The Power Of Women In Sundiata And The Romance Of Tristan And Iseult

861 words - 4 pages

In a patriarchal society men normally have the power. This power is generally handed down generation to generation as seen in Sundiata where the lineage of the first kings of Mali is explained generation by generation (Niane 3). It can also be seen in The Romance of Tristan and Iseult when “[T']he barons, Andret, Guenelon, Gondoine, and Denoalen pressed King Mark to take to wife some king's daughter who should give him an heir...”(Bedier 26). In these examples men generally have the primary power. However, there is an argument to be made that women, in both Sundiata, and The Romance of Tristan and Iseult have some significant power in their society.
In Sundiata the power that women have can be seen as knowledge that is gained through experience, and the craftiness to use this knowledge. Sassouma Berete knows this power of craftiness all too well. When Sogolon is to marry the king, Sassouma Berete uses her craftiness to spread rumors about Sogolon. As D.T. Niane writes in Sundiata, “It was known that she was not beautiful [Sogolon], but the curiosity of everyone was aroused, and already a thousand anecdotes were circulating, most of them put out by Sassouma Berete, the king's first wife” (Niane 10). This suggests that Sassouma Berete understood the power of using her experience and craftiness to create a hostile atmosphere for Sogolon.
When Sogolon becomes pregnant with Sundiata, Sassouma Berete begins the process of determining how it would affect her and her children. D.T. Niane, writes, “What would become of her, Sassouma Berete, if her son, already eight years old, was disinherited in favor of the child that Sogolon was going to bring in the world?” (Niane 13). In this example Sassouma Berete uses her experience and craftiness to try and change the course of destiny.
In the examples of Sassouma Berete it can be seen that woman possessed power, but that it was used in a negative way. This is not always the case with this type of power women possessed in Sundiata. Throughout the story are examples of women using the same power to produce positive results.
While in exile in Djedeba, Mansa Konkon's daughter shows the use of this power of craftiness to protect Sundiata. Knowing that her father, Mansa Konkon, never lost at the game of wori, the king's daughter explains this to Manding Bory. When the next day comes and Sundiata is summoned to play wori against the king he is able to beat him with this knowledge. D.T. Niane writes, “In fact the...

Find Another Essay On The Power of Women in Sundiata and The Romance of Tristan and Iseult

Two Hearts that Beat as One in Tristan and Iseult

1396 words - 6 pages Two Hearts that Beat as One in Tristan and Iseult What causes two people in a relationship to be caught in an emotional roller coaster? There are many answers to this question. In the book, -The Romance of Tristan and Iseult, by Joseph Bedier, Tristan and Iseult had a relationship that can only be explained psychologically and spiritually. From the beginning of Tristans' childhood, he was born of misfortune that seemed to cycle throughout

Sassouma Berete and Sogolon Kedjou in The Epic of Sundiata

862 words - 3 pages Mothers play a very influential role in a young mans life. Even though Sogolon Kedjou and Sassouma Bérété both had an impact on there son's life, their character traits were at different ends of the maternal spectrum. Despite minuscule similarities Sogolon Kedjou and Sassouma Bérété were depicted in direct contrast in the epic Sundiata. When comparing the two Sogolon Kedjou and Sassouma Berete both did what they thought would help to get

The Theme Of Destiny In Sundiata

813 words - 4 pages know what he was up against. After their first battle, Sundiata came strapped with the proper tools to fight a sorcerer. In the end, Sundiata wins and is praised for stripping away Sourmaoro’s power and scarring him off into a cave (40). This shows the theme of destiny by displaying the heroicness of Sudiata’s ability to adapt, overthrow his opponent’s evilness, but he still perseveres to fulfill his unknown destiny. “If it is foretold that your

Feminism and the Power Struggle of Women in Ancient Greece

1393 words - 6 pages Feminism and the power struggle of women in Ancient Greece Women are a very prominent part of the Greek society. Their role has influenced and shaped the Greek society to a very large extent. Women have been shown in many different lights in the Greek works of Odyssey and Iliad which we have covered in our class. The works that I will be citing in this essay, namely Homer’s poems Odyssey and Iliad talk about many prominent women such as Helen

Hospitality and Destiny in the Odyssey and Sundiata

1743 words - 7 pages not the only one whom hospitality rules. His son Telemachus also is affected by his hospitality towards others. In Niane's Sundiata: An Epic of Old Mali, the theme of hospitality runs thick throughout the narrative, as Sundiata is greatly affected by how the other characters receive him. If it were not for the hospitable acts shown to both of the weary travelers, Odysseus and Sundiata may not have been able to return to their homeland.The

The Vicissitudes Of Romance and Love

1354 words - 5 pages by a sense of loss and change.” (Chapman.) Adela Pinch, also comments on Coleridge’s style of poetry stating “ Short poems of Mary Elizabeth Coleridge serve as examples of the ways in which fin-de-siecle poets tended to use short rhymed lines to express consciousness of the compression of time at the century's end.” (Pinch.) Although the previous two poems both expressed the unexpected in regards to romance, they cannot compare to the shock the

The Romance of Hamlet and Ophelia

874 words - 4 pages The most wonderful and intriguing topic for discussion is one of Shakespeare’s play has to be the relationship of Hamlet and Ophelia. Some people have doubted the love that is there, while others believed that there was love. Today in our current generation we still read and analyze this bond that they have. Everyone at least has experienced love in some kind of way to know how love should and should not feel, and even how love looks. So how

The Romance of Abelard and Heloise

2042 words - 8 pages among the public. I can say that I admire the character of Heloise because of her strong will and a pretty good sense of logic, and these, at the same time, were the reasons that brought two successful people together. "In the extent of her learning she stood supreme. A gift for letters is so rare in women that it added greatly to her charm and had won her renown throughout the realm." (p.66) This shows that Abelard valued individuality highly in

Romance and Anti-Romance in Shakespeare's The Tempest

2201 words - 9 pages fact that we are aware that it is controlled by one who has great magical power allows us to fall back into the realm of the fantastic. Romantic convention, after all, thrives on the idea of potential magic and the world of romance has limitless possibilities. In fact, to open the play with the storm simply demonstrates that one is about to enter into a world where anything is possible and all is open to interpretation. This adds astounding new

The Power of Women

1554 words - 7 pages What is a woman to men? Women are objects of possession to the inferiority of all men. The woman has always been the lower level of power between the two sexes, male and female. In the two books Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte and in The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver, the power and voice of the women become inferior to the one of the men. The women in both books are able to overpower the men with their own voice, women not only carry

The Power of the Women in Marriage

862 words - 4 pages which would make for a successful marriage. Jane, throughout her novel became resilient, humble, educated and a passionate young women. She had the power to have a successful marriage because she had the ability to speak her mind without allowing anyone to change the way she felt or thought. She was not arrogant or prideful but stood firm in her beliefs. That is the kind of influence these women have portrayed throughout their time. This

Similar Essays

Consequences Of Passion Exposed In The Romance Of Tristan And Iseult

915 words - 4 pages Consequences of Passion Exposed in The Romance of Tristan and Iseult The story of Tristan and Iseult celebrates the triumph of adultery. When looking vaguely at this romance, readers may think the potion of love that they both drink is the one that makes them to commit adultery. However, this is only a representation of the power of passion and lust Tristan and Iseult have for each other. To better understand this love story, one must

Joseph Bedier's The Romance Of Tristan And Iseult And Jean Cocteau’s Eternal Return

959 words - 4 pages Patrice and her desire to destroy him because her son can never be as loved as Patrice, but that does not alter the fact that she feels and notices the love between Patrice and Natalie. The difference in the film and the novel alter the depiction of the love affair between Tristan and Iseult and Patrice and Natalie. While the novel portrays Tristan and Iseult as causing the suffering they endure because of their love, the film makes Patrice and Natalie the victims of faith and love. Works Cited Bedier, Joseph. The Romance of Tristan and Iseult. New York, 1994

An Essay Depicting The Controversy Towards Religious Beliefs In Joseph Bedier's "The Romance Of Tristan & Iseult"

2535 words - 11 pages greatest controversial aspects of religion in The Romance of Tristan & Iseult is the lovers continuous belief of their innocence. Not only do the they commit adultery, Tristan betrays and lies to his own uncle and his wife, among many other sins. Yet never is thereany expression of a guilty conscience because Tristan and Iseult place all blame on the power of the love potion they drank together. When has there ever been a valuable excuse to

The Theme Of Disguise In "Tristan And Iseult" By Rosemary Sutcliff

890 words - 4 pages Disguises and impersonations appear often in Tristan and Iseult by Rosemary Sutcliff. They add to the story and are important in many of the themes throughout the book.Tristan has just been wounded, and as a last resort gets in a raft with no steering devices and sets him self to sea. He drifts toward some land, and hears some Irish men speaking, who have been told by the King to kill all men from Cornwall. Tristan has to disguise himself, but