Collections > Electronic Theses and Dissertations > Death at First Sight: The Duality of Love in Thibaut de Champagne and Ibn Quzman

This study compares between the secular love poetry of thirteenth-century trouvère Thibaut de Champagne and twelfth-century Andalusian author Ibn Quzman. Both poets portray passion as binary, since it incites both joy and pain. Their individual meditations on the duality of love focus especially on visual contemplation of beauty as the impetus to love. However, the effects of seeing beauty, like courtly love itself, are also binary. Both Thibaut de Champagne and Ibn Quzman attempt to deal with this optical paradox through the idealization of human passion: each poet sets up the beloved as an object of worship. In Thibaut, this appears as an ennobling, courtly love religion; while Ibn Quzman's visual considerations of beauty end up in sensual flesh worship. Without a way to settle the tension between joy and grief of profane love, the poet finally succumbs to passion in martyrdom; such a fate is seen in Thibaut and Ibn Quzman not only as inevitable, but also desirable.