Speaking as it does for a culture basically controlled by court and church, medieval English literature, like its European avatars, is for the most part concerned with appreciating the behaviour and values, and reflecting the problems, associated with the continued authority of aristocrats and priests. In lordly romance and saintly vitae, secular and religious moralities are propounded and the interesting dangers of deviations are illustrated — lust and malice threaten both court and church, while cowardice and disloyalty haunt the chivalric activists, and sins of the flesh and the spirit stalk the world of the aspirant Christian.
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