The medieval troubadours of the South of France profoundly influenced European literature for many centuries. This book is the first full-length study of the first-person subject position adopted by many of them in its relation to language and society. Using modern theoretical approaches, Sarah Kay discusses to what extent this first person is a "self" or "character," and how far it is self-determining. Kay draws on a wide range of troubadour texts, providing many close readings and translating all medieval quotations into English. Her book will be of interest both to scholars of medieval literature, and to anyone investigating subjectivity in lyric poetry.