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Author: Silvie Stanovská 
Masaryk University, Brno
Translated from Czech by Katerina Tomova
Published in: „Славянски диалози“,  VIII,  2011, 12

Abstract: The focus of this paper is erotic desire and passion wrapped in the guise of allegory which occurs very often in German and Czech secular lyrics of the late Middle Ages. In such works, Lover is shown as a „hunter“ and his Loved One as a „hunting quarry“. The hidden meaning of such polysignificant allegory is gentlehood which on the surface is a quality of the aristocracy, but underneath represents the beauty and elegance of the forest animal that symbolizes the beauty of the loved lady.

This sort of allegory in one of its most sophisticated rhetoric forms can be traced not only in German and Czech late Medieval lyrics, but also in the old Czech prose work Tkadleček (The Weaver), written at the court of Wenceslas IV in 1408. Allegory developed also in spiritual literature but only as a result of adopting it from the secular one. Such direction from lay to spiritual allegory in medieval literature can be found less often than the opposite one. And this is the reason why it is to be considered an interesting phenomenon that deserves attention.