WHAT ARE THE RULES?
I WANT TO KNOW WHAT LOVE IS. I WANT YOU TO SHOW ME.—FOREIGNER
Ideas about Courtly Love You are a historian researching the subject of courtly love, and your artifacts are these three stories. What can you tell your readers about courtly love based on these artifacts? What do the Knight, the Miller, and the Wife of Bath each believe about love and courtly love in particular? Who is realistic? Who is idealistic? Who do you think is most right? Examine the ideas about courtly love and chivalry held by the Knight, the Miller, and the Wife of Bath based on their tales. What do their beliefs say about them? About their class or level in society? What do they think love is? Your conclusion should state firmly who you think is correct about love/courtly love and why. Your report should be 2-3 pages, double-spaced, Times New Roman font size 12 with a proper MLA heading. You are writing an analysis of what courtly love is based on how it is defined by three of Chaucer’s pilgrims.
THE KNIGHT. “A most distinguished man, / Who from the day on which he first began / To ride abroad had followed chivalry, / Truth, honor, generousness, and courtesy.”
Tips and Hints Reread your handout on courtly love and Queen Eleanor’s Court of Love in Aquitaine. One way of planning your report is to make a chart and list, sketch, or web ideas about love and courtly love that each character and his/ her story displays. Compare and
THE MILLER. “A wrangler and a buffoon, he had a store / Of tavern stories, filthy in the main.”
contrast the stories, particularly in light of male/female relationships, what men want, what women want, what is considered appropriate and proper, what is considered base and immoral, and what is considered idealistic or realistic. Think about ways in which the characters are on a belief spectrum.
THE WIFE OF BATH. “In company she liked to laugh and chat / And knew the remedies for love’s mischances, / An art in which she knew the oldest dances.”