With A Sword In My Hand Character Analysis

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‘Marguerite struggles to fulfil he roles expected of her.’ Discuss

In the novel, “With a Sword in my Hand”, Marguerite demonstrates her inability to fulfil the role expected of her as a woman and as a countess in medieval society. Marguerite continuously feels pressure to be the proper woman her father expects her to be. Also, being part of the ruling family, the people of Flanders also have an expectation of how their future countess should behave and what she is to represent. However, she is constantly doing things she’s not supposed to, but they’re the things she loves to do, yet these are the times when she is able to be herself.

Marguerite struggles to fulfil the role of being a woman in many ways. She is expected to act like a proper
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Marguerites future is to get married to someone her father chooses, but she only wants to marry for love. She prays to god for a happy future, but her father is selfish and chooses men who only own and rule over a large area of land, and he doesn’t acknowledge what his daughter wants. The future husbands want a beautiful woman to marry, but she has not inherited her mother’s beauty, and she knows that she will only marry a man who wants her for her inheritance. That she’ll be living proof that money won’t buy happiness. Because who would ever love a “failed boy” with her “fathers fox head”? Even if marguerite doesn’t enjoy being a countess, she does use her role to her advantage. When her friends are in trouble she defends herself by saying, “I am the countess of Flanders, and my father would take it as a personal insult if you harmed this boy.” But even being an important role in her society, being a female, the men are still more important. When she finally stands up for her beliefs, an important male role model such as Chaplain van Izeghem berates her by saying “women were created from a floating rib of man” and “are no more than a useless appendage”. Marguerite’s father expects a lot from her, since she is the future leader of Flanders, but instead of supporting her, he treats her…show more content…
Marguerite was never meant to be a girl and she is regularly reminded of that by her father by saying “you are my misfortune” and “what have I done to deserve you in my life”. Does Marguerite act like a boy should because she doesn’t enjoy the life she is expected to have, or does she want to be the boy her father never had. The count has high expectations on what and how Marguerite should be like and does everything to make her a perfect future ruler. When she finally gets her rapier from Ferre, she knows that “the sword won’t rest in its scabbard”. Her interest sparked by all the stories her father came home and told her about his fights. When the count finds about her sneaking around causing mischief, he “forbids her to ever see those boys again” and threatens to send her to a “convent until her wedding day”. But once she can’t go back to Flanders because of the plaque, she runs off and becomes a sister at a convent, because all the sisters “are equal in the eyes of god”. Once her father finally finds her, she’d “rather die than go with him” so he fights her, and once she has lost she admits defeat and goes back to rule over Flanders.

Marguerite is a strong woman, but she fails to fulfil the main roles of being a woman, countess and daughter. In “With a sword in my hand” you understand what living as a leader in the medieval era was like. The men were very powerful and even as a ruler, woman were not as
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