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Ideal Male Behavior in European Medieval Culture - Essay Example

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This section of the epic Song of the Cid explores the events that follow after the king Alfonso offers the daughters of the Cid, Elvira and Sol, to marry the Infantes of Carrion. …
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Ideal Male Behavior in European Medieval Culture
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Ideal Male Behavior in European Medieval Culture

Download file to see previous pages... On his part the Cid stands out as an ideal representative of what is masculine. The events that follow serves to illustrate the ideal male behavior based on the medieval Spain culture through the Cid’s character is contrasted that of the Infantes. During this period, it is evident that men are supposed to be brave even when their lives are at risk. The youthful Infantes of Carrion are in a testing period of time during their stay with the Cid who had already proven himself as the hero through his exploits that brought a lot of success in battlefield and wealth. During the period, a man proved his worth in the battle field through heroic actions when called upon to protect the community. The Infantes of Carrion are called upon to prove their worth in two occasions, when the lion brakes free and when the moors attacked. Since the Cid had given his daughters to them, they were not only supposed to be brave during the times of attacks but to be loyal to the Cid through championing of his course whenever a chance arises (Third Cantar 144). The Infantes of Carrion are given the first opportunity to prove themselves worthy of marring the Cid’s daughters in the event when the lion escapes from it cage. This incidence was a good chance for the infantes of Carrion to be brave and protect their father in law but instead “great fear seized them in the middle of the hall. While Cid’s men prepared to defend their lord, Fernando Gonzalez crawled under the Cid’s couch while Diego Gonzalez ran out screaming that he will never see his home again and hid behind the wine press (Third Cantar 144). The Cid as the embodiment of what is masculine wakes up to find his loyal men surrounding his couch and moves to take control of the situation his brave approach makes the lion docile and he taken back to the cage. The way the people celebrates the Cid’s actions while at the same time jeering the Infantes of Carrions, shows that the medieval culture respected heroic behavior while they looked down upon cowardice. The ability to fight and be victorious in the battlefield is one of the most celebrated, masculine traits in the medieval culture. Fighting provided an opportunity for men to add and secure territorial control in addition to protecting their own and lord’s lives. Therefore, men were expected to be courageous, tough and aggressive which was necessary for them to exercise their skills in the use of weapons such as lance and swords. However, the Infantes of Carrion seeks to take advantage of other people’s heroic wins in the battle field to gain wealth seen from the way the take advantage of their relationship with the Cid. To shame the Infantes of Carrion, each of the Cid’s vassals recounts his part in the war while mocking the Infantes since they were not seen during the battle (Third Cantar 155). The period also took pride in a man‘s personal gains and contributions to society as opposed to the privileges with what one was born. The Infantes of Carrion thought that since they were from a royal lineage in Carrion, a marriage to the daughters of Cid was below them (Third Cantar 157). After the Infantes of Carrion beat the daughters of Cid and are taken to court, it is ruled that they were guilty and as punishment, they were to return the gifts and all the wealth that they were given by the Cid in addition to the nullification of their marriage with the daughters of Cid. King Alfonzo proves the Cid had acquired a higher social status when he gives consent for the daughters of ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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