Love and Marriage |

Dating marriage and family during the renaissance.

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Poets described love as an overpowering force, both spiritual and sexual. Renaissance Ideas About Love.

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Poets presented the countryside as a place of simple pleasures and honest feelings, far removed from the ambitions and deceptions of urban life. At the highest levels of society, a marriage was not just a bond between two people but a union of two families and their fortunes.

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Couples often pledged themselves to each other in a formal ceremony, which might take place in front of a priest at the church door. In some cases, a husband's will left considerable power in the hands of his widow.

However, religious writers warned that an excess of sex within marriage was sinful.

Courtship led to betrothal, which until the late s was an important step in the process of getting married. So were soldiers and servants, who generally could not marry while they held those professions.

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An annulment might take place if one partner had never consented to the marriage, if the couple had never had sexual relations, or if there was some legal reason why the marriage should not have taken place at all.

Two Italian writers of the s, Dante Alighieri and Petrarch, drew on this tradition in their poetry.

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Renaissance thinkers viewed "platonic" love as the highest and noblest form of love. However, women did have some rights in marriage.

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On the other hand, church law allowed a man who had sex with a virgin to make up for his fault by marrying her. The reality, of course, was more complicated.

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Most people saw sexual relations in marriage as a "debt" that the partners owed to each other. The younger sons of wealthy families often had to live unmarried lives because the oldest son inherited all the family's property, leaving his brothers to enter careers in the church or the military.

Love and Marriage

Couples could legally separate, and occasionally marriages were annulled, or declared invalid. Similarly, parents of daughters sometimes splurged on large dowries for one or two girls and sent the others into religious orders.

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Each of them presented a beloved woman as a source of inspiration and a symbol of female perfection. However, not all Renaissance literature portrayed love as idealized or romantic.

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Most marriages did not end until one partner died, but the high death rate meant that many marriages were short. Most people believed that the perfect love of the poets could not exist alongside the everyday concerns of marriage.

Marriages between ruling families could seal political alliances and even unite empires. Therefore, among the upper classes, parents took the lead in arranging marriages. After marriage, couples were expected to abandon the romantic behaviors of courtship.

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The relationship between a husband and wife focused on companionship, rather than passion. Some poets saw sexual desire as a vital part of love, while others presented love as a pure and selfless emotion.

The Renaissance view of marriage had little to do with love. For most people, however, marriage was a more practical matter.

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Late-marrying adults, along with widows and widowers who hoped to marry again, were temporary celibates. Marriage celebrations often included processions to or from the church, traditional foods, music, and dancing.

Other people remained celibate for only part of their lives. Love and Marriage D uring the Renaissance, Europeans saw love and marriage as two important, but very different, parts of life.

Couples typically exchanged vows and signed a marriage contract, if there was one.

Dating marriage and family during the renaissance