Sample Thesis Paper
Yet another feature of the woman in medieval literature is her inability to curb her tongue. Inspired by the biblical Samson, the medieval man will lose all peace if his wife wheedles a secret from him using either false tears or treacherous smiles.
Kind Alfred, known as the wisest of Englishmen, had said “word-mad is woman.” Cato and other wily husbands found that when they confided to their partners an absurd fiction of a murder, they were brought to the gallows by the indiscretion of the woman (Brewer). The medieval woman could not keep counsel, and she could not be trusted to give it either. Chaucer’s Cock pleads high authority on the subject: “Wommennes counseils been ful ofte colde, Wommannes counseil broghte us first to wo And made Adam fro paradys to go, Ther-as he was ful mery, and wel at ese” (Crane).
The women in medieval literature are wedded to pride. This pride is not only self-evident in disobedience, but is also described as vainglory that is ever rampant in rich apparel. Fair deckings, frills and fubelows and ruffs, mantles trimmed with marten fur, cinctures bedecked with pearls, ornaments of rubies and sapphires, and gaudy shoon and hose reveal that the medieval woman was especially concerned about looking her very best even when her jealous husband in The Romance of the Rose threatens to clothe her in woolen kirtle, a gown of hempen woof and his own old gaiter leggings. In point of fact, the Church did not agree at all with medieval frivolities as displayed by the woman’s dress. It is the feminine pride of heart – we are asked to conclude – that has made the medieval woman disagree with the Church when it comes to adorning herself, not always for God and the feats of the Church (Evans and Johnson).