Source: The Complete Idiot's Guide to Literary Theory and Criticism (2013 1 ed). p. 90.

From the medieval period through the Renaissance, Plato's argument that physical beauty should be seen as an emanation or reflection of ideal beauty really took off. Writers such as Dante, Edmund Spenser, and Baldassare Castiglione, among others, wrote poems of "courtly love," in which a lover sees his or her attraction to a beloved as a reflection of love for the soul. By contemplating earthly beauty and love, the lover would draw closer to the divine beauty and truth of God.

I don't understand how you can love the soul? Whose soul?

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