In today’s society relationship’s presents with some rules, such as you cannot cheat on your beloved, you cannot be jealous, because it can be perceived as a sign of insecurity and not as a sign of love, and if you are marrying someone, you can only love this person and no other. In the middle ages, the rules of love were not the same. Before, the art of love presented itself with its own rules. In the middle ages, Andreas Capellanus wrote a book named “The Art of Courtly Love” that provided rules of sexual and court life at that time. A lot of stories were inspired from these rules. From those stories, we can recall two that best interpret this art: The relationship between Lancelot and the Queen in “The knight of the Cart” and the relationship between Owain and the Countess of the fountain in “The Lady of The Fountain”. Which relationship best exemplifies one based upon Capellanus’s The Art of Courtly Love? The relationship between Lancelot and the Queen is a lot more similar and their passion is a lot more perceived by the way they are talking. The relationship of Owain and the countess is a lot more based on drama and not so much on passion.
First of all, it is said in Andreas Capellanus rules that: “An easy conquest strips love of its charm; a difficult conquest enhances its value.” Therefore, we see that the relationship between Lancelot and the queen is a lot more similar to Andreas capellanus book the art of courtly love. We can already see that the love that Lancelot has for the queen is undeniable. He can’t refuse her anything. Although he hesitated for a moment to enter the Cart, because he knew that entering it would mean the loss of his dignity; he decided to enter even if there were consequences. With that we see that the love that he has for the queen is far higher than even his self-esteem. “Because Love ordered and wished it, he jumped in; since Love ruled his action, the disgrace did not matter” (Chrétien De Troyes 58). He would give anything to be with her and nothing could stop him from seeing her. We see a bit farther in the story that he was able to give up his friendship with King Arthur and break iron bars with his bare hands to be with her. On the other hand, we have the relationship between Owain and the Countess of the Fountain. This relationship represents at the beginning of the story nothing more than a fling. Even if he loved everything about the countess from the first time he saw her, it didn’t take him much time to forget about her. When he went to Arthur’s court to celebrate his returning, he promised the queen that he would return after 3 months to be with her. But 3 years passed and there was no sign of him. “And the Countess gave her consent, although it was very painful to her.” “And when he was once more amongst his kindred and friends, he remained three years, instead of three months, with them.” (Anonymous 122). We can see from those quotes that the queen is deeply in love to the point that it is painful for her to let him leave for 3 months, and he on the other hand forgets about her. Therefore, we see that in his relationship Lancelot would do anything to find the queen and to be with her and that it is what enhances the value of the conquest, and in the relationship between Owain and the Countess he forgets about her for 3 years because he is with King Arthur and the other knights.
Secondly, it is said in Andreas Capellanus book that no one should be deprived of the object of his love without sufficient cause and that the pretext of marriage is never a legitimate excuse against love. In the relationship between Lancelot and the queen, we can still see an undeniable love. In the episode, where King Arthur putted the queen in a chamber with iron bars, he was able to break them and enter the chamber of the queen to be with her. ”I don’t believe that iron could ever stop me. Nothing but you yourself could keep me from coming in to you.”(Chrétien De Troyes 81). He