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Date of Award


Document Type

Restricted Thesis: Campus only access

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



First Advisor

Dr. Bertram Ashe


The word romanticize is related to, but decidedly not part of, the title of the genre of romantic comedy. Romance came before romanticization, the latter being borne out of a need to remedy some disappointment on account of unrealistic ideals presented by the former. Romance—in the sense of romantic love—emerged as a new literary trope in Western Europe during the medieval period, as stories began to center around what were usually emotional relationships between knights and noble women, bound by the moral code of chivalry. These relations were ritualized and steeped in courtly tradition, and, though they were rarely physical, emphasized expression of affection and emotional intimacy. Thus, romantic love may have always involved some level of performance, but that performance gained a whole new meaning when the word romanticization entered the scene, and took on a negative connotation. Suddenly, the romantic comedy, made to be an homage to the perfect, dream-like, fairytale-esque love story, with dramatic expressions of love and devotion, was condemnable for its lack of realism.

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