Christine De Pizan's The Book Of The City Of Ladies

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Christine de Pizan uses her literary work, The Book of the City of Ladies, as a way to criticize medieval European society through the extensive use of multifaceted characters in a physical world setting. Through the construction of the City of Ladies, Christine questions the world that man created and proves that women are much more capable of doing physical and intellectual activities than men give them credit for. The story opens with Christine reading Lamentations, written by a thirteenth century poet named Mathieu of Boulogne, or Matheoulus. There, he discusses the fundamentals marriage and claims that women make men’s lives miserable. Christine reads this and becomes upset as her existential crisis sets in and feels ashamed to be…show more content…
In order for Christine’s argument against sexist males to be more powerful, she uses a rhetorical device called the topos of modesty, which means that she willingly appears more ignorant. This ignorance helps play out her existential crisis and makes it seem more real that she is starting to believe what men say about women. Christine tells Lady Reason that she feels as though being a woman in this time period is a waste of space if she was only placed here to make men miserable. Reason helps Christine decipher her own self-consciousness and sift through the negative thoughts of the anti-female writers by showing Christine that she, as well as all women, have a significant place in society. This is the first example of how Christine criticizes medieval European society. Christine over exaggerates her own thoughts and self-doubts by throwing herself a pity party. This action gets the reader to realize that women are treated so poorly to the point of feeling non-existent. Her vocalized doubts ring through each chapter as she continues to build the city. Through Reason and her own character, she shows that women have more worth than what men give them. While Christine digs the trench around the city, she proves that women can do physical work while also exercising the intellectual mind by questioning the realm that men created for women to live
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