A-Z: General definitions: Courtly love


A tradition of aristocratic love-making developed in the medieval period, wherein a knightly lover woos a lady at distance, since the lady is often either married or confined to a castle. The wooing is structured by a set of conventions, often involving quests or challenges; on completion of these tasks, the lover is finally allowed access to the lady, although this may be by no more than a kiss. The literature of this tradition is often highly allegorical.   

Related Topics

See article: The courtly love ethic

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