Anglo Saxon Marriage

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The Anglo-Saxons were a Germanic tribe who inhabited the land that we now call England and Wales, from the 5th century to the Norman conquest. Anglo-Saxons came from three different Germanic groups which were the Angles, Saxons, and Jutes (The Editors of Encyclopædia Britannica. (2017, December 07). Anglo-Saxon. Retrieved January 16, 2018, from https://www.britannica.com/topic/Anglo-Saxon). This blending of Germanic groups helped create a foundation for particular ideals. Although it is tough to find actual records of marriage licenses, other reliable sources indicate the ideal marriage during the Anglo-Saxon period. For example, printed books, ballads, church court records, wills, and parish registers were all used to “contribute to a credible…show more content…
He aided in the laws and regulations of marriage, so he technically had a large impact on the ideal marriage. He combined the “religious conception of marriage into relation with the life of his people” (Stenton, F. M. (1971). Anglo-Saxon England. Oxford: Oxford University Press). Basically what that means is that Theodore understood the way society was at the time, and he took that with the religious influence of marriage, and tried to make laws and regulations that best fit his people. Under Theodore, there were some notable stipulations. If a husband or wife’s partner “carried off to a hopeless captivity,” a five year period was needed before a remarriage. This rule actually caused some uproar, because sometimes the partner who had been sent away returned. Some felt that the second marriage should be dismissed at their return. However, if a married man had been condemned to penal slavery, his wife only had a year delay. While that rule was a little more loose, he had no toleration for allowing a man to remarry after his wife had left him for five years (Stenton, F. M. (1971). Anglo-Saxon England. Oxford: Oxford University Press). This rules helped show what the ideal marriage was because if a marriage went against these rules, it obviously would not be considered…show more content…
In Chaucer’s Wife of Bath Tale, it repeatedly references the Wife’s five marriages that took place at the church door. However, priests were not able to allow the marriages of bigamists, so the marriages could not have realistically taken place at the church door. In addition, it also portrays the social status of widows. The representation of them shows the “anti feminist and antividual ideologies. The widows are the two mother-in-law in the Man of Law’s Tale. In the tale, there is no indication that neither Sultaness or Donegild have husbands, and their sons hold authority. These widows are portrayed in a negative light as well. Widows were viewed by the Church negatively and were often put under sexual suspicion. It was even literary tradition to present widows in a satirical way (McCarthy, C. (2005). Marriage in medieval England: law, literature, and practice. Woodbridge, Suffolk: Boydell Press). The insight into marriage that Chaucer provided us with is not all negative though. Love is a celebrated recurring theme in The Canterbury Tales. He paints the picture that a immense part of marriage in the Medieval period was the emphasis on mutual love (Macfarlane, A. (1986). Marriage and Love in England
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