Troubadours Criticism: Overviews - Essay

John Rutherford (essay date 1873)

(Classical and Medieval Literature Criticism)

SOURCE: Rutherford, John. “Troubadour's Love in Theory.” In The Troubadours: Their Loves and Their Lyrics; with Remarks on Their Influence, Social and Literary, pp. 110-45. London: Smith, Elder, & Co., 1873.

[In the following essay, Rutherford examines the troubadours' four-stage theory of love and how it was put into practice.]

The theory of love propounded by the Troubadours was full of fantastic conceits, which their contemporaries doubtless considered “sweetly pretty things.” According to this theory, the lover always dwelt at the sign of the Fair Passion, in the Street of Sacrifice, and in the Parish of Sincerity; while his mistress, the daughter of...

(The entire section is 10293 words.)

Robert S. Briffault (essay date 1965)

(Classical and Medieval Literature Criticism)

SOURCE: Briffault, Robert S. Introduction to The Troubadours, edited by Lawrence F. Koons, pp. 3-23. Bloomington, Ind.: Indiana University Press, 1965.

[In the following essay, Briffault argues that Provençal troubadour poetry led developing Western literature away from a Greco-Roman course.]

While in the North, the tales and sagas of Celtic paganism were flowering into the romances of chivalry which captured the imagination of the Middle Ages, a literary form equally alien to the classical tradition was unfolding in southern France. The poetry of the troubadours answered the mood of a feudal society newly awakened to a sense of its native uncouthness by contact with...

(The entire section is 13167 words.)

Margarita Egan (essay date 1984)

(Classical and Medieval Literature Criticism)

SOURCE: Egan, Margarita. Introduction to The Vidas of the Troubadours, translated by Margarita Egan, pp. xiii-xxxii. New York: Garland Publishing, 1984.

[In the following excerpt, Egan provides an overview of the lives of the troubadours, including their structure, purpose, and perspective.]

A noble and beautiful lady, a minstrel singing her praise, amorous intrigues and gossip in the castle of the wealthy feudal lords: such are typical elements of the world of the medieval love lyric which even today spark the imagination of writers and poets. Sources of these themes characteristic of troubadour love poetry can be traced to the princely circles of...

(The entire section is 7398 words.)

Norman Klassen (essay date January 1998)

(Classical and Medieval Literature Criticism)

SOURCE: Klassen, Norman. “Self-Reflexiveness and the Category of the Will in Early Troubadour Poetry of Fin' Amors.Forum for Modern Language Studies 34, no. 1 (January 1998): 29-42.

[In the following essay, Klassen examines the complex relationship between the poet's “I” and the lover's “I” in troubadour poetry.]

A number of recent studies have drawn fresh attention to the complexity of twelfth-century troubadour poetry. Linda Paterson's recent comprehensive introduction to Occitan society highlights the linguistic diversity of the region given that name;1 she and others have also explored the subtle variations in troubadour poetry that...

(The entire section is 6661 words.)