Abelard And Heloise Analysis

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Medieval society often put forth the idea that men were superior to women in intellect. Abelard writes, “the weaker sex needs the help of the stronger, so much so…that the man must always be over the woman…” (Abelard 39). This ideology of male superiority is clearly depicted in the wide difference between occupations made available to Abelard and Heloise. Although Abelard chose a life of a scholar and philosopher, he had the option to choose from a wide variety of occupations, ranging anywhere from a merchant to a priest. All of the professions available to men were those that put them in dominant positions over the women in society. While the occupations made available to men were without boundaries, the occupations made available to women…show more content…
Although she was madly in love with Abelard, Heloise would much rather be considered his friend, or even his prostitute, than any title even resembling that of a wife. She writes, “the name of wife may seem more sacred or binding, but sweeter for me will be always be the word friend, or… that of concubine or whore,” (Heloise 51). When Abelard proposes marriage, Heloise does all in her power to dissuade him from this notion. She tells him of “the loss to the Church and grief of philosophers which would greet such a which would greet such a marriage,” (Abelard 13). When these points do not dissuade Abelard, Heloise tells him of the “annoyances of marriage and its endless anxieties,” (Abelard 14), and that their marriage would ultimately be a form of Abelard’s servitude to her. Based on the text, Heloise draws a conclusion about love and marriage, stating that love is freedom, while marriage is tantamount to slavery. She writes that she prefers, “love to wedlock and freedom to chains,” (Heloise 51). The notion that marriage was a form of slavery was not uncommon amongst young women in medieval Europe. In the 12th century, marriage occurred more often for stability and convenience than for love. Despite Heloise’s obvious disapproval of marriage, she submitted to Abelard’s will and married
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