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Amour courtois, société masculine et figures du pouvoir
Annales. Histoire, Sciences Sociales
36e Année, No. 6 (Nov. - Dec., 1981), pp. 969-982
Published by: EHESS
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/27581377
Page Count: 14
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Several features which characterize courtly love have remained enigmatic until the present time. This study suggests an interpretation which would permit taking this factor into account. The analysis concerns that category of courtly love which unites a young bachelor knight with a married woman of noble status: Tristan and Yseut, Lancelot and Guenevere are the perfect models. A comparison of the tales in verse of the late 12th century with the written prose version of a half-century later reveal a striking change: the passion which connects the lovers is nevertheless mediated, and always by a masculine figure. The author thus suggests that this type of adulterous courtly love can be seen as the displacement, the figurative expression of a still more transgressive love, of a relationship of homosexual seduction connecting the young knight and the master. This hypothesis, which does not run counter to the interpretations of G. Duby and E. Köhler, takes into consideration the complexity of relationships of opposition or of affection which could bend men together in feudal society.
Annales. Histoire, Sciences Sociales © 1981 EHESS