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date: 23 October 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Medieval courts can be understood as performance spaces in which courtly players, both historical composer/performers and their fictive characters, enacted complex and contradictory configurations of gender and power. From this perspective, courtly literature's constant reiteration of the established rules of love or codes of chivalric behavior might suggest not that those conventions are firmly in place but, on the contrary, that courtly literary texts assert a message of idealized and codified conduct that was actively resisted, challenged, and altered. Those alternative courtly performances were often enacted by women, whether by historical singer-composers, authors, and patrons or by a wide range of inscribed female characters in courtly texts.

Keywords: love service, courtliness, chivalry, performance, troubadours, Roman du Hem, Art of Courtly Love, Lancelot, Guenevere

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