The Book of the Courtier

by Baldassare Castiglione

Start Free Trial

Student Question

What are some famous quotes from The Book of the Courtier?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Most people have probably never heard of Baldassare Castiglione, let alone know of his text The Book of the Courtier. Unless studying the courts of the Renaissance period, his texts are mostly unknown. Regardless of that, this text is written in such a way as to illustrate his elegance and beautiful use of language. Some scholars and critics believe that Castiglione was able to revive the art of chivalry. Benet Davetian (to support this), in The History and Social Relevance of Civility, states that

the Book of the Courtier is one of the most important milestones in the development of a Western courtesy and civility tradition and deserves a fairly detailed description.

Some of the famous quotes from The Book of the Courtier are as follows:

Outward beauty is a true sign of inner goodness. This loveliness, indeed, is impressed upon the body in varying degrees as a token by which the soul can be recognized for what it is, just as with trees the beauty of the blossom testifies to the goodness of the fruit.

Here, Castiglione's use of the metaphor (comparing a person's beauty and goodness to the beauty and goodness of a flowering and fruit producing tree.

Men demonstrate their courage far more often in little things than in great.

Here, Castiglione is showing the importance of the little things in life. For him, courage is more definable by the many little things done over one great doing.

See eNotes Ad-Free

Start your 48-hour free trial to get access to more than 30,000 additional guides and more than 350,000 Homework Help questions answered by our experts.

Get 48 Hours Free Access
Approved by eNotes Editorial