The lives and legal cases of Giovanni & Lusanna and Martin & Bertrande in Le Retour de Martin Guerre Name: Instructor: Affiliation: Course: Date: (i) The lives and legal cases of Giovanni & Lusanna This story is a compelling account of which a wronged woman in the Renaissance Florence gives a fascinating view of the Florence society and the attitude this community has towards love, marriage, class and gender…
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Blending the scholarship between the insightful narratives, the story line of this book portrays an extraordinary woman who comes out boldly to challenge the unwritten codes and some barriers of the social hierarchy and goes ahead to dare seek some measure of personal independence in the male-dominated world. This book gives a summary and analysis of the record case that is found in the Florentine archives1. In this book, the class difference is not only revelatory basing on the way that the law handled people of different social classes, but it also bases on how social class was subject in handling matters of love. Just in the same way that class played a role in affecting romance in Renaissance Florence is also evident in Giovanni’s initial pursuit of Lusanna’ love. Giovanni falls in love with Lusanna despite the fact that her husband is still alive, and goes ahead to try and start a relationship with her. Despite the fact that Giovanni is rich and many girls are after him, he only loves Lusanna. In this case, the custom was to seek to marry just for the purpose of increasing social status or tying together the important families, but not marrying each other because of love. For this, social class is evident in comparison of Giovanni and Lusanna, but Giovanni argues that he wants to marry Lusenna not because of increasing social ties, but because he is deeply in love with her. Social class is not only the difference separating the love story between Giovanni and Lusanna, but there is also an aspect of gender. Lusanna is the rare exception among many women of her time, and thus making it not possible to categorize her as in any major roles that women adopted in this community. Women of her class would be typical “chaste wives and widows or cloistered nuns,” but not passionate and driven just as Lusanna was. All through this case Giovanni was determined to prove that their relationship was strong and had started way back before the death of Lusanna’s husband Andrea, and that her willingness to not only to participate in this relationship that was making her mush happier than her marriage seizes the initiative of classifying different from the set of other women in her era, in that she participates in the illicit relationship. Another aspect that existed between these different classes of lives is the double standard existing in relation to sex. According to the social norms of the community, adultery was forbidden in the Florence play. Both the secular and religious laws also forbid and even punished adultery, such as the same case that Lusanna portrayed while married to Andrea. There is also an aspect of influence in the justice system following the class difference. For instance, Lusanna was the one who filed a case against Giovanni for attempting to marry another woman while they are married. In this society, rich people had the capacity of bribing the justice system, something that would have made Giovanni walk free. Archbishop Antoninus was the only leader with the capacity of rejecting such bribes and influence from the rich class in this society, thus suiting him to preside over this case. However, the author states that the same judge would have known of Giovanni’s influence and financial power, leading him to uphold the complaint filed by Lusanna. The status difference that was separating Lusanna and Giovanni is
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