In Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, how do the lovers comply with the Courtly Love Model?Act 2, Scene 2, lines 90-129.  

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Tamara K. H. | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Educator Emeritus

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We can see a few examples of the Courtly Love Model, also called the Courtly Love Code, in lines 90-129 in Act II, Scene II.

First of all, the Courtly Love Code was a means employing "etiquette, polite behavior, and good breeding" in romantic love, especially illicit romantic love--love that is not between a husband and wife, but between lovers ("Literature of Courtly Love: Introduction," lib.rochester.edu). We see Juliet employing etiquette in these lines when she blushes and becomes embarrassed for having been overheard professing her profuse love for Romeo. We see her expressing her embarrassment in the lines,

Thou knowest the mask of night is on my face;
Else would a maiden blush bepaint my cheek
For that which thou hast heard me speak to-night. (89-91)

Also, according to the code, women were not supposed to give into men easily, and were expected to remain chaste, at least for a time. Hence, we see the code being enacted when she says that she would deny that she loves him, and also, when she expresses her concern at being too easy, saying,

[I]f thou thinkest I am too quickly won,
I'll frown, and be perverse, ans say thee nay,
So thou wilt woo. (99-101)

One action that contradicts the Courtly Love Model, or the Code of Courtly Love in this passage is that, according to the code, men were supposed to suffer over their loved ones silently for a long time before proclaiming their love, just as we see Romeo suffer over Rosaline ("Courtly love," infoplease.com). However, in this passage, Romeo actually declares his love for Juliet moments after meetking her, and they immediately exchange secret vows of faithfulness, which also contradicts the code ("Courtly love," infoplease.com).

Hence, we see that this passage certainly reflects the Code of Courtly Love in some ways, but contradicts it in others.

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