In the sense of destitution, human wretchedness, and powerlessness, poverty is a permanent feature of medieval society, inescapable for many men and women. Some virtuous, self-denying people voluntarily chose a life of poverty, usually with a sense of advancing in Christian spirituality. Often associated in moral writing with covetousness, poverty figures among the vices to avoid. In literary works, some instances of poverty and its victims have acquired exemplary value, as is the case of Yvain's encounter wi…
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