Mount Alvernia High School, Newton, Massachusetts

Brette  Colantonio
Comparing Four Themes Common to Fairy Tales Collected by Andrew Lang Queen Eleanor of Aquitaine and the Emergence of Courtly Love and Chivalry
Andrew  Lang
Link to Senior Art Thesis
Courtly love and chivalry evolved during the twelfth century with help from Queen Eleanor of Aquitaine. Throughout the lifetime of Queen Eleanor, a change developed concerning the way women were treated by men and by society as a whole. Many new perspectives concerning the role of women and men emerged during the reign of Queen Eleanor; one new perspective was courtly love. Courtly love stated that menís role in society was to dignify and honor women, always showing them complete respect. Maturing into a powerful queen, a multi-talented woman, role model, and sex symbol in feudal Europe, Queen Eleanor caused many controversies and scandals.

Courtly love and chivalry, two traditional, romantic ideas, are closely related to fairy tales. Fairy tales can be considered an extended version of a chivalric love story, the idea of a knight falling in love with a beautiful woman and the two living happily ever after. This idea can be interpreted as a fairy tale, but also as a chivalric love story. The idea of good versus evil, rags to riches, manipulation and true love are four perpetual themes found in the hundreds of fairy tales edited and collected by Andrew Lang. Lang chose fairy tales originating from all around the world, each country exhibiting new but similar philosophies on life and love. Fairy tales are a model for the good and evil that exist in the world. The stories are a necessity for children to read because through the stories children learn different morals and values in order to live happily ever after.

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