The Book of the Duchess and Other Poems

Exploring "Fin Amors" Within Fountain of Love and The Book of the Duchess College

Fin amors, or refined loving is a staple within medieval literature. Showcasing the romantic relationships of noblemen, fin amors expresses the struggles and games that are played between a man and woman during courtship. Similar to unrequited love, fin amors focuses itself around women holding the power in a relationship, and therefore remaining aloof to a man’s advances. This behavior by the woman forces the man to place her on a pedestal, therefore idealizing her, and wanting her even more. Within Guillaume De Machaut’s Fountain of Love, and Geoffrey Chaucer’s The Book of the Duchess the concept of fin amors takes center stage and drives the subject matter of the poem. Together, both poems consist of oblivious insomniac narrators who witness another man’s grieving over their respected romantic relations. Neither of the narrators have a love interest of their own, but rather they relay the stories of the men they come across and their woes in love.

Though the Fountain of Love and The Book of the Duchess have their differences, they both share the common theme of fin amors, and more specifically the subject matter of women possessing all of the power within the relationship, lamenting lovers, and women being idealized and...

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