Castiglione The Courtier
The Courtier, published in 1528, presented the attributes of a perfect courtier. Physically, the courtier had to be of medium height, proportional, handsome and with solemn colored clothing (nothing gaudy). Exceptional athletic abilities such as running, swimming, riding and using weapons, were necessary to his success. It was expected that the courtier also be musically talented, playing the flute, lute, and being able to sing. Dancing “well without over nimble footings” was also deemed very important. Intellect was a significant trait of the courtier. He had to be able to speak Spanish, Italian and French fluently and always be eloquent while doing so. Gossiping or giving confidential information caused many problems within the court. Beyond all other characteristics, good personality traits were the most vital part in determining the success of a courtier. He needed to be honest with a right conscience, well dispositioned, and able to acknowledge his faults and mistakes. Being boastful, not respectful of elders, rash, malicious or deceitful would have inevitably caused a courtier's downfall. Administration and organization of the courts was inevitably very important. Castiglione explained that in the court, there was both time for entertainment and fun, but also time for seriousness and governing. Mixing the two caused bad outcomes. Women were a vital part of the entertaining part of the court.