Examples Of Courtly Love In The Great Gatsby

1017 Words3 Pages

Sophie Payne
Mrs. Cassetta
Honors American Literature and Composition
5 March 2018
Gatsby and Daisy: the Knight and his Lady Courtly love, a term thats origins stem from the Middle Ages, refers to the advocation of idealized but illicit love. Courtly love was an extremely popular code of conduct between lovers, particularly between a knight and his lady, in the 12th to the 14th century where a man had to win over the heart of a married woman with his advances. F. Scott Fitzgerald cultivates a strong theme of courtly love within The Great Gatsby. James Gatz, a young business man originating from a humble past, climbs the ladder of status and wealth to become a well-known, charming, exquisite party-thrower living in East Egg, with the sole …show more content…

In order for a humble knight to deserve his mistress, he must prove his cultivated bearings, and likewise Gatsby devotes himself to this endeavor. Culturing Gatsby in courteous mannerisms, Gatsby’s mentor Dan Cody fills “the vague contour of Jay Gatsby [with] the substantiality of a man” (102) and brings Gatsby a step closer to Daisy’s dignified status. Desperate to line up to Daisy’s standards, Gatsby takes every precaution necessary to ensure Daisy’s affections. Every check mark on the aristocratic list must be met for Gatsby: charm, money, and status. After Dan’s death, Gatsby enters himself into illegal business dealings with Meyer Wolfsheim, gaining a new token for success by “[buying] up a lot of side-street drug-stores [in New York] and in Chicago [to sell] grain alcohol over the counter” (135). Gatsby soon brews up an overflowing abundance of wealth, and seizes the opportunity to impress Daisy with his intriguing assets. Like a determined knight hoping to demonstrate both skill in battle and social standing, Gatsby flaunts his newly obtained wealth in the form of parties and extravagant materialism. The glamour of his displays eventually catches Daisy’s eye and Gatsby at last wins her over, proceeding to the events of their impassioned …show more content…

Love at first sight is a common occurrence amongst the stories of medieval chevaliers. The moment young Gatsby encounters Daisy, he “[finds] her excitingly desirable” and fancies her to be the “first ‘nice’ girl he has ever known” (150). Fluttering feelings of desire bubble up within Gatsby upon first glancing upon Daisy. A seemingly normal attraction between potential lovers buds between Gatsby and Daisy, until it develops into more of an infatuation. Within a month of their meeting, Gatsby already “[feels married] to her,” undoubtedly expressing a strong attachment to Daisy (151). Fascination and passionate desire sparks between the two lovers quickly. The theme of love at first sight flowing within the characteristics of courtly love appears within the undeniable strong emotion Gatsby feels for Daisy. Even after leaving for war, Gatsby’s persistent affections Daisy affect him so, that he “[waits] five years and [buys] a mansion where he [dispenses] starlight to casual moths” just to see her again (81). Gatsby laboriously makes himself the perfect potential romantic candidate, despite the ring on Daisy’s finger, in hopes of reviving the vivid memories of their short relationship. Daisy responds to his charm, and once again “[blossoms] for him like a flower” as they lose themselves in a passionate affair (113). As they sink into their forbidden relationship, Gatsby and Daisy closely

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