Tale Of The Genii By Shikibu Murasaki Analysis

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This exposition defines the seemingly contradicting elements of feminist and patriarchal authorship in the Heian Period in the context of the narrative voice in Tale of the Genii by Shikibu Murasaki. In Heian Japan, Murasaki was a female author that published the Tale of the Genii in the 11th century. More so, she was a “lady-in-waiting” in the Japanese royal court, which allowed her to become educated in the art of writing. The mysterious authoring of the Tale of the Genji defines the complex aspects of patriarchal narrative that are commonly found in the identity of lady Murasaki. In some cases, it is believed that Murasaki was writing from an autobiographical context, but there are also theories that the stories are cautionary moral tales…show more content…
This historical perspective defines the feminist approach to the abuses that women endured under the power of the Genji in the royal court. In 20th century feminist theory, the view of Murasaki’s authorship of the Tale of the Genji tends to reveal the suffering and horrific experiences of women under male authority. This perspective interprets Murasaki as being a voice for women during the predominantly patriarchal monarchy of the Heian period. In this context, modern feminist theory has suggested that Murasaki was expressing her own condemnation of the Genji’s immoral behavior when she was taken as his concubine, and eventually, his…show more content…
Of course, women, such as Murasaki, were forced into marriages without their own consent, which does identify her own experiences as a lady-in-waiting in the Heian royal court. This feminist view illustrates the forced submission of women as sexual objects for the Genji, which has much merit in terms of the Murasaki’s own insight into feminist narratives of women living in these patriarchal circumstances. In this case, Murasaki provides a feminine narrative of the experiences and choices that women had to make under an oppressive male dominant government. The Genji, therefore, is merely a central character that expresses the total control of male figures in the novel, as part of a larger narrative that reflects the unique views of women in medieval Japanese
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