Bit of Ivory

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February 24th, 2005 · No Comments

So, am writing a paper about the courtly love tradition and its influence (or lack thereof) on The Lord of the Rings. Have stolen my sister’s copy of The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien (which is fascinating, must get my own copy) for such a project. Tolkien obviously looked down on the rituals of courtly love– the sonnets, the gifts, etc.– but he does seem to enjoy the ideals of courtly love (well, aside from the whole adultery thing :P): the unattainable, perfect woman, the toiling, faithful knight, working to win her favor, etc. And he exemplifies it in the Aragorn/Arwen relationship. It seems like Tolkien is trying to create a new kind of courtly love: one in which there can be a happy ending, and fin amour can exist in an actual marriage rather than outside of it.

Heh. That’s my thesis, anyway. ;)

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Haven’t figured out how Faramir/Eowyn fits into it yet, though. :P

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