• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Did Attitudes Towards the Status of Women and Marriage Change in the Late- Middle Ages?

Extracts from this document...


Did Attitudes Towards the Status of Women and Marriage Change in the Late- Middle Ages? The Medieval approach to the subject of marriage was entirely distinct and unlike our own. It is difficult to understand their view on married life, as it appears to us, in the modern day to be much more of a contract for the consolidation of estates and monetary gain rather than the love of two people. However the view of women in general was very unlike the outlook of our contemporary society and to understand their view of marriage we must first understand the outlook of women in the Middle Ages. Women are first mentioned in The Bible in Genesis 2:21-3. It is described how woman is created from the rib of man and how the man said 'This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of man'1 The following passages in The Bible describe the fall of Eve and the temptation of Adam. From the very first literature, women are depicted with less moral standing than men and are seen as the downfall of all good, honest Christians. Apostles such as St Paul and St Augustine are also seen to have a grave role in the shaping of the view of women in the Middle Ages. ...read more.


His tone is understanding and paternal rather than that of a husband, although this would have been reassuring for the young woman. He states that he does not wish 'a service too humble or too hard'. He wishes only for the same treatment as his contemporaries receive from their wives. In return she asks him not to correct her mistakes in front of other but to be sensitive to her youth and inexperience and to amended her errors in private. That is precisely why this book of guidance and direction was conceived. The first part of his book is centered on Biblical stories, called exempla in the Middle Ages. Some of which centre on the Menagiers own experiences. The second part is a guide to domesticity. Including gardening tips and advice on how to handle the hired service. There is also a cookbook included of his favorite recipes. The third section is centered around entertainment, both of guests to their home and for the young lady herself. Unfortunately this section doesn't seem to be concluded. It would seem that the Menagier has rather contemporary opinions of marriage, in his view that he understands the hardship involved in wifely duties, however this positive scene is still quite far from what we would now deem as acceptable opinion. He compares the loyalty he expects from his wife to be like that of a dog. ...read more.


It was already against the law to marry in secret. In conclusion we can note that there were many changes in the Middle Ages concerning women and marriage. However society did progress through the extreme misogynist early Middle Age men of Christianity such as St Augustine who is to blame for many anti - feminist opinions. To the slightly more liberal views of the later leaders such as Juan de Torquemada (1388 - 1468) who believed that man should love his wife like Christ loves the Church. Although women were always to be seem as second class, up until the mid Twentieth century, positive changes were made. A woman like Chauser's hero Alysoun could never have been conceived in earlier days. She encapsulated everything that the Church hated in women; she was loud, she drew attention to herself and she had re-married no less than five times. However women like this did exist and instead of caring about what the Church thought, she would have reveled in their distaste. This would have never been possible earlier. So matters changed throughout the Middle Ages and after that and are still changing today. Opinions towards marriage today are very different to only a couple of decades ago, as are views on women. Things will always continue to change and evolve, nothing ever stands still. 1 Women in the Middle Ages A.M.Lucas Page 3 2 The Medieval Vision C.Erickson Page 189 3 Women in the Middle Ages A.M.Lucas Page 64 4 Women in the Middle Ages A.M.Lucas Page 66 ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Geoffrey Chaucer section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Geoffrey Chaucer essays

  1. "The Country Wife shows us that people's attitude towards love, sex and marriage have ...

    Marriage in the "Country Wife" is displayed as being only necessary in providing social rank and any idea of trust or real emotion is non-existent. Interestingly, both male and female have the same attitude towards marriage, even Lucy sees past the ceremonial vow to show marriage for what it really

  2. Middle ages.

    I think that the groups in the Middle Ages were unfair because the poorer groups had to serve the higher groups. The low groups received much less respect. DISEASES During the Middle Ages, there was no public health service. The rich governors of Britain's towns did not see public health

  1. The Marriage Debate.

    There follows a long wedding ceremony with no expense spared. The `vitaille was the moste deynteuous' in all Italy and every course was accompanied by `loud minstralcye'; no doubt some kind of medieval heavy rock. May looked very pretty, with so `meek a look...like a may morning', as all medieval romantic heroines were supposed to.


    Mrs. Marroner had a 'good relationship' with Gerta. She tried to teach her and had grown to 'love the patient'. Perhaps having no babies of her own made her to love the big child more. By writing this sentence Gilman expresses the feeling of Mrs. Marroner towards Gerta and show that Mrs.

  1. The Secret Life of Walter Mitty vs. Young Goodman Brown

    It was so serious that if he were to pass a hospital, he would start imagining being a very famous surgeon practicing an extremely complicated procedure. His unrealistic experiences ranged from being a commanding officer on a ship in bad weather, to a famous trial lawyer, as well as a courageous member in the armed forces.

  2. 'Visiting Hour' by Norman MacCaig

    The second describes the frailty of her hands, "a withered hand trembles on its stalk," and this describes the frail hand shaking, with a drip attached. I think that this is effective because of the way it says that the hand is withering away comparing it to the stalk of a flower.

  1. The Repression of Women in Victorian Society as Shown in 19th Century Literature

    She also talks 'politely' to their guest, as she is expected to. Later on in the story the monkey's paw brings the death of their son, Herbert. Upon instincts Mrs. White instantly knows something has happened to him, as a 'stranger who seemed ill at ease entered the room'. Mr.

  2. Compare and Contrast the Attitudes of Mitsu and his wife, Natsumi towards Takashi.

    which shows that she did not have a very bad opinion of Takashi from the very beginning. Natsumi however was an alcoholic and Hoshio told them that Takashi had actually made sure that he left alcohol but Natsumi stated that if she were told by Takashi to leave alcohol she

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work