Le "Bestiaire d’amour” et ses mises en vers: la prose et la poésie, l’allégorie didactique et l’allégorie courtoise
Reinardus: Yearbook of the International Reynard Society, Volume 13, Issue 1, 2000, 67-78
The “Bestiary of Love” and its Verses: Prose and Poetry, Didactic Allegory and Courtly Allegory.
It seems that Richard de Fournival proves that didactic and bookish speech, on the one hand, and courtly song, on the other, are capable of serving a purpose. But as much as he imitates the style of the “Bestiary” in prose, it is obvious that he violates its content. Behind each secular and courteous allegory, which he adds to the descriptions of animals, we distinguish the Christian allegory. In the “Bestiaire d’amour”, the allegories indeed consist of two planes. To say that these two planes are different is an understatement; often they deny themselves. Thus, the love poet tries to convince the lady of his love, and actually proves to her that it is dangerous to her. By persuading the lady to yield to his prayers, he shows her that love is a sin and that it distances the Christian from the way of salvation. He says that verse and prose can be substituted, and he confesses his secret thought: to return to the sin of poetry. No trace of these ideas can be found in the “Bestiaire d’amour rimé”. The resemblance between the style of this "dittié" and the genre of the bestiary is attenuated. To overcome the contradictions between the meaning of courtly allegory and the meaning of Christian allegory, the poet introduces comparisons of the lover to the symbols of Christ or to a man who experienced spiritual renewal: the phoenix, the eagle, the deer. In the “Bestiary of rhymed love” the didactic world and the courtly world do not contradict each other, but they are in harmony. - [Abstract]
0925-4757; DOI: 10.1075/rein.13.06evd
Last update May 12, 2023