t l y theme a l s o ends t r a g i c a l l y . I n t h i s p l a y , t h e h e r o shows an i n a b i l i t y t o a c c e p t and r e t u r n t h e l o v e w h i c h he had once e x p e r i e n c e d . He has come t o b e l i e v e t h a t women a r e s h a l l o w and t h a t l o v e i s u n p l e a s a n t , h a v i n g t h e example o f h i s m other b e f o r e him. H e r h a s t y m a r r i a g e t o t h e K i n g w h i c h seems w i c k e d and i n c e s t u o u s t o him, s h a t t e r s h i s i d e a l o f womanhood. When O p h e l i a r e m i n d s him o f h i s p a s t a t t e n t i o n s t o h e r , he seems r e g r e t f u l and d i s c o u r a g e s h e r . O n l y a f t e r she i s dead does he o p e n l y c o n f e s s h i s l o v e and t h e n i t i s t o o l a t e . She has b e e n t h e i n d i r e c t v i c t i m o f H a m l e t ' s d e s i r e f o r r e v e n g e upon C l a u d i u s . The f u l l t r a g i c e f f e c t o f t h e f a i l u r e o f l o v e i n t h i s p l a y i s b o r n e out by t h e f a c t t h a t b o t h H a m l e t and O p h e l i a r e a l l y want t h a t l o v e . However, H a m l e t ' s i n a b i l i t y t o e x p r e s s h i s love!,, a t t h e c r u c i a l moment, and O p h e l i a ' s i n a b i l i t y t o u n d e r s t a n d h i s changed a t t i t u d e and h i s r e a l f e e l i n g s make l o v e i m p o s s i b l e . A p a r t f r o m a few b r i e f l i n e s where O p h e l i a 3 i s r e p o r t i n g H a m l e t ' s e a r l y a v o w a l o f l o v e o r where P o l o n i u s 3 O p h e l i a r e p o r t s H a m l e t ' s h o n o r a b l e wooing t o h e r f a t h e r : My l o r d , he h a t h i m p o r t u n ' d me w i t h l o v e I n h o n o u r a b l e f a s h i o n . • • • And h a t h g i v e n c o u n t e n a n c e t o h i s , s p e e c h , my l o r d , W i t h a l m o s t a l l t h e h o l y vows o f h e a v e n . ( I . i v . 1 1 0 - 1 1 4 ) 146 4 i s r e a d i n g t h e l e t t e r H a m l e t w r o t e t o O p h e l i a , w h i c h i s composed i n c o n v e n t i o n a l c o u r t l y s t y l e , l o v e i s n e v e r p r e s e n t e d i n a f a v o r a b l e l i g h t . B o t h L a e r t e s and P o l o n i u s g i v e an u n f a v o r a b l e p i c t u r e o f l o v e i n t h e i r w a r n i n g s t o O p h e l i a , m a k i n g p l a i n i t s d a n g e r s r a t h e r t h a n i t s j o y s . L a e r t e s s a y s s T h e n w e i g h what l o s s y o u r h o n o u r may s u s t a i n I f w i t h t o o c r e d e n t e a r you l i s t h i s s o n g s , Or l o s e y o u r h e a r t , o r y o u r c h a s t e t r e a s u r e open To h i s u n m a s t ' r e d i m p o r t u n i t y . F e a r i t , O p h e l i a , f e a r i t , my d e a r s i s t e r , A n d keep you i n t h e r e a r o f y o u r a f f e c t i o n , Out o f t h e s h o t and d a n g e r o f d e s i r e . The c h a r i e s t m a i d i s p r o d i g a l enough I f she unmask h e r b e a u t y t o t h e moon. V i r t u e i t s e l f s c a p e s n o t c a l u m n i o u s s t r o k e s . The c a n k e r g a l l s the i n f a n t s o f t h e s p r i n g Too o f t b e f o r e t h e i r b u t t o n s be d i s c l o s ' d , A n d i n . t h e morn and l i q u i d dew o f y o u t h C o n t a g i o u s b l a s t m e n t s a r e most im m i n e n t . Be wary t h e n ; b e s t s a f e t y l i e s i n f e a r . Y o u t h t o i t s e l f r e b e l s , t h o u g h none e l s e n e a r . ( I . i i i . 2 9 - 4 4 ) P o l o n i u s e c h o e s t h i s w a r n i n g : I n few, O p h e l i a , Do n o t b e l i e v e h i s vows; f o r t h e y a r e b r o k e r s , Not o f t h a t dye w h i c h t h e i r i n v e s t m e n t s show, B u t mere i m p l o r a t o r s o f u n h o l y s u i t s , B r e a t h i n g l i k e s a n c t i f i e d and p i o u s bawds, The b e t t e r t o b e g u i l e . ( I . i v . 1 2 6 - 1 3 1 ) A n o t h e r u n f a v o r a b l e p i c t u r e o f l o v e i s g i v e n t o H a m l e t by t h e G h o s t : 4 'To t h e c e l e s t i a l , and my s o u l ' s i d o l , t h e most b e a u t i f u l O p h e l i a , ' — • • • I n h e r e x c e l l e n t w h i t e bosom, t h e s e , &c' • • • 0 d e a r O p h e l i a , I am i l l a t t h e s e numbers; I have n o t a r t t o r e c k o n my g r o a n s ; b u t t h a t I l o v e t h e e b e s t , 0 most b e s t , b e l i e v e i t . A d i e u . ( I I . i i . 1 1 0 - 1 2 2 ) ±4-7 Ay, t h a t i n c e s t u o u s , t h a t a d u l t e r a t e b e a s t , W i t h w i t c h c r a f t o f h i s w i t , w i t h t r a i t o r o u s g i f t s — 0 w i c k e d w i t and g i f t s , t h a t have t h e power So t o s e d u c e I :— won t o h i s s h a m e f u l l u s t The w i l l o f my most s e e m i n g - v i r t u o u s queen. 0 H a m l e t , what a f a l l i n g - o f f was t h e r e , From me, whose l o v e was o f t h a t d i g n i t y T h a t i t went hand i n hand e v e n w i t h the vow 1 made t o h e r i n m a r r i a g e , and t o d e c l i n e Upon a w r e t c h whose n a t u r a l g i f t s were p o o r To t h o s e o f mine '. B u t v i r t u e , as i t n e v e r w i l l be mov'd, Though l e w d n e s s c o u r t i t i n a shape o f h e a v e n , So l u s t , t h o u g h t o a r a d i a n t a n g e l l i n k ' d , W i l l s a t e i t s e l f i n a c e l e s t i a l b e d And p r e y on g a r b a g e . (I.v.42-57) The young l o v e r s , H a m l e t and O p h e l i a , a r e b o t h e x p o s e d t o t h e s e a d v e r s e v i e w s o f l o v e . O p h e l i a , i n h e r i n n o c e n c e , i s h a r d l y a f f e c t e d by them b u t t h e y p r e y on H a m l e t ' s mind. T h e g h o s t o f h i s f a t h e r has condemned h i s mother who was t h e symbol o f womanhood t o him. I t i s l i t t l e wonder t h a t he f i g h t s a g a i n s t h i s l o v e f o r O p h e l i a . The e f f e c t w h i c h H a m l e t ' s b r o o d i n g and m e l a n c h o l y have upon him and t h e c o n f l i c t o f a t t r a c t i o n and r e p u l s i o n f o r O p h e l i a may be d e t e c t e d i n O p h e l i a ' s a c c o u n t o f Hamlet a c c o s t i n g h e r i n h e r c l o s e t : He t o o k me by t h e w r i s t and h e l d me h a r d ; T h e n goes he t o l e n g t h o f a l l h i s arm, And, w i t h h i s o t h e r hand t h u s o ' e r h i s brow, He f a l l s t o s u c h p e r u s a l o f my f a c e As he w o u l d draw i t . L o n g s t a y ' d he s o . A t l a s t , a l i t t l e s h a k i n g o f mine arm, And t h r i c e h i s h e a d t h u s w a v i n g up and down, He r a i s ' d a s i g h so p i t e o u s and p r o f o u n d As i t d i d seem t o s h a t t e r a l l h i s b u l k And end h i s b e i n g . T h a t done, he l e t s me go, And w i t h h i s h e a d o v e r h i s s h o u l d e r t u r n ' d He seem'd t o f i n d h i s way w i t h o u t h i s e y e s , F o r out o ' d o o r s he went w i t h o u t t h e i r h e l p And t o t h e l a s t b e n d e d t h e i r l i g h t on me. (II.i.87-100) The f u l l e x t e n t o f H a m l e t ' s d e s i r e t o put a s i d e women and l o v e c a n be s e e n i n h i s c r u e l t y t o O p h e l i a when he o r d e r s her to a nunnery: Get thee to a nunnery i Why wouldst thou be a breeder of sinners? • • • I f thou dost marry, I ' l l give thee t h i s plague f o r thy dowry: be thou as chaste as i c e , as pure as snow, thou s h a l t not escape calumny. Get thee to a nunnery. Go, f a r e w e l l . Or i f thou w i l t needs marry, marry a f o o l ; f o r wise men know w e l l enough what monsters you make of them. To a nunnery, go; and q u i c k l y too. F a r e w e l l . (III.i.122-146) In Ophelia's s o l i l o q u y which f o l l o w s , she describes Hamlet as the i d e a l c o u r t i e r and gives voice to her own d i s a p p o i n t -ment and defeat i n l o v e : 0, what a noble mind i s here o'erthrown! The c o u r t i e r ' s , s c h o l a r ' s , s o l d i e r ' s , eye, tongue, sword, Th' expectancy and rose of the f a i r s t a t e , The glass of f a s h i o n and the mould of form, Th' observed of a l l observers — q u i t e , q uite down'. And I , of l a d i e s most deject and wretched, That suck'd the honey of h i s music vows, Now see that noble and most sovereign reason, L i k e sweet b e l l s jangled, out of tune and harsh That unmatch'd form and feature of blown youth B l a s t e d with ecstacy. 0, woe i s me T' have seen what I have seen, see what I s e e l (III.i. 1 5 8-169) This f u l l expression of hopelessness i s a l l that love can mean i n t h i s play. When Ophelia hears that her dear f a t h e r has been k i l l e d by the one she most loved, she loses her mind and her l i f e . Love i s never r e a l i z e d f o r Ophelia or Hamlet who, at her graveside.1, i n h i s q u a r r e l i n g with L a e r t e s , f i n a l l y comes out and expresses h i s l o v e , too l a t e : I l o v ' d Ophelia. F o r t y thousand brothers Could not (with a l l t h e i r q uantity of love) Make up my sum. (V.ii.292-294) As t h e i r love i s u n f u l f i l l e d , we r e a l i z e that Ophelia d i d not u n d e r s t a n d h e r l o v e r and he d i d n o t u n d e r s t a n d h i s own t r u e f e e l i n g s . The t r a g i c e n d i n g o f t h e c o u r t l y theme i n O t h e l l o i s a l s o b r o u g h t about by m i s u n d e r s t a n d i n g . I n t h i s p l a y , S h a k e s p e a r e p r e s e n t s a most v i t a l t r a g e d y , s i n c e i t i s l o v e t h a t a c t u a l l y l e a d s a h u s b and t o k i l l h i s w i f e . The t r a g i c c o n c l u s i o n i s t h e n a t u r a l end o f s u c h j e a l o u s l o v e as we met i n The Two G e n t l e m e n o f V e r o n a , C y m b e l i n e , o r The W i n t e r 1 s T a l e . H e r e , i n Q t h e l l o , t h e r e i s no a r r a n g e m e n t w h i c h s a t i s f i e s a l l , no t i m e l y c o n f e s s i o n o f m a l i c e on t h e p a r t o f t h e v i l l a i n . R a t h e r , t h e h a t r e d and j e a l o u s y o f t h e e v i l I a g o g r a d u a l l y o v e r p o w e r s O t h e l l o 1 s n o b l e c h a r a c t e r t i l l he i s c o n v i n c e d t h a t h i s b e l o v e d w i f e i s a wanton. H i s j e a l o u s y i s a r o u s e d t o s u c h a p i t c h t h a t he k i l l s the f a i t h f u l Desdemona, t h i n k i n g he i s s a c r i f i c i n g h e r l i f e t o s a v e h e r f r o m f u r t h e r s i n n i n g . Too l a t e he l e a r n s t h a t I a g o ' s e v i d e n c e i s f a l s e and he r e a l i z e s h i s own f o l l y . T h e r e i s s o m e t h i n g t e r r i b l e and t r a g i c i n h i s f i n a l r e a l i z a t i o n t h a t I a g o has e n s n a r e d h i s 5 s o u l . L o v e w h i c h ends l i k e t h i s c a r r i e s i t s own c o n d e m n a t i o n . Though O t h e l l o and Desdemona a r e more complex t h a n t h e c o n v e n t i o n a l c o u r t l y l o v e r s , s t i l l t h e y a r e p a t t e r n e d a f t e r t h e c o u r t i e r and t h e l a d y i n many r e s p e c t s . O t h e l l o t e l l s us o f h i s b i r t h and p o s i t i o n : 5 I n t h i s r e q u e s t , O t h e l l o s u g g e s t s t h a t he i s damned: W i l l y o u , I p r a y , demand t h a t d e m i - d e v i l Why he h a t h t h u s e n s n a r 1 d my s o u l and body? (V.ii.301-302) 150 . . . I f e t c h my l i f e and b e i n g From men o f r o y a l s i e g e ; and my d e m e r i t s May speak ( u n b o n n e t e d ) t o as p r o u d a f o r t u n e As t h i s t h a t I have r e a c h ' d . ( I . i i . 2 1 - 2 4 ) He has won h i s p o s i t i o n o f t r u s t and h o n o r on h i s own m e r i t s and h i s t r u e w o r t h i s v i s i b l e t o a l l who know him. B r a b a n t i o , a n g r y b e c a u s e t h e Moor has won h i s d a u g h t e r , t e l l s us t h a t Desdemona deemed him s u p e r i o r t o t h e c o u r t i e r s o f th e r e a l m . Damn'd as t h o u a r t , t h o u h a s t e n c h a n t e d h e r ! F o r I ' l l r e f e r me t o a l l t h i n g s o f s e n s e , I f she i n c h a i n s o f m a g i c were n o t bound, Whether a m a i d so t e n d e r , f a i r , and happy, So o p p o s i t e t o m a r r i a g e t h a t she shunn'd The w e a l t h y c u r l e d d a r l i n g s o f o u r n a t i o n , Would e v e r have ( t 1 i n c u r a g e n e r a l , mock) • Run f r o m h e r guardage t o t h e s o o t y bosom O f s u c h a t h i n g as t h o u . . . . ( I . i i . 6 3 - 7 0 ) The Duke i s l e s s g r u d g i n g i n h i s a p p r a i s a l , p l a c i n g f u l l t r u s t i n O t h e l l o : V a l i a n t O t h e l l o , we must s t r a i g h t employ y o u A g a i n s t t h e g e n e r a l enemy Ottoman. ( I . i i i . 4 8 - 4 9 ) Desdemona, won b y h i s t a l e s o f n o b l e d e e d s , s e e s a l l t h a t she needs i n a h u sband: T h a t I d i d l o v e t h e Moor t o l i v e w i t h him, My d o w n r i g h t " v i o l e n c e , and s t o r m o f f o r t u n e s , May t r u m p e t t o t h e w o r l d . My h e a r t 1 s subdu'd E v e n t o t h e v e r y q u a l i t y o f my l o r d . I saw O t h e l l o ' s v i s a g e i n h i s mind, And t o h i s h o n o u r s and h i s v a l i a n t p a r t s D i d I my s o u l and f o r t u n e s c o n s e c r a t e . ( I . i i i . 2 4 9 - 2 5 5 ) E v e n I a g o , who i s a s t u t e i n h i s o b s e r v a t i o n o f O t h e l l o ' s f a u l t s , c a n n o t f a i l t o see h i s good q u a l i t i e s : The Moor ( h o w b e i t t h a t I e n d u r e h i m ' n o t ) I s o f a c o n s t a n t , l o v i n g , n o b l e n a t u r e , And I d a r e t h i n k he'11 p r o v e t o Desdemona A most d e a r h u s b a n d . (II.I.2 9 7 - 3 0 0 ) 151 We must n o t assume t h a t O t h e l l o i s t h e a l l - r o u n d , c o u r t i e r , f o r he, h i m s e l f , t e l l s us t h a t he has b e e n groomed on t h e b a t t l e f i e l d and i s l a c k i n g i n c o u r t l y manners: Rude am I i n my s p e e c h , And l i t t l e b l e s s l d w i t h t h e s o f t p h r a s e o f p e a c e ; F o r s i n c e ' t h e s e arms o f mine ha d s e v e n y e a r s ' p i t h T i l l now some n i n e moons w a s t e d , t h e y have u s ' d T h e i r d e a r e s t a c t i o n i n t h e t e n t e d f i e l d ; And l i t t l e o f t h i s g r e a t w o r l d c a n I s p e a k More t h a n p e r t a i n s t o f e a t s o f b r o i l and b a t t l e . . . . ( I . i i i . 8 1 - 8 7 ) N e v e r t h e l e s s , he i s c a p a b l e o f w i n n i n g t h e l o v e and d e v o t i o n o f Desdemona, who, h e r f a t h e r t e l l s u s , i s an i n n o c e n t , c o u r t l y l a d y : , , . A m a i d e n n e v e r b o l d ; O f s p i r i t . s o s t i l l and q u i e t t h a t h e r m o t i o n B l u s h ' d a t h e r s e l f ; and she — i n s p i t e o f n a t u r e , O f y e a r s , o f c o u n t r y , c r e d i t , e v e r y t h i n g — T o f a l l i n l o v e w i t h what she f e a r ' d t o l o o k on'. ( I . i i i . 9 4 - 9 8 ) T h i s i s t h e l a d y whom O t h e l l o i s c a p a b l e o f w i n n i n g and we m i g h t e x p e c t t h a t t h e i r l o v e and m a r r i a g e s h o u l d be a happy and i d y l l i c one. However, t h e h a t r e d and s c h e m i n g o f I ago i s c a p a b l e o f d e s t r o y i n g O t h e l l o ' s t r u s t i n h i s w i f e , t h o u g h Desdemona i s d e v o t e d t o t h e end. I t i s t h e p e r s o n a l i t i e s o f b o t h O t h e l l o and Desdemona t h a t l e a d them t o t r a g e d y . I a g o p e r c e i v e d O t h e l l o ' s t r u e n a t u r e and e x p l o i t s i t t o t h e f u l l : The Moor i s o f a f r e e and o p en n a t u r e T h a t t h i n k s men h o n e s t t h a t b u t seem t o be s o ; 1 And w i l l as t e n d e r l y be l e d by t h ' n o s e As a s s e s a r e . ( I . i i i . 4 0 5 - 4 0 8 ) S h a k e s p e a r e l e a v e s no doubt t h a t t h i s i s a c o r r e c t o b s e r v a t i o n O t h e l l o , h i m s e l f , t e l l s us i t i s s o : C e r t a i n , men s h o u l d be what t h e y seem. ( I I I . i i i . 1 2 8 ) T h i s i s O t h e l l o ' s c r i t e r i o n and i t e x p l a i n s h i s - t r a g e d y , f o r he::-is m i s t a k e n . He i s c o n v i n c e d o f h i s w i f e ' s i n f i d e l i t y , o f C a s s i o ' s s e c r e t l o v e a f f a i r w i t h Desdemona, and o f I a g o ' s h o n e s t y by t h i n g s w h i c h seem t o be. O t h e l l o ' s t r u s t i n g n a t u r e i s s e e n t o a d v a n t a g e a t f i r s t , when B r a b a n t i o warns him t o w a t c h Desdemona: L o o k t o h e r , Moor, i f t h o u h a s t e y e s t o s e e . She had d e c e i v ' d ' h e r f a t h e r , and may t h e e . ( I . i i i . 2 9 3 - 2 9 4 ) O t h e l l o ' s q u i c k r e t o r t shows he c a n n o t a l l o w h e r c o n s t a n c y t o be q u e s t i o n e d ' : My l i f e upon h e r f a i t h ' . — : H o n e s t I a g o , My Desdemona must I l e a v e t o t h e e . (I.iii. 2 9 5 - 2 9 6 ) U n f o r t u n a t e l y , I a g o has no t r o u b l e t u r n i n g O t h e l l o ' s t r u s t i n g n a t u r e t o h i s own p u r p o s e . I a g o ' s p l a n t o have r e v e n g e upon O t h e l l o (who made C a s s i o h i s l i e u t e n a n t i n s t e a d o f I a g o and whom I a g o s u s p e c t s o f h a v i n g made l o v e t o h i s w i f e ) and a t t h e same t i m e b r i n g C a s s i o down, i s r e a l i z e d w i t h no d i f f i c u l t y : . . . I ' l l have o u r M i c h a e l C a s s i o on t h e h i p , Abuse him t o t h e Moor i n t h e r a n k g a r b ( F o r I f e a r C a s s i o w i t h my n i g h t c a p t o o ) . Make t h e Moor t h a n k me, l o v e me, and r e w a r d me F o r making h i m e g r e g i o u s l y an a s s And p r a c t i s i n g upon h i s p e a c e and q u i e t E v e n t o madness. (II.i.314 - 3 2 0 ) I a g o i s so c l e v e r t h a t he c a n do e x a c t l y as he p l a n s , and 153 O t h e l l o i s h e l p l e s s l y a t t h e mercy o f t h i s m a l i g n a n t j e a l o u s y . Desdemona i s l i k e w i s e a t t h e mercy o f I a g o ' s m a l i c i o u s n e s s . Though she r e m a i n s c o n s t a n t and d e v o t e d , she i s h e l p l e s s t o p r e v e n t t h e change i n O t h e l l o 1 s a t t i t u d e t o h e r and h e r own d e a t h . I n h e r i n n o c e n c e she does n o t u n d e r s t a n d what i s h a p p e n i n g and c a n n o t d e f e n d h e r s e l f . She seems t o l a c k t h e s p i r i t t o t a k e t h e i n i t i a t i v e as had R o s a l i n d i n As, Y o u L i k e I t , o r t h e a b i l i t y t o f i g h t b a c k as h a d Imogen i n C y m b e l i n e . Desdemona i s n o t t o be b l a m e d f o r h e r i n n o c e n c e , b u t i t i s t r a g i c t h a t she does not u n d e r s t a n d t h e true i m p l i c a t i o n s o f h e r p l e a d i n g f o r C a s s i o 1 s r e - i n s t a t e m e n t and t h a t she does n o t know why she i s a c c u s e d and condemned. I a g o , i n h i s s c h e m i n g , makes i t c l e a r t h a t he u n d e r s t a n d s Desdemona j u s t as w e l l - as he does O t h e l l o : F o r ' t i s most e a s y Th' i n c l i n i n g Desdemona t o subdue I n any h o n e s t s u i t . S h e ' s f r a m ' d as f r u i t f u l As t h e f r e e e l e m e n t s . A n d t h e n f o r h e r To w i n t h e Moor — w e r e ' t t o r e n o u n c e h i s b a p t i s m — A l l s e a l s and symbols o f redeemed s i n — H i s s o u l i s so e n f e t t e r ' d t o h e r l o v e T h a t she may make, unmake, do what she l i s t , E v e n as h e r a p p e t i t e s h a l l p l a y t h e god W i t h h i s weak f u n c t i o n . ( I I . i i i . 34-5-354) H e r i n n o c e n t n a t u r e i s b r o u g h t o u t a f t e r she has b e e n c a l l e d a whore by O t h e l l o : I c a n n o t s a y 'whore.' I t d o t h a b h o r me now I s p e a k t h e word; To do t h e a c t t h a t m i g h t t h ' a d d i t i o n e a r n N o t t h e w o r l d ' s mass o f v a n i t y c o u l d make me. (IV.ii.161-164) 1 I n h e r d i s c u s s i o n w i t h E m i l i a , h e r m a i d ( a n d I a g o ' s w i f e ) Desdemona s t i l l c a n n o t b e l i e v e t h a t women c o u l d do s u c h t h i n g s : D o s t t h o u i n c o n s c i e n c e t h i n k — t e l l me, E m i l i a — T h a t t h e r e be women do abuse t h e i r husbands I n s u c h g r o s s k i n d ? ( I V . i i i . 6 1 - 6 2 ) E m i l i a ' s c o n c l u s i v e summation shows a more r e a l i s t i c a t t i t u d e t o l o v e . I t m i g h t be t a k e n as t h e answer o f a lady,who was e n j o y i n g a new f r e e d o m i n E l i z a b e t h a n s o c i e t y t o t h e h u s b a nd who c a r r i e d on h i s own s e c r e t l o v e a f f a i r : B u t I do t h i n k i t i s t h e i r h u s b and's f a u l t s I f w i v e s do f a l l . S a y t h a t t h e y s l a c k t h e i r d u t i e s And p o u r o u r t r e a s u r e s i n t o f o r e i g n l a p s ; Or e l s e b r e a k o u t i n p e e v i s h j e a l o u s i e s , T h r o w i n g r e s t r a i n t upon u s ; o r s a y t h e y s t r i k e u s , Or s c a n t o u r f o r m e r h a v i n g i n d e s p i t e - -Why, we have g a l l s ; and t h o u g h we have some g r a c e , Y e t have we some r e v e n g e . L e t husbands know T h e i r w i v e s have s e n s e l i k e t h e y . T hey s e e , and s m e l l , A n d have t h e i r p a l a t e s b o t h f o r sweet and s o u r As husbands h a v e . What i s i t t h a t t h e y do When t h e y change us f o r o t h e r s ? I s i t sport.? I t h i n k i t i s . And d o t h a f f e c t i o n b r e e d i t ? I t h i n k i t d o t h . . I s ' t f r a i l t y t h a t t h u s e r r s ? I t i s so t o o . And have n o t we a f f e c t i o n s , D e s i r e s f o r s p o r t , and f r a i l t y , as men h a ve? Then l e t them u s e us w e l l ; e l s e l e t . them know, The i l l s we do, t h e i r i l l s i n s t r u c t us s o . ( I V . i i i . 8 9 - 1 0 6 ) Desdemona i s n o t o f t h i s i n d e p e n d e n t , r e b e l l i o u s n a t u r e , and so s u b m i t s t o h e r f a t e . O t h e l l o i s n o t t h e t y p e o f husband n o r i s Desdemona th e t y p e o f w i f e E m i l i a d e s c r i b e d , y e t t h e t r a g e d y happens b e c a u s e O t h e l l o t h i n k s o f h i s w i f e i n s u c h t e r m s . A t f i r s t , 155 O t h e l l o i s r e l u c t a n t t o b e l i e v e I a g o ' s r e p o r t s and t r i e s t o c o n t r o l an u p s u r g e o f j e a l o u s y by e x p l a i n i n g t h a t 6 Desdemona i s o n l y f u l f i l l i n g h e r r o l e as t h e c o u r t l y l a d y : ' T i s n o t t o make me j e a l o u s To say my w i f e i s f a i r , f e e d s w e l l , l o v e s company, I s f r e e o f s p e e c h , s i n g s , p l a y s , and d a n c e s w e l l . Where v i r t u e i s , t h e s e a r e more v i r t u o u s . N o r f r o m mine own weak m e r i t s w i l l I draw The s m a l l e s t f e a r o r doubt o f h e r r e v o l t , F o r she h a d e y e s , and c h o s e me. No, I a g o ; I ' l l see b e f o r e I d o u b t ; when I d o u b t , p r o v e ; A n d on t h e p r o o f t h e r e i s no more b u t t h i s — Away a t once w i t h l o v e o r j e a l o u s y ! ( I I I . i i i . 1 8 3 - 1 9 2 ) Though O t h e l l o seems t o be w i n n i n g h i s s t r u g g l e h e r e , he i s s o o n g i v e n a p p a r e n t l y c o n c l u s i v e p r o o f by I a g o t h a t Desdemona i s f a l s e . O t h e l l o , who has b e e n t o l d t h a t i t i s n o t n a t u r a l t h a t Desdemona s h o u l d m a rry one o f h i s c o l o r o r y e a r s c a n n o t b e a r t h e t h o u g h t o f h e r s e e k i n g l o v e e l s e w h e r e b e c a u s e o f an i l l - f o u n d e d m a r r i a g e : 0 c u r s e o f m a r r i a g e , T h a t we c a n c a l l t h e s e d e l i c a t e c r e a t u r e s o u r s , And n o t t h e i r a p p e t i t e s i I had r a t h e r be a t o a d And l i v e upon t h e v a p o u r o f a dungeon T h a n keep a c o r n e r i n t h e t h i n g I l o v e F o r o t h e r ' s u s e s . „ . ( I I I . i i i . 2 ^ 8 - 2 7 3 ) / B e c a u s e he b e l i e v e s t h a t o t h e r s a r e s h a r i n g h e r l o v e , he i s d r i v e n t o murder h e r . I n demanding p r o o f o f I a g o he d i s p l a y s 6 C f . C h a p t e r I I , p. 34-. 7 I t i s w o r t h n o t i c i n g h e r e t h a t O t h e l l o i s f i g h t i n g a g a i n s t t h e s i t u a t i o n condoned by e a r l y c o u r t l y l o v e , where a young w i f e was c o u r t e d b y a young l o v e r when th e husband was away a t war o r when t h e match was n o t a happy one. 156 a t o r t u r e d m i n d w h i c h l e a d s n a t u r a l l y t o t r a g e d y : By t h e w o r l d , I t h i n k my w i f e he h o n e s t , and t h i n k she i s n o t ; I t h i n k t h a t t h o u a r t j u s t , and t h i n k t h o u a r t n o t . I ' l l have some p r o o f . H e r name t h a t was as f r e s h A s M a n 1 s v i s a g e , i s now h e g r i m ' d and b l a c k As mine own f a c e . I f t h e r e be c o r d s , o r k n i v e s , P o i s o n , o r f i r e , o r s u f f o c a t i n g s t r e a m s , I ' l l n o t en d u r e i t . Would I were s a t i s f i e d . ( I I I . i i i . 3 8 3 - 3 9 0 ) When O t h e l l o i s f i n a l l y w orked up t o s u c h a f r e n z y t h a t he f a l l s i n t o a t r a n c e , I a g o ' s g l o a t i n g makes us aware t h a t i t i s p o s s i b l e f o r e v i l t o come o u t o f n o b l e l o v e : Work on, My m e d i c i n e , w o r k l . Thus c r e d u l o u s f o o l s a r e c a u g h t , And many w o r t h y and c h a s t e dames ev e n t h u s A l l g u i l t l e s s , meet r e p r o a c h . (IV.i.45-48) We r e a l i z e how e f f e c t i v e l y I a g o ' s m e d i c i n e has worked when we see -the d e p t h t o w h i c h O t h e l l o 1 s t h o u g h t s have sunk: Ay, l e t h e r r o t , and p e r i s h , and be damn 1d t o n i g h t ; f o r she s h a l l n o t l i v e . No, my h e a r t i s t u r n 1 d t o s t o n e . I s t r i k e i t , and i t h u r t s my hand. 0, t h e w o r l d h a t h n o t a s w e e t e r c r e a t u r e I She m i g h t l i e by an emperor 1 s s i d e and command him task's. ( I V . i i . 191-196) E v e n h e r e , when O t h e l l o g i v e s v o i c e t o t h e l o a t h e s o m e words he has l e a r n e d f r o m I a g o , we may see t h e c o n f l i c t . He s t i l l l o v e s Desdemona, as we see when he comes t o k i l l h e r : I t i s t h e c a u s e , i t i s t h e c a u s e , my s o u l . L e t me n o t name i t t o y o u , you c h a s t e s t a r s 1 . I t i s t h e c a u s e . Y e t I ' l l n o t s h e d h e r b l o o d , Nor s c a r t h a t w h i t e r s k i n o f h e r s t h a n snow, An d smooth as monumental a l a b a s t e r . Y e t she must d i e , e l s e s h e 1 1 1 b e t r a y more men. P u t out t h e l i g h t , and t h e n put out t h e l i g h t . I f I quench t h e e , t h o u f l a m i n g m i n i s t e r , 15'/ I c a n a g a i n t h y f o r m e r l i g h t r e s t o r e , S h o u l d I r e p e n t me; h u t once, put o u t t h y l i g h t , T hou c u n n i n g 1 s t p a t t e r n o f e x c e l l i n g n a t u r e , I know n o t where i s t h a t P r o m e t h e a n h e a t T h a t c a n t h y l i g h t r e l u m e . When I have p l u c k ' d t h e r o s e , I c a n n o t g i v e i t v i t a l g r o w t h a g a i n ; I t needs must w i t h e r . I ' l l s m e l l i t on t h e tree.-0 balmy b r e a t h , t h o u d o s t a l m o s t p e r s u a d e J u s t i c e t o b r e a k h e r sword'. One more, one more '. Be t h u s when t h o u a r t dead, and I w i l l k i l l t h e e , A n d l o v e t h e e a f t e r . One more, and t h i s t h e l a s t ! So sweet was n e ' e r so f a t a l . I must weep, B u t t h e y a r e c r u e l t e a r s . T h i s s o r r o w ' s h e a v e n l y ; I t s t r i k e s where i t d o t h l o v e . She wakes. ( V . i i . 1 - 2 2 ) I n t h i s s p e e c h , one o f t h e most p o w e r f u l S h a k e s p e a r e e v e r w r o t e , t h e f u l l t r a g e d y i s b o r n e o u t . O t h e l l o , who has b e e n d r i v e n by h i s d e s i r e f o r c o n s t a n c y and by h i s t r u s t i n g n a t u r e t o k i l l what he most l o v e s , t h i n k s he i s t h e m i n i s t e r o f j u s t i c e , s a c r i f i c i n g h i s w i f e t o s a v e h e r and o t h e r men. When i t i s t o o l a t e he l e a r n s t h e t r u t h and, upon the p o i n t o f d e a t h , r e a l i z e s how l o v e has m i s l e d him: . . . Speak o f me as I am. N o t h i n g e x t e n u a t e , N o r s e t down aught i n m a l i c e . T h e n must you s p e a k " O f one t h a t l o v ' d n o t w i s e l y , b u t t o o w e l l ; O f one n o t e a s i l y j e a l o u s , b u t , b e i n g w r o u g h t , P e r p l e x ' d i n t h e extreme; o f one whose hand ( L i k e t h a b a s e I n d i a n ) t h r e w a p e a r l away R i c h e r t h a n a l l h i s t r i b e . . . . ( V . i i . 3 4 2 - 3 4 8 ) As t h e p l a y ends we a r e aware o f t h e t r a g i c i m p l i c a t i o n s o f l o v e . S h a k e s p e a r e has shown u s , f u l l y , - t h e o t h e r s i d e o f s u c h j o y o u s , c a r e f r e e l o v e as i t i s f o u n d i n Twe 1 f t h _ N i _ ; h t . 158 W i t h t h e t h r e e p l a y s , T r o i l u s , and C r e s s i d a , H a m l e t , and O t h e l l o , the c o u r t l y theme ends i n t r a g e d y . T h i s i s t h e l i m i t t o w h i c h the theme c a n go. The i d e a l i s m and g a i e t y o f t h e c o n v e n t i o n s have d i s a p p e a r e d and i n t h e s e t r a g e d i e s t h e t r u e p o s s i b i l i t i e s o f c o u r t l y l o v e have b e e n e x p o s e d . A f t e r t h i s , t h e c o u r t l y theme c o u l d n o t be a c c e p t e d s e r i o u s l y as a p a t t e r n f o r l o v i n g o r f o r l i v i n g . S h a k e s p e a r e , i n p r o b i n g i n t o i t s e v e r y a s p e c t , e x p o s e d i t s t r u e n a t u r e and frts t r u e v a l u e . He n e e d e d b u t t o put i t a s i d e and t o a c c e p t o t h e r v a l u e s , f o r t h e c o u r t l y c o n v e n t i o n s were l o n g out o f d a t e . CHAPTER V I I I SUBVERSION OF THE THEME 160 CHAPTER V I I I I n T he_Temnest, a p p a r e n t l y S h a k e s p e a r e ' s l a s t c o m p l e t e p l a y , t h e c o u r t l y theme i s s u b v e r t e d . Many o f i t s t r a d i t i o n a l a s p e c t s may be d e t e c t e d , b u t t h e s e a r e no l o n g e r o f p r i m a r y i n t e r e s t . A l t h o u g h t h e l o v e r s a r e c o u r t l y f i g u r e s and f o l l o w c l o s e l y t h e c u s t o m a r y p a t t e r n o f making l o v e , s t i l l t h e y a r e o f l i t t l e i n t e r e s t t o us as c o u r t l y l o v e r s . The t r e a t m e n t o f l o v e i s much more p r o f o u n d t h a n i t had b e e n i n many o f t h e e a r l i e r p l a y s , s u c h as L o v e ' s L a b o u r ' s L o s t o r A Midsummer N i g h t ' s , Dream. T h e r e i s l e s s f r i v o l i t y and more d e p t h i n t h e theme o f The Tempest, w h i c h i s t h e r e -c o n c i l i a t i o n o f o l d enemies i n t h e i n t e r e s t s o f young l o v e r s . F u r t h e r m o r e , l o v e i s d e p i c t e d i n i t s y o u t h and i n n o c e n c e as t h e f o r c e o f r e n e w a l i n t h e w o r l d . The theme o f m a r r i a g e w h i c h S p e n s e r and C a s t i g l i o n e had p r e s e n t e d i n t h e i r c o n -c e p t i o n s o f c o u r t l y l o v e i s c a r r i e d t o i t s n a t u r a l c o n c l u s i o n by S h a k e s p e a r e who e m p h a s i z e s l o v e and m a r r i a g e as t h e means 1 o f b r i n g i n g about a b e t t e r w o r l d . The Tempest d e a l s w i t h a s h i p w r e c k e d p a r t y w h i c h i s g u i l t y o f a c r i m e a g a i n s t P r o s p e r o and h i s d a u g h t e r , M i r a n d a . T h i s p a r t y , w h i c h i n c l u d e s t h e r u l e r s o f N a p l e s and M i l a n , 1 T h i s theme i s s u g g e s t e d i n M i r a n d a ' s s p e e c h w h i c h s u i t s t h e themes o f r e c o n c i l i a t i o n and f r u i t i o n i n m a r r i a g e : 0 wonder I How many g o o d l y c r e a t u r e s a r e t h e r e here'. How b e a u t e o u s m a n k i n d i s ! 0 b r a v e new w o r l d T h a t has s u c h p e o p l e i n ' t ' l ( V . i . 181-184) 161 f a l l s i n t o t h e power o f P r o s p e r o , who was d e p o s e d as t h e Duke o f M i l a n by one o f t h e i r number. A n o t h e r o f t h e p a r t y , F e r d i n a n d , s o n o f t h e K i n g o f N a p l e s , f a l l s i n l o v e w i t h P r o s p e r o 1 s d a u g h t e r . I n t h e i n t e r e s t s o f t h e s e two l o v e r s , a l l i s h a p p i l y r e s o l v e d when P r o s p e r o e x e r c i s e s j u s t i c e and f o r g i v e n e s s r a t h e r t h a n r e v e n g e . The p l a y i s d o m i n a t e d by P r o s p e r o who, w i t h h i s book o f m a g i c and h i s s u p e r i o r k n o w l e d g e , i s a b l e t o c o n t r o l n a t u r e and n e a t l y b r i n g a l l h i s a d v e r s a r i e s t o h i s i s l a n d , v i c t i m s o f a s t o r m he has summoned. W h i l e t h e y a r e t h e r e he i s a b l e t o b e w i t c h c e r t a i n members, keep c e r t a i n g r o u p s a p a r t , and b e w i l d e r t h e c o u r t i e r s w i t h a b a n q u e t , c o n t r o l l e d b y A r i e l , w h i c h v a n i s h e s b e f o r e t h e y can e a t . S t r a n g e s h a p e s and m y t h o l o g i c a l g o d d e s s e s a r e c o n j u r e d up t o e n t e r t a i n F e r d i n a n d and M i r a n d a . S u c h deeds s u g g e s t t h a t t h e c o u r s e o f l o v e c o u l d be c o n t r o l l e d e a s i l y by P r o s p e r o , and t h o u g h he a l l o w s l o v e t o d e v e l o p n a t u r a l l y , we a r e aware t h a t he does so b e c a u s e s u c h d e v e l o p m e n t a g r e e s w i t h h i s i n t e n t i o n s . The c o u r t l y c h a r a c t e r s o f P r o s p e r o , F e r d i n a n d , and M i r a n d a a r e o f t h e most i n t e r e s t t o u s , i n The, Tempest. P r o s p e r o i s n o b l e i n h i s b e a r i n g , d i s p l a y i n g wisdom and t h e q u a l i t y o f f o r g i v e n e s s . H i s c o u r t l y b e a r i n g i s more e v i d e n t i n t h e f i n a l a c t when he g i v e s up h i s m a g i c and dons h i s c o u r t garb t o mete out mercy and r e s t o r e t o f r e e d o m a l l who a r e h i s c a p t i v e s . H i s d a u g h t e r , M i r a n d a , c a n s c a r c e l y be c a l l e d a c o u r t l a d y s i n c e she has o n l y known e x i l e on t h e i s l a n d w i t h h e r f a t h e r . N e v e r t h e l e s s , she has an a i r o f g e n t i l i t y i n h e r y o u t h and i n n o c e n c e . She i s s i m p l e , h u t i n t e l l i g e n t , s e n s i t i v e , and b e n e v o l e n t l y c o m p a s s i o n a t e . H e r l o v e r , F e r d i n a n d , i s t h e p r i n c e l y t y p e o f whom she s a y s : I m i g h t c a l l him A t h i n g d i v i n e ; f o r n o t h i n g n a t u r a l I e v e r saw so n o b l e . (I.ii.417-4-19) I n t r u e c o u r t l y f a s h i o n he w i l l i n g l y u n d e r t a k e s t h e m e n i a l t a s k o f p i l i n g t h o u s a n d s o f l o g s f o r P r o s p e r o w i t h t h e c o m p l a i n t : T h i s my mean task. Would be as h e a v y t o me as o d i o u s , b u t The m i s t r e s s w h i c h I s e r v e q u i c k e n s w h a t 1 s dead A n d makes my l a b o u r s p l e a s u r e s . 0, she i s T e n t i m e s more g e n t l e t h a n h e r f a t h e r 1 s c r a b b e d . . . . ( I I I . i . 4 - 8 ) We c a n n o t f a i l t o n o t i c e t h a t S h a k e s p e a r e , h e r e , i s d e g r a d i n g t h e k n i g h t l y q u e s t by t u r n i n g i t i n t o a c h o r e o f p i l i n g l o g s , e v e n t h o u g h i t i s done w i l l i n g l y f o r t h e l a d y . F e r d i n a n d and M i r a n d a r e s e m b l e c o u r t l y l o v e r s , t h o u g h t h e y a r e n o t as c o n v e n t i o n a l as t h e two p a i r s o f l o v e r s i n .'A Midsummer N i g h t 1 s Dream, f o r example. M i r a n d a 1 s l o v e f o r F e r d i n a n d i s i n n o c e n t b u t c e r t a i n . I n h e r r e s p o n s e t o him she combines modesty w i t h a r d o u r , p o s s e s s i n g t h e b e a r i n g o f a p r i n c e s s a l t h o u g h u n f a m i l i a r w i t h t h e ways o f s o c i e t y . A l l t h i s i s s e e n i n h e r s p e e c h t o F e r d i n a n d : I do n o t know One o f my sex; no woman 1 s f a c e remember, S a v e , f r o m my g l a s s , mine own; n o r have I s e e n More t h a t I may c a l l men t h a n y o u , good f r i e n d , A n d my d e a r f a t h e r . How f e a t u r e s a r e a b r o a d 163 I am s k i l l e s s o f ; b u t , by my modesty, (The j e w e l i n my d o w e r ) , I w o u l d n o t w i s h Any companion i n t h e w o r l d b u t y o u ; N o r can i m a g i n a t i o n f o r m a shape B e s i d e s y o u r s e l f , t o l i k e o f . B u t I p r a t t l e S o m e t h i n g t o o w i l d l y , and my f a t h e r ' s p r e c e p t s I t h e r e i n do f o r g e t . ( I I I . i . 4 8 - 5 9 ) F e r d i n a n d i s more c l e a r l y t h e c o u r t l y l o v e r , t h o u g h we must r e c o g n i z e t h a t o n l y i n h i s b e a r i n g i s t h i s e v i d e n t . We know f r o m t h e t i m e he f i r s t comes i n t o t h e p l a y t h a t he w i l l have no d i f f i c u l t y i n w i n n i n g M i r a n d a , f o r he i s m e r e l y t h e t o o l o f P r o s p e r o ' s p u r p o s e ; and, i f t h e l a t t e r so w i s h e d , he c o u l d c a s t any i m a g i n a b l e s p e l l ' u p o n t h e two l o v e r s . F e r d i n a n d i s p e r m i t t e d t o woo M i r a n d a , however, w i t h o u t t h e m a g i c o f P r o s p e r o and i n so d o i n g he d i s p l a y s a g e n t l e , n o ble, n a t u r e . P e r h a p s h i s most r e v e a l i n g c o u r t l y s p e e c h i s h i s answer t o M i r a n d a ' s p r a i s e ( q u o t e d a b o v e ) : I am, i n my c o n d i t i o n , A p r i n c e , M i r a n d a ; I do t h i n k , a k i n g ( I w o u l d n o t s o l ) , and w o u l d no more e n d u r e T h i s wooden s l a v e r y t h a n t o s u f f e r The f l e s h f l y b l o w my mouth. H e a r my s o u l speak'. The v e r y i n s t a n t t h a t I saw y o u , d i d 'My h e a r t f l y t o y o u r s e r v i c e ; t h e r e r e s i d e s , To make me s l a v e t o i t ; and f o r y o u r sake Am I t h i s p a t i e n t log-man." (III.I.5 9 - 6 7 ) T h i s p a s s a g e t e l l s us much o f F e r d i n a n d and much o f t h e E l i z a b e t h a n c o u r t i e r . I t b e t r a y s a p r i d e i n s o c i a l p o s i t i o n a c c o m p a n i e d by a w i l l i n g n e s s t o s u r r e n d e r one's h e a r t t o a l a d y o f q u a l i t y as w e l l as a w i l l i n g n e s s t o s e r v e h e r r e g a r d l e s s o f t h e d e g r a d a t i o n i n v o l v e d . F e r d i n a n d p l a i n l y b e l o n g s t o t h e c o u r t l y c l a s s , w i t h h i s r e a d i n e s s t o e ndure 164 t h e o r d e a l i m p o s e d upon him i n o r d e r t o w i n h i s l a d y ' s a p p r o v a l . M o r e o v e r , he c o n s t a n t l y u s e s t h e c u s t o m a r y l a n g u a g e o f h i s c l a s s , r e f e r r i n g t o " s e r v i c e , " " h o n o r , " " m i s t r e s s , " "bondage," and " l a d y . " F i n a l l y , h i s a d d r e s s e s o f l o v e t o M i r a n d a a r e c o u c h e d i n t h e t r a d i t i o n a l l y r i c a l p h r a s e s w h i c h mark them as c o u r t l y . T hough t h e l o v e o f F e r d i n a n d and M i r a n d a i s c l o s e l y r e l a t e d t o t h e t y p e o f c o u r t l y l o v e w h i c h we have met i n many o f S h a k e s p e a r e ' s p l a y s , t h e r e i s an e s s e n t i a l d i f f e r e n c e . I n A, Midsummer N i g h t ' s , Dream o r T w e l f t h N i g h t , f o r example, l o v e c o n s t i t u t e d t h e m a i n i n t e r e s t . I n T he J I emjoe s t , i t s h a r e s o u r i n t e r e s t w i t h o t h e r m a t t e r s . The p l a y a c t u a l l y d e a l s w i t h s e c o n d a r y c o u r t l y f i g u r e s whose l o v e s t o r y i s m e r e l y a p a r t o f t h e g r e a t e r theme o f r e c o n c i l i a t i o n between P r o s p e r o and h i s enemies. M o r e o v e r , a l t h o u g h t h e l o v e r s a r e c o u r t l y f i g u r e s and f o l l o w c l o s e l y t h e c u s t o m a r y c o u r t l y p a t t e r n o f making l o v e , s t i l l t h e y a r e o f l i t t l e i n t e r e s t t o us as t r a d i t i o n a l c o u r t l y l o v e r s . T h e i r l o v e i s no o u t w a r d show n o r an i m a g i n e d f a n c y , b u t i s deep and g e n u i n e . T hey a r e t h e r e p r e s e n t a t i v e s o f a l l t r u e l o v e r s , f o r t h e i r l o v e i s no t h i n g o f t h e h o u r , b u t r a t h e r a c o n c r e t e , deep e m o t i o n t h a t has i t s n a t u r a l consummation i n m a r r i a g e and r e p r o d u c t i o n . T h i s f a c t , t h a t l o v e must end n a t u r a l l y i n m a r r i a g e , i s s t r e s s e d , f r a n k l y , b y P r o s p e r o when he warns F e r d i n a n d : T h e n , as my g i f t , and t h i n e own a c q u i s i t i o n W o r t h i l y p u r c h a s ' d , t a k e my d a u g h t e r . B u t 165 I f t h o u d o s t b r e a k h e r v i r g i n - k n o t b e f o r e A l l s a n c t i m o n i o u s c e r e m o n i e s may W i t h f u l l and h o l y r i t e be m i n i s t ' r e d , No sweet a s p e r s i o n s h a l l t h e h e a v e n s l e t f a l l T o make t h i s c o n t r a c t grow . . . . ( I V . i . 1 3 - 1 9 ) I t i s no c o u r t i e r , d r u n k w i t h t h e c u s t o m a r y f a n c i e s o f l o v e o r d e s p e r a t e l y l o n g i n g t o have h i s l o v e r e q u i t e d who r e p l i e s : A s I hope F o r q u i e t d a y s , f a i r i s s u e , and l o n g l i f e , W i t h s u c h l o v e as ' t i s now, t h e m u r k i e s t den, The most o p p o r t u n e p l a c e , t h e s t r o n g e s t s u g g e s t i o n Our w o r s e r g e n i u s c a n , s h a l l n e v e r m e l t M i n e honour i n t o l u s t , t o t a k e away The edge o f t h a t d a y ' s c e l e b r a t i o n . . . . ( I V . i . 2 3 - 2 9 ) W i t h t h i s s p e e c h we r e a l i z e t h a t c o u r t l y l o v e , w i t h i t s l y r i c a l p r o t e s t a t i o n s o f b l i s s w h i c h f o c u s on t h e p e r i o d o f w o o i n g , i s dead. The c o n v e n t i o n a l s i g h i n g and s u f f e r i n g f o r l o v e i s gone and i n i t s p l a c e i s a m a t u r e , r e a s o n e d a t t i t u d e t o t h e most b a s i c o f a l l man's e m o t i o n s . As F e r d i n a n d l o o k s b e y o n d t h e mere s a t i s f a c t i o n o f s e x u a l l o v e t o a whole l i f e t i m e o f d o m e s t i c h a p p i n e s s , we l e a v e t h e w o r l d o f m a k e - b e l i e v e l o v e and e n t e r t h a t o f r e a l i t y . S h a k e s p e a r e may have f e l t , as he c o n c l u d e d t h i s p l a y , t h a t he had worked t h r o u g h , a r t i f i c i a l i t y and sham t o a more l a s t i n g , s a t i s f y i n g a t t i t u d e t o w a r d s l o v e . A t l e a s t t h e d o c t r i n e s o f c o u r t l y l o v e and t h e p r e c e p t s g u i d i n g t h e c o u r t i e r and h i s l a d y had n o t h i n g more t o t e a c h mankind. CONCLUSION 167 CONCLUSION • The v a r i e t y and t h e f r e q u e n c y w i t h w h i c h S h a k e s p e a r e t r e a t e d t h e c o u r t l y theme s h o u l d s u g g e s t i t s i m p o r t a n c e i n u n d e r s t a n d i n g h i s p l a y s . The c o m p r e h e n s i v e n e s s o f h i s t r e a t m e n t s e r v e s t o r e m i n d us t h a t l o v e was l o o k e d upon as a g r e a t e d u c a t i v e f o r c e by t h e c o u r t i e r s o f h i s day who alw a y s k e p t b e f o r e t h e i r e y e s t h e c h i v a l r i c i d e a l s o f t h e p a s t . From t h e t i m e when Wyat t r e t u r n e d f r o m I t a l y w i t h P e t r a r c h ' s C a n z o n i e r e , t h e r e was a s t r e n g t h e n e d r e v i v a l o f i n t e r e s t i n m e d i e v a l i d e a s . T h i s i n t e r e s t was a d v a n c e d by C a s t i g l i o n e ' s C o u r t i e r w h i c h became t h e g u i d e - b o o k f o r a l l E u r o p e a n c o u r t i e r s and l a d i e s . By t h e t i m e o f S i d n e y and S p e n s e r t h e s u b j e c t o f t h e c o u r t i e r i n l o v e was s o m e t h i n g o f a p o e t i c p a s s i o n . V/e have a l r e a d y s e e n t h a t l o v e had become a h i g h l y c o n v e n t i o n a l i z e d a r t when expounded i n s o n n e t s e q u e n c e s , p l a y s , and p r o s e romances b y t h e a s p i r i n g w r i t e r s o f t h e day who s o u g h t c o u r t f a v o r . The c o u r t i e r , t o o , s p e n t many d i v e r t i n g h o u r s i n w r i t i n g o f l o v e , f r e e l y a d o p t i n g t h e c o n v e n t i o n s o f m e d i e v a l c o u r t l y l o v e and o f P e t r a r c h . O f c o u r s e , t h e l o v e r i n E l i z a b e t h a n l i t e r a t u r e was more o f t e n a f i c t i o n t h a n a r e a l i t y ; b u t , n e v e r t h e l e s s , he d i d m i r r o r t h e s t a n d a r d s o f t a s t e and t h e a t t i t u d e s h e l d i n t h e m a t t e r s o f l o v e . I n p r e s e n t i n g t h e l o v e r s o f h i s p l a y s , S h a k e s p e a r e was j o i n i n g t h o s e E l i z a b e t h a n s who w r o t e on t h e j o y s and s o r r o w s o f l o v e , t h e a d o r a t i o n o f b e a u t i f u l women, t h e 168 i m m o r t a l i t y w h i c h a p o e t s o u g h t t o g i v e t h r o u g h h i s songs t o a b e a u t i f u l l a d y , t h e s l e e p l e s s n i g h t s w h i c h l o v e b r o u g h t , t h e s a n c t i t y o f h o n o r and c o n s t a n c y , and t h e r e l a t i o n s h i p o f l o v e t o f r i e n d s h i p . I t i s i m p o r t a n t t h a t we r e c o g n i z e t h e p o p u l a r i t y o f t h e s e themes and t h e e a s e w i t h w h i c h any E l i z a b e t h a n a u d i e n c e w o u l d r e s p o n d t o an a l l u s i o n t o them. I f t h e r e n u n c i a t i o n o f a l o v e d one f o r a f r i e n d , s u c h as we met i n The Two, G e n t l e m e n o f Verona,, seems a b s u r d t o u s , we must remember t h a t an E l i z a b e t h a n a u d i e n c e w o u l d be more c o n c e r n e d w i t h t h e c o n v e n t i o n a l q u e s t i o n o f w h e t h e r f r i e n d -s h i p was s t r o n g e r t h a n l o v e . . V a l e n t i n e ' s a c t i o n s , t h e n , m i g h t be u n d e r s t o o d more r e a d i l y . A g a i n , i n T w e l f t h _ N i £ h t , V i o l a ' s d e j e c t e d l o n g i n g f o r O r s i n o and h e r s e c r e t l o v e f o r him, e x p r e s s e d when she i s d i s g u i s e d , w o u l d be u n d e r s t o o d i m m e d i a t e l y b y t h e E l i z a b e t h a n a u d i e n c e w h i c h q u i c k l y r e c o g n i z e d t h e symptoms o f s u c h l o v e and e x p e c t e d t h e c o m p l i c a t i o n w h i c h a r o s e out o f t h e t r a d i t i o n a l d i s g u i s e . The p a t t e r n o f l o v e b etween th e p r i n c e , F l o r i z e l , and t h e n o b l e - b o r n s h e p h e r d e s s , P e r d i t a , i n T h e _ W i n t e r ^ s J T a l e w o u l d a l s o be a f a m i l i a r theme w h i c h w o u l d n o t t r o u b l e an E l i z a b e t h a n a u d i e n c e . I t i s n e c e s s a r y f o r u s , i f we a r e t o u n d e r s t a n d f u l l y S h a k e s p e a r e ' s p l a y s w h i c h d e a l w i t h t h e c o u r t l y theme, t o he aware o f t h e c o n v e n t i o n s i n v o l v e d and t o r e c o g n i z e t h a t t h o u g h c e r t a i n a l l u s i o n s o r c o n v e n t i o n s may be o b s c u r e now, t h e y were o f prime i m p o r t a n c e t o an a u d i e n c e w h i c h r e s p o n d e d t o them a l m o s t i n s t i n c t i v e l y . One t h i n g s t a n d s out c l e a r e s t , i n t r a c i n g S h a k e s p e a r e ' s 169 h a n d l i n g o f t h e c o u r t l y theme: he t o o k i t , w i t h a l l i t s a c c r e t i o n o f t r a d i t i o n a l d e t a i l and i t s a r t i f i c i a l i t y , and t u r n e d i t o v e r and o v e r i n p l a y s w h i c h d e p i c t i t as comedy, s a t i r e , romance, r e a l i t y , and t r a g e d y . I n so d o i n g , he a l w a y s r e v e a l e d a p r e f e r e n c e f o r n a t u r a l l o v e and u p h e l d s u c h n a t u r a l l o v e as t h e o n l y r i g h t p a t h t o m a r r i a g e and h a p p i n e s s . T h i s a t t i t u d e , w h i c h d i d n o t p r e v e n t him f r o m e x p l o i t i n g t h e many p o s s i b i l i t i e s o f t h e c o u r t l y theme, s e e s l o v e 1 s t r u e s i g n i f i c a n c e t o man 1s l i f e . H i s a t t i t u d e has r e m a i n e d v i t a l t h r o u g h t h e c e n t u r i e s w h i c h have i n t e r v e n e d , w h i l e t h e E l i z a b e t h a n c o n c e p t i o n s o f t h e c o u r t i e r and o f c o u r t l y l o v e have l o n g s i n c e d i m i n i s h e d i n i m p o r t a n c e . S t i l l , a c o n s i d e r a t i o n o f t h e c o u r t l y theme s u g g e s t s a u s e f u l a p p r o a c h t o many o f S h a k e s p e a r e ' s p l a y s . 170 BIBLIOGRAPHY T e x t s : C a s t i g l i o n e , B., The Book o f , the, C o u r t i e r , (done i n t o E n g l i s h by S i r - T h o m a s ~ H o b y , l ^ l ) , L o n d o n , J.M. D e n t and S o n s , L i m i t e d , 1928. C h a u c e r , G. , The P o e t i c j a l ^ W j o r k s ^ o f ^ C h a u c ^ R o b i n s o n , F.N.7~ed77"Boston, H o u g h t o n " I i f f l i n Company, 1933. H e b e l , J.W., and Hudson, S.H. , e d , , Poetrj__.of_.the E n g l i s h R e n a i s s a n c e . New Y o r k , " ~ A p p l e t o n -C e n t u r y - C r o f t s , I n c . , 1929. P l a t o , "The B a n q u e t , " t r a n s l . P e r c y S h e l l e y , i n S h e p h e r d , R.H., e d . , The, P r o s e Works o f P e r c y B y s s h e S h e l l e y , L o n d o n , ~C h a t t o and Windus7~" 18 go 7, v o l 7 " S h a k e s p e a r e , W., T h e J ^ o m g l e t e Works o f S h a k e s p e a r e , K i t t r e d g e , G.L., e d . , B o s t o n , G i n n and Company, 1936. S i d n e y , S i r P h i l i p , A r c a d i a , L o n d o n , George R o u t l e d g e and S o n s , L i m i t e d , 1907. S p e n s e r , E . , The P o e t i c a l Works 0 f Edmund S p e n s e r , S m i t h , J . C , " a n d de S e l i n c o u r t ,~"E"7, e d . , L o n d o n , O x f o r d , U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1950. H e f e r e n c e _ B o o k s : B a k e r , E.A., The, H i s t o r y o f the, E n g l i s h , N o v e l , E d i n b u r g h , " T h e R i v e r s i d e " " P r e s s " ~ L i m i t e d , 1929, v o l . 2. C h a r l t o n , H.B., " R o m a n t i c i s m i n S h a k e s p e a r i a n Comedy," i n B r a d l e y , A . , e d . , S h a k e s p e a r e C r i t i c i sm,, O x f o r d , U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 19377 Pp7~242-270. C h a y t o r , H . J . , T h e J I r o u b a d o u r s , C a m b r i d g e , U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , "1912 7"" C h a y t o r , H . J . , The ,T r.oub a d o u r s, r and E n g l a n d , C a m b r i d g e , U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1923.~" C r o s s , T.P., and N i t z e , W.A., L a n c e l o t and G u e n e v e r e , C h i c a g o , U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1930. 171 G o r d o n , G., S h a k e s p e a r i a n Comedy;, O x f o r d , U n i v e r s i t y P r e ss7~l 94-57" K i r b y , T.A., ChaucerJ^s T r o i l u s , L o u i s i a n a S t a t e , U n i v e r s i t y Press7 194-0.""" L e e , S., G r e a t E n g l i s h m e n o f t h e S i x t e e n t h C e n t u r y , New Y o r k , C h a r l e s S c r T b n e r " s S o n s , 19047 L e w i s , C.S., TheJU_lej*ory, o f _ L o v e , O x f o r d , C l a r e n d o n P r e s s , 1936. P a r r o t , T.M., Shakes£ea^ean_Cpmed^_, New Y o r k , O x f o r d , University"Press " 7 ~ 1 9 4 9 7 P e a r s o n , L.-E., E l i z a b e t h a n L o v e C o n v e n t i o n s , B e r k e l e y , U n i v e r s i t y "o f "c a l i f o r n i a " Pr e ss 7"l93 3. P e t t e t , E.C., S h a k e s p e a r e and t h e R o m a n c e T r a d i t i o n , S t . A l b a n s , S t a p l e s P r e s s 7 " i ini t e d , 1949. S c h o f i e l d , W.H. , C h i v a l r j y _ i ^ C a m b r i d g e , H a r v a r d U n i v e r s i t y ^ r e s ^ " ! ^ ^ S m i t h , J.H., Th.e_Troubad.ours a t Home, New Y o r k , G.P. Putnam's S o n s , 1 ^ 9 9 ^ 2"vol's. T a y 1 o r , A.B., A n _ J ^ n t r o d u c t i o n M - < t o . M e d i e v a l Romance, L o n d o n , H e a t h C r a n t on Limited7"~r930T ~~~ ~" W i l s o n , M . , S i r ^ P h l l i p , Sidney., O x f o r d , U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1932. E g r i O - i - a l s : Luce, Morton, "Love i n Shakespeare," The Nineteenth Century, v o l . 96, ( J u l y - December7~1924T7 PP. 335 -342 . 

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