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The role of women in medieval England.

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Introduction

Women in Medieval England Throughout time, women have indirectly influenced the outcome of history, whether the power and social struggles were recorded or not. In Sir Walter Scott's historical romance Ivanhoe, Lady Rowena is the strong-willed decisive female character that waits for what she wants, and takes it when the opportunity arrives. In The Lion in Winter, Eleanor of Aquitaine was a woman with many faces so to speak, and had influence over many of the men in her life. In history, women have played an important role through influencing powerful men into adopting their point of view. The argument that women were of no influence in medieval England could be made. ...read more.

Middle

For example, both Rowena and Rebecca are women who are strong willed and beautiful; "Nevertheless, Cedric, whose opinions of women's constancy was far from strong. . ." (Scott p.192) Cedric is Rowena's guardian, and although he does not think much of women, Rowena is allowed to act as the head of the family, and make many important decisions. Despite this, Cedric insists that Rowena marry Athelstane, although her heart is true only to Ivanhoe. She cannot picture becoming subordinate to a man whom she does not love, so she refuses Athelstane's proposals, and wards off the unwanted affection of De Bracy. She fights the arranged marriage, and is greatly rewarded in the end with a marriage to her true love, Ivanhoe. ...read more.

Conclusion

During the Second Crusade (and Richard's reign), Eleanor protected the kingdom from her youngest son John. This action "increased her fame as an extremely able politician " (Eleanor 1). Basically, she set the standards of living for monarchies, along with the underlying influence of women in English history. In history, women have played an important role through influencing powerful men into adopting their point of view. Eleanor of Aquitaine in particular had a great influence in her time, and was a powerful woman in history. Both Lady Rowena and Eleanor of Aquitaine experienced some sort of power struggle in their time, which resulted in a gain on their behalf. Rowena found true love and Eleanor gained fame and fortune. Each woman proved that the significance of women is phenomenal, and that they have an enormous influence on the outcome of history. ...read more.

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