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Women in Arthurian Legend - Term Paper Example

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The Arthurian legend is the British legacy as it is symbolic for patriotism, chivalry and heroic triumphs during that era. The Arthurian accounts have been reproduced in the works of various authors, the most significant ones being Mot De Arthur by Malory, Roman De Brut by Wace, and others; however, the most recent and postmodernist accounts have been reflected in the works of T. H White and Marrion Zimmer Bradley…
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Women in Arthurian Legend
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Download file to see previous pages H White and Marrion Zimmer Bradley. The role of women particularly during the Twelfth Century has been overshadowed by the patriarchy and the female gender has only been a passive character especially in the ancient writings. They have been portrayed as objects to be utilized by the Knights or to play a role of an ornament in the lives of the men around them. Those who have rather played an important role have often been regarded as evil and lust seeking selfish creatures of the era. However, it was not until the recent authors gave a shift to the writings and reflected more neutral accounts of woman giving them a more respectable position in their writings. As a general perception depicted in the Grail Quests, the women have been the passive characters symbolic for beauty and a source of pleasure for the men, who drive the men towards their ultimate destination they are bound to achieve. Their sole purpose is to act as objects for the Knights, and satisfy them as their wives. However, those who have rather played a more influential role have been portrayed as evil and self-centered characters, being a threat to the patriarchy having elements of betrayal in their roles. Most of such characters have been unmarried women planning and trying to overpower the men, cheating them by having intimate relations with multiple men at the same time. These women of morally questionable values are known for using magical powers for influencing men (for instance lady of the lake), alongside using their sex appeal to drive men off the track they`re destined to follow. As mothers, the role of women though respected to some extent has not been portrayed as an influential one. Analyzing the writings from the medieval ages, the women playing the roles of mothers have been limited to giving birth. These characters often enter the story and after having fulfilled the requirement of mating their characters have been minimized to the maximum possible extent. Though the writings have been written from a highly male perspective, the paper aims at highlighting and specifically discussing the roles of various women from ancient as well as modern sources. For this reason, the roles of characters like Morgan and the Lady of the lake will be discussed to reflect on how magic was used to portray them as unreligious characters. Similarly, the roles of Morgaine, Viviane and even Morgaise will be analyzed from various accounts. The character of Guinevere will also be discussed in depth as she has been the most influential character is almost all pieces. Lastly, the role of some of the other women introduced by some other authors will also be introduced in the paper to add to the essence of the context. However, to give a modernist perspective to the paper, the post modernist as well as feminist accounts will also be incorporated to give the other side of the story. To understand the role of the women in the medieval society the culture needs to be kept under consideration, since it is the culture and the values, which determine the roles assigned to each gender in a society. The religious values and rituals dominate the medieval ages where moral values defined by the religion set the standards of the European society. This was a period marked by clerical reforms when monasteries aimed at transforming lives of individuals (Fries 1998). This is clearly felt in the role of women as depicted in the literature. Women were expected to exhibit the Virgin Mary character, which was the most pious role a woman could play in that culture. Thus, the Holy Grail by marked by the courtship being the most ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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