Few words in the English language convey such a range of meanings as the word "love". For many, love is the point of existence, for others it's the manifestation of the divine, for some it is a tool of oppression. No subject has spawned so much poetry. But what is love? Is it an animalistic urge, a mystical aspiration, a social construct, a neurological glitch, or nothing at all?
Notions of love are Culture-specificShow moreShow less
Many different cultures have specific ways of defining and experiencing love.
The idea of courtly love began as a literary convention, in which an unattainable woman was wooed by a noble knight proving his devotion and selflessness. These stories were commonly spread by troubadours in poems, and became wildly popular.
The stories depicted in these works then heavily influenced ideas about love in wider society. This is credited with bringing ideas about romantic passion to the Christian world, which largely saw marriage as a passionless institution. Courtly love is an integral part of how the cultural understanding of love shifted across Europe.
[P1] The idea of courtly love was popularised in the Middle Ages through troubadour poems.
[P2] This bought ideas about romantic passion to the Christian world.