Pop Culture Versus Medieval Love | Teen Ink

Pop Culture Versus Medieval Love

December 10, 2018
By colleenbutler BRONZE, Metairie, Louisiana
colleenbutler BRONZE, Metairie, Louisiana
1 article 0 photos 0 comments

The Middle Ages was a time of faith and trust in God. There was a well-followed social class order. Men and women were not treated equally, and women were thought inferior to men. Men and women who were in the middle-class region of the social class were known as knights and noblewomen. These men and women were put into arranged marriages or devoted their lives to the religious order. If lucky, some arranged married people found love and beauty in their marriage, but most people did not know or love their spouse. In 1174, clergy member who served Marie of Champagne known as Andreas Capellanus wrote a list of rules called “The Art of Courtly Love” to describe what it is to love in the Middle Ages. However, these rules stay relevant today with pop culture’s beliefs and behavior towards love. Three different scenarios these rules come into play are the love between Kurt and Marion in the book All We Left Behind, referenced in the song “When I Look at You” by Miley Cyrus, and the relationship between Belle and Beast, also referred to as Adam, in the movie Beauty and the Beast.

In the book All We Left Behind written by Ingrid Sundberg, the first rule, number fifteen, is referenced in the book. Rule number fifteen states, “Every lover regularly turns pale in the presence of his beloved.” This rule means that when a person in love looks at his or her beloved that person gets the sensation of butterflies meaning nervous but excited as well. On the other hand, the book All We Left Behind has two main characters, Marion and Kurt, who have had a rough life and childhood, but they find comfort within being with each other and in conclusion falling in love. One instance where rule fifteen is shown is when Marion states “It’s his (Kurt) grace, startling and unexpected, that steals the air out from under your feet,”(Sundberg 26). Marion expresses rule fifteen and proves that the butterfly sensation comes when a one looks at his or her beloved.

The next scenario that proves Capellanus’s rule of courtly is still relevant is the scenario shown in Miley Cyrus’s song “When I Look at You.” The song is about how whenever the person is enduring rough moments and the probability of things being okay is slim, the person looks to the one he or she truly loves. One looks the other in search of hope and courage to keep moving and succeeding. This song references number twenty-four, “Every act of a lover ends in the thought of his beloved.” This is shown through the lyrics, “Yeah, when my world is falling apart/ When there's no light to break up the dark/ That's when I, I/ I look at you.” This lyric proves Capellanus’s rule because through every act this one person does or situation he or she goes through, the person does everything in the thought of his or her lover.

The last situation proving Capellanus is still applicable to everyday life is the love shared between Belle and Beast is Disney’s movie Beauty and the Beast. Beauty and the Beast is a fairytale story that tells the story of a lost cause of a prince and how his entire castle was cursed and turned into furniture. The only way to break this curse is for Beast to find true love before all the rose petals fall off the rose. Belle, on the hand, falls into the hands of Beast because she is trying to save her father, so she trades her life for his and frees her father. Over time, Belle gets used to the castle and the strange things in it and starts getting to know more about the furniture people in the castle especially Beast. Belle quickly learns that deep down in Beast, there is a kind soul that is sorry for the wrongs he’s caused. Then finally rule eighteen, “Good character alone makes any man worthy of love,” comes into view, and Belle falls in love with Beast and breaks the spell. This situation proves Capellanus’s rule that everyone man with a good soul deserves to be loved, and Belle proves that by falling in love with Beast’s caring and good-natured personality.

In conclusion, these three scenarios demonstrate that Capellanus’s rules made in the Middle Ages are still relevant today through the examples given by the love between Kurt and Marion in the book All We Left Behind, referenced in the lyrics of  “When I Look at You”, and the relationship between Belle and Beast. In the book All We Left Behind, Kurt and Marion proved rule number fifteen because Marion felt nervous and excited all at the same time when she looked at Kurt. Also in the song “When I Look at You,” the lyrics proved rule number twenty-four by having every action done be in thought of the one he or she loves. Lastly, the movie Beauty and the Beast, Belle shows that no matter if the other person is attractive or not, that person still deserves love. To conclude even though the rules were made in the Medieval time period, Capellanus’s rules still apply to the present day life and come up in books, songs, and movies.



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