Etymologically, the term courtois refers to the court. In ancient French language, the word corteis means “honest" and "loyal ». Moreover, what is “courtois” is the opposite of "ugly" - that is to say, far from the rude and crude world of the peasant. Finally, the notion of courtesy refers to values and rules of life, rules of manners and above all to a very particular concept of love.
Amour courtois is the concept of a man's love for a woman that began in the 12th century with Occitan troubadours in the south of France. Practiced in feudal courts, it was a quality of a courtier. This amour was a set of aristocratic values characterized by delicate, refined and noble comportment - the opposite of the brutal customs of knighthood. In order to merit the woman he loves, the knight must submit entirely to her, the lady is the overlord, the knight is her vassal. The lady was often of a higher social rank than the courtier, so the knight could not use his power to subdue his lover.
Amour courtois was only directed to a married woman, hence this love could never be realized, as it would have been a betrayal of loyalty to the Lord and a breach of the sacrament of marriage. Nevertheless amour courtois was far from platonic, it was animated by a profound sensuality that did not cease to be evident in forms of expression, arousing abundant (although discreet) erotic imagery: allusions to the female body, the charm of caresses, the potential offered by an alcove, a garden grove and the games that allow, in a nudity that is difficult to always undress, the incessant promiscuity of the château.