‘But-þat þou louye me, Sertes y dye fore loue of þe’
Towards a typology of opening moves in Courtly Amorous Interaction
In this paper, I look at how medieval and early modern poets present and exploit the potential inherent in opening moves in (love) relationships for the purpose of plot motivation and protagonist characterisation. The depiction of the opening moves depends on three interrelated pairs of variables: 1) legalistic tradition (marriage as the reason for initiating a relationship) vs emotional tradition (focus is on the beloved person’s affection), 2) plot motivation vs protagonist characterisation, and 3) brevity vs length. Longer texts that focus on the lovers’ feelings and that pay some attention to protagonist characterisation are more likely to feature relatively complex linguistic strategies presented in a basically realistic interactional manner. In shorter texts of the emotional tradition, the complexity is reduced, and poets working in the legalistic tradition often pay hardly any attention at all to the finer points of opening moves in love interaction.
Published online: 04 May 2000
Cited by 3 other publications
Jucker, Andreas H.
Tantucci, Vittorio & Aiqing Wang
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