Eleanor Aquitaine Essay

2413 words - 10 pages

Eleanor Aquitaine In 1122 William X and his wife Aénor of Châtellerault had a daughter be the name of Eleanor who also called herself Aliénor. She grew up in the presence of her father and the troubadours of the court. A young lady who strengthened every situation and marriage she was in and promoted the artistic influence of troubadours through out the land.She herself was greatly impressed by her grandfather William IX, who was one of the earliest troubadours known by name. He was an outstanding figure in her childhood, the first truly big man in her life, and a hero who must have made an enormous impression on her though he died when she was only five. He was a man of extraordinary complexity, alternately idealistic and cynical, ruthless but impractical. He was no statesman, though aggressive and pugnacious.His most livid affair was when he stole and seduced Dangerosa of Châtellerault. He then kept her in a tower of his palace at Poitiers. She then became known as La Maubergeonne. William died excommunicated in 1127. Eleanor took very much after her grandfather's sarcastic wit and humor in the frivolity of her early years, although never making a clown of herself.A holy hermit came to Williams IX protesting in God's name at the rape of Dangerosa, and after being received by the dukes usual mocking banter, the hermit placed a curse upon the family. Through both male and female lines they would never know happiness in their children.1 William the X had an unexpected gift of versifying, in a mixture of Lemosin and Poitou. Arab songs he heard from Moorish slave girls, which had been brought home by his father from Spain, may have inspired him. William was also a very competent poet, eleven of whose pieces are ashamedly licentious, although one "Pos de chantar mes pres talenz" pays a melancholy farewell to earthly joys:2 Since now I have mind to sing I'll make a song of that which saddens me, That no more in Poitou or Limousin, Shall I loves servant be...3 William X was noticeably fond of his eldest daughter, and he was more known for his quarrels than his poems, yet he had a court full of troubadours. William had a great passion for food and could eat enough for eight mortals until his appetite was filled. Due to the fondness of his daughter he made her his constant companion. Eleanor matured early, partly because she was always with her father. Sometimes she had wished to be a boy, yet she was much too feminine to be a tomboy. She often displayed certain casualness in certain sexual matters.Eleanor was by no means confined to needle work, quite the opposite, she was taught to read Latin, first the prayers and services of the church, then the Bible, the writings of the Fathers and Ovid. She enjoyed Latin comedies and could read and speak it, a rare accomplishment for a laity member.When Eleanor was 15 her father, William X died on Good Friday 1137. He was buried under the high altar at Compostella. Though a woman...

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