| Quote #7
'Thow shalt,' quod he, 'be rather fals than I.
Arcite tries to get the upper hand on Palamon by holding out Palamon's portrayal of Emily as a goddess as evidence of spiritual worship rather than love. Of course, as we students of the courtly love conventions now know, to place one's lover on a pedestal is actually evidence of true love. Part of the point of courtly love is that a person's reverence for his beloved blurs the boundaries between human and divine. In other words, sorry Arcite, that argument won't hold water in the court of courtly love.
| Quote #8
So muche sorwe hadde nevere creature,
This passage is significant because it gives the classic portrait of a courtly lover separated from the beloved. Unable to sleep, eat, or drink, the lover turns pale and hollow-eyed, and spends most of his time moping about the separation. He is so "up so doun," or upset, by this separation, both physically and emotionally, that even his closest friends hardly know him. This is lovesickness in its classic form.
| Quote #9
'The God of love, a benedicite!
Theseus says that love has the power to bend every heart to its will. Palamon and Arcite are prime examples of this because they are willing to break their oath of sworn brotherhood and, in Arcite's case, risk death in order to win their beloved. Thus they demonstrate the way in which love trumps every other consideration.