Courtly Love In Coventry Patmore's The Angel In The House

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"Let the women learn in silence with all subjection. But I suffer not a woman…to usurp authority over the man” (I Timothy 2:11-14).
The Middle Ages interpreted the female ideal as silent and submissive, evoking images of Coventry Patmore’s misogynistic 19th Century poem “The Angel in the House”. That said, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, set in this era of misogyny and subjugation, has often been depicted as presenting females contrary to this perception, portraying the Romance genre as “essentially the theatre of its feminine figures”(Heng 501). However, this can be regarded as a misconstrued perception of the work as, rather than advocating feminine power, the Gawain-poet can be perceived as following the tradition of his age in positing woman as either weak or sinful.
Courtly Love within the text, expressed through the term “courtesy”, is the thematic embodiment of such a misconception; demonstrating how some are able to determine feminine power, where others find none. Courtly Love was a firmly embedded theme of the age, impacting the perception of the female and forging the Romantic genre in reference to the chivalric acts undertaken by lovelorn knights. In placing the female on an-often-unobtainable pedestal it enabled them to act as inspiration for knights, who would
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Similarly Morgan’s agency is marginalized to the extent of irrelevance as, despite being the schemes instigator, she is barely referenced, thus subtracting from her power. However, this marginalization is not always successful (Fisher) and thus some women are read contrarily. Guinevere is often regarded as “vital” (Neimneh 238) in her silence, however this may be reference to her as the ideal wife and Queen, a medieval Christian construct as portrayed in the Timothy quotation, rather than as
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