Medieval Lyrics: Reading Response Four
It seems like the troubadours were into more raunchy stuff. Duke William of Aquitaine’s boast of betting those two women 108 times presumably in the space of one night is obviously preposterous and quite silly. However, up until that point it was more or less, I won’t say believable, but a humorous story. I wonder if he put the 108 times to make sure everyone knew this was a joke. I don’t think that’s the case. Still, I can’t help but think it’s a joke because I laughed when I heard it and had to reread it to make sure I was hearing it correctly. Then again, King Henry VIII did go riding around with an unbelievable codpiece on his armor that apparently people took seriously. My point is the medieval’s really go all out when they do anything related to the refrain of chastity.
We also have some interesting snippets of poets arguing about what is morally right. I like the one poem (and of course I can’t figure out which one it is now), but the one that essentially says a person truly in love with a woman wouldn’t sleep with her because it would disgrace her honor. It’s almost like the poets arguing that true love is agape’s instead of eros. Which is an interesting argument even if it would take all the fun out of Lancelot and Guenevere’s relationship. I presume these poems are writing about courtly love. So by definition an adulterous love. Although now that I’m thinking about it I’ll have to go back and check if that assertion is correct.