The Woman's Emotional Role Essay

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The worldly conceptions and practices surrounding love have evolved over time and throughout many different cultures. It followed this same sort of pattern throughout literature where the classical time period focused on loving all things in beauty with the man as all powerful, while the medieval period put women on a pedestal to be loved and focused on. Marie de France is an author of the medieval time period who wrote a story called Laustic, which demonstrates a woman’s role in a romantic setting as well as a societal one. Boccaccio, in the Decameron, demonstrates a new form of love where women are not necessarily of noble status, but the peasant and lower class people are present, creating a completely new genre of writing. By taking a look at these two pieces of literature, the differences and similarities between the roles of women during the time period create emotional and connecting responses between the characters and the reader through the author’s use of language and structure.
Marie de France’s the Laustic demonstrates courtly love and its foundation that women in romance are of high nobility. Although women were viewed as more of a prize than in previous literature periods, they were still represented as under the status of men. Marie de France introduces the woman in her story as the “courtly and elegant wife” that was given to a knight, which shows the courtly relations and theme to the story (83). Since most of the time women did not play a role in the decision of who they were to marry, adultery became a common theme amongst many stories. This theme demonstrates women’s power in that although they are forced to marry a courtly man without much choosing, they usually choose to love another behind their husbands back. This type of adulteress love plays a big part in causing tragic love stories during the medieval time period. Adultery has always been looked down upon and is still a relevant feeling in the readers mind, but usually one is rooting for the woman and her lover to end up being together even though it is not honorable. Authors use language and tone to depict a feeling toward the readers in order to feel sympathy toward the woman in the story and create an emotional relationship. Marie de France uses negative words such as “taken,” “angry,” and “spite,” near the emotions and actions by the husband instead of using pleasant words such as “valour,” “honourable,” and “content” which are used to give emotion to the lover (83). She also only uses the word “husband” to describe the women’s husband while using the more passionate word “beloved” to describe...

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