Criticism: Politics, Economics, History, And The Troubadours - Essay

Anthony Bonner (essay date 1972)

(Classical and Medieval Literature Criticism)

SOURCE: Bonner, Anthony. Introduction to Songs of the Troubadours, edited by Anthony Bonner, pp. 1-30. New York: Schocken Books, 1972.

[In the following excerpt, Bonner discusses the historical background of the troubadours, the various types of poetry they wrote, what is known of their music, and the structure of the patronage system that nourished them.]


To the average English-speaking reader the word “troubadour” conjures up little more than an image of a fellow dressed in a Robin Hood costume singing under his lady's window and accompanying himself with a lute. This was the notion implanted by Sir Walter Scott...

(The entire section is 11350 words.)

Catherine Léglu (essay date 1997)

(Classical and Medieval Literature Criticism)

SOURCE: Léglu, Catherine. “Defamation in the Troubadour Sirventes: Legislation and Lyric Poetry.” Medium Aevum 66, no. 1 (1997): 28-41.

[In the following essay, Léglu examines the political implications of certain slanderous troubadour songs.]

One of the features of satirical writing is that it transgresses textual boundaries in order to address issues and concerns understood by performer and audience to be extra-textual. Despite an awareness of the relations between troubadour sirventes and contemporary political and personal disputes, the possibility that these songs might have functioned as lampoons, and been received as slander, has not been...

(The entire section is 6325 words.)

William E. Burgwinkle (essay date 1997)

(Classical and Medieval Literature Criticism)

SOURCE: Burgwinkle, William E. “Economics, Poetry, and Patronage.” In Love for Sale: Materialist Readings of the Troubadour Razo Corpus, pp. 33-74. New York: Garland Publishing, 1997.

[In the following essay, Burgwinkle analyzes some of Uc de Saint Circ's financial relationships with his patrons.]

We must rid ourselves of the ingrained notion that the economy is a field of experience of which human beings have necessarily always been conscious. To use a metaphor, the facts of the economy were originally embedded in situations that were not in themselves of an economic nature, neither the ends nor the means being primarily material. … Neither...

(The entire section is 23872 words.)