An Inquiry Into Femininity: Women In Medieval Epics

1634 words - 7 pages

In the past of humanity, women's status have always been ambigious. Either they were worshipped as goddesses or despised as unworthy workers. In this research I will analyze closely what it means to be a female in our age and in medieval period by means of two sagas: The Saga of The Volsungs and The Saga of King Hrolf Kraki.

In history, the role and status of women have fluctuated incredibly. At first, matriarchy was dominant in Greece and other realms. Women who are like mother earth and nature were the idols of fertility. They symbolized both beautiful and fertile side of nature. But after monotheist patriarchal religions began to dominate, the women lost their high times and treated as second creatures of nature on which Engels commented that it was the historical defeat of women-kind. This mistreatment was so violent that women are equally treated with satan in religious stories. Afterall, the word `Eve' comes from `Heva' in Hebrew. After Eve's seduction, all sins belonged to her and her kind . Because they were the redlection of men's lusts and vices on the mirror. Whenever men looked at them, they saw their feeble and lustful sides. Thus to be purified of these, in history, they ceaselessly made women their own scapegoats. A women can give birth to a male but the male cannot give any right to her in exchange of his life. Actually the women kind is so sensitive and vulnerable that they do not even attemt to extort what should be given. Still men are indebted something to all women. That is `respect' for all over the world. Ýf ever this is to be attained, the women will serve a better world to all men kind.

The most notable assertion against the role of women is put forward by Darwin who claims that women are inferior to men due to sexual selection of nature. The men in prehistorical times hunted for food and challenged against wild life. Whereas women stayed inside and nurtured their children. It was the beginning of enslavement inside doors. Then women are nourished by men thus the man wished to spare her just for themselves and thus began monogamy process. But what Darwin claimed by sexual selection was the case and results of going hunting and staying inside. He advocated that the one who go into dangerous and puzzling life of nature to hunt becomes sounder in intelligence and the one who stays inside turns out to have a passive and monotonous intelligence. This domesticated sex is doomed to being inactive in outward life and this non-action of her has a great influence over her kind. And ý think it is in paralell with the saying of Oscar Wilde of which he mentioned in De Profundis: "An experience makes or unmakes one's character." (51) so according to Darwin, the initial experiences of women condemned them to inferiority in gender. Some claimed that women have a smaller brain structure than men which proves men's intelligence but then it proved to be false belief. Futhermore, Darwin related the instinct and sensitivity...

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