Women In The Wife's Lament

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In the poem “The Wife's Lament”, by Leofric, he depicts women in the medieval era as meaningless, and unimportant people. However, this all changes by Shakespeare's powerful female characters; Desdemona, in the play “Othello” and Cleopatra in his play “Antony and Cleopatra”. The roles of women have changed from the medieval era from the fifth to fifteenth centuries to the renaissance era which was from the fourteenth to seventeenth centuries. Most women in this era had arranged marriages and were forced to marry men that their family had picked out for them. If women chose to get married, the men would have the full rights to take over any property she owned, and she would have to forfeit and be subservient to their new spouse. The only two…show more content…
They played subservient roles to their men in order to make them look strong and heroic. Women in the Anglo-Saxon culture consumed no freedom and were to always favor and obey their so called lords (husband's). For example, in “The Wife's Lament”, the female speaker speaks in deep sadness because her husband had left their family and sailed away leaving her behind. After a certain period of time, her husband requests for her to move out of the country and into a new one with him. Leaving her friends behind, she once again felt depressed due to isolation of her friends and family. The female speaker then states, “My lord commanded me to live with him here;/ I had few loved ones or loyal friends/ in this country , which causes me great grief”(15-17). These lines prove that no matter what the scenario is, the man's wife has to do what pleases him even if it costs her leaving her loved ones at her home country. In the “Wife's Lament”, the feeling of detachment and depression by the female speaker, describes the lack of control over her situation. For instance, the speaker announces “...I walk alone in the light of dawn/ under the oak-tree and through this earth-cave,/ where I must sit the summer-long day;/ there I can weep for all my exiles,/ my many troubles; and so I may never/ escape from the cares of my sorrow mind,...”(35-40). She also states “They forced me to live in a forest grove,/ under an oak tree in an earthen cave...”(27-28). These lines prove that because the female speaker is a women, she has no power or control over the situation that occurred to her. This poem puts medieval women in poor lighting and depicts men as strong and powerful
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