Masculinity And Femininity In Medieval Literature

892 Words4 Pages
Like most pre-modern eras of history, medieval Europe was essentially a man’s world. It was no secret that the roles of women in medieval Europe were distinctly defined as subservient and oppressed beings. Most women were limited to house chores and the bearing and rearing of children. How much autonomy they had was dependent on their status or whom they married. Noble women had no more rights than their peasant sisters who tended to livestock and planted vegetables on the farm. However, the quality of life for a noble man’s wife was certainly better and also less dangerous, and she was often thought skills in cooking or medicine. The code of chivalry in medieval texts raised women up as objects to be admired, cherished and protected, a venerated position similar to Mary, the mother of Jesus Christ and the romantic love between knights and their ladies was glorified. However, the reality was very different their lives were difficult and far from the ideal or romantic. These socialised beliefs also translated into literary texts. There are also very few examples of gender equality in medieval literature or history. In traditional medieval literature, the hero was a masculine, aggressive and violent male who exuded knightly personalities while the female was portrayed as pure and good as a reflection of the highly idealised views of norms and values, society and morality.…show more content…
In this essay, I seek to discuss how masculinity and femininity were viewed in medieval society what role men and women played and how this affected the status of women in society in order to generate arguments for the extent to which the statement ‘ medieval Europe was a mans world’ is
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