NAMEOF THE STUDENT
NAMEOF THE INSTITUTION
Theanalysis of “The Romance of Tristan by Beroul and “Marie DeFrance” illustrate
Thethesis on the women’s marriage values as well as their roles inagreement with the courtly
Loveof the twelfth century. The Beroul’s Tristan put emphasis oncertain punishments women
Wouldface adultery, and the rights their husbands are entitled to in casesof unfaithfulness in the
1.The penalties and the rights a husband has on adulterous women in thesociety
Themarriage’s full description of the reaction over women’s adulteryis narrated, and
AfterMark had realized of the external love affairs, he sentences them toburn at the stake. It is
Evidentthat Mark transgressed in his decision on administering legalpunishment. There is the
Relevanceof Medieval marriage concerning a scenario where Mark on his angerdecides to burn
Thevictims publicly after catching them in an act of adultery. The typeof punishment Mark
Suggestis not justified and is horrific since the very act of adultery hasnot been proven either
Beenput on trial as members say “ King, you would be committing aterrible injustice if they
Werenot tried first wait until afterward to kill them. Sir, have mercy.”Burning as an act of
Punishmentindeed was approved in twelfth – century France for adulterouswomen but could
Beemployed in cases of heinous crimes senior citizens could think of,which mostly were
Heresyor [ CITATION GLY99 l 1033 ]witchcraft.
Thehusband’s right over adulterers is dismissed at court regardlessthe medieval law
Approvalthat a man who kills wife based on committing adultery has done aminor offense and should not be punished. However, the courtclarifies that death should not be the end punishment for adulterybut rather be subjected to property confiscation. The court statesthat people should not hand over women to their husbands and take thelegal rights within their hands to kill but rather be punished by thecourt either by slitting the nose.
Inthe Marie De France stories, women who commit adultery were givensevere punishments. For instance, a woman who was found to havecommitted adultery was sent away by their husbands. Some of thepunishments include mutilation, burning, and death. It is evidentfrom the Maries narratives that women were subjected to more severelaws, and they were punished more as compared to men. According tothe Christian tradition during the time, women were supposed to passan individual test before they get married which included a virginitytest. Despite all these severe punishments women continued to rebel,and they were more willing to put their lives in danger by committingadultery. The above shows how women were ready to sacrifice in questof their happiness and to get out of unfulfilling marriages.According to Marie firmly believes happiness in marriage was of greatimportance as compared to anything else. She also believes adulterywas not evil so long as lovers can hide the affair. In her stories,she defends the fact that women should not be forced into marriageagainst their will in the medieval society.
2.The church’s role in marriages
Itis evident that the church’s stand, as well as views on marriage,were strict, purposely intended to promote sexual modesty in thesociety to save more souls. There is a direct link of the church’sinterest towards marriage control with that of the secular affairs inthe olden day’s reforms. The Gregorian Reformation act as thefoundation for understanding why marriage affected the church’sinterest. The reformation was centered on eliminating barratry ofmarried priests who could not deliver church services while onmarriage vows. It, therefore, let to the abolition of layinvestiture. Indeed, the church leaders viewed married state to be aweakness of the flesh. In fact, they upheld that individual’svirginity was a good nature of procreation and saying that uniting amale and female was naturally kind of marriage. However, the priestcould be exempted from such practices as they may act as a weaknesswhen serving God. Concerning the sexual morality, which was an issue,the married priest was at risk to be allured of marital sex. It isclear that marriage had not been stated in the church’s laws thatwould be the guideline to every priest in the society thus would beaccused of fornication.
Mariein her works tried to depict a gloomy picture of love and went aheadto defied the norm of love within the church during her era. Shewrote about many women who despite their status in society wereadulterous, escaping their marriage and ready to leave their husbandsfor other men in the society. According to church traditions, womenare required to remain loyal to their husbands and seek ways tomaking their marriage better. Most women in the Marie stories aredepicted as disloyal, and they contribute heavily to the woes facingtheir marriages against the church tradition. Marie works were incontrary to church tradition in all aspects especially in the idea ofmarriage and pure love.
Accordingto "The Romance of Tristan by Beroul” church played a crucialrole in marriage. Church traditions were followed widely. Despite therole of the church in the union during the period many people wentagainst the church tradition. . The medieval Church consideredmarriage as a Christian institution. During this period church hasalready established binding rules and regulation governing marriage.During the same period despite the church intervention, Beroul goesan extra mile to show us how marriage institution was faced with manychallenges. It is during this period where we get to know secularideas of marriage. Both the church tradition and secular ideas aboutmarriage contradict each other. The two forms of marriage influencedeach other until most the differences have been eliminated, and thiscan be attributed to influence from both the church and pressure fromthe local society. The church tradition mostly shaped the marriageboth morally and ethically.
3.Love entanglements and women role in marriages
Thereare different love scenarios presented in Marie De France stories. Itis true that Marie approves of selfless love though experience ahappy love conclusion. For the individuals, girls with selflessnesscharacter such as Le Fresne have the triumphant ending and livehappily in life. Nevertheless, the selfless lovers remain weak. Mariecharacterizes women to be the same agency to men, and she states thatwhere men could have total control over marriage and othercircumstances, it is true that women can also control men throughdiversities and non-explicit means thus cause either tragedy orhappiness in the family. There is an irony attached to chivalry thatrecognizes women as the vigilant prize men should win.
Thesame scenario suggests a detachment from the court’s control. Layssuch as Guigemar, Yonec, Milun and Chevrefoil give details aboutwomen who stood firm for their love right regardless of their men’sharsh character of battering and keeping their wives locked away.Such order limits the women’s agency to play their roles. Thesympathy deepens on realizing that women begin to lose hope as theirbeauty fades. It is sad to experiences such circumstances in life,but a long-life desire is to build hope for every an individual.
Inthe ‘Tristan’ story the medieval impression of marriage, honor,feudal statesmanship is brought out to be conflicting with the notionof love. The author of the Tristan narrative carefully navigatedthrough marriage, sex, love and lust. The primary roles of themarried women at the time were considered to cut across economic,social and political roles. Women were married to much older men whowere already doing well economically, politically and socially. Theolder men were considered as the pillars of the community due totheir substantial involvement in leadership and running of theeconomy. Women were married through authorization from monasticclergy who were considered to be more powerful as compared to todayclergies. The Christian clergies vehemently preached and condemnedall the sinners and warned against severe punishment for those whosin afterlife. During this period, women who were found to havecommitted adultery were met with severe penalties with included dead,burning and mutilation among others to mention a few.
Itis vital for the society to acknowledge and beware of the fate ofadulterers women (lovers). It is evident that both marriage and loveserve a great interest for both people in the middle age and thecurrent generation. It is true that the perception as to why adulterywas considered wrong was directly embedded in the concept of personalgain rather than religious morality. However, the marriage sanctityought to be grounded on the sacred duty as opposed to the socialresponsibility. The challenges women face in the society are sopainful that calls for interventions on how to merge the existing gapbetween women’s role in the society to that of men.
Accordingto Tristan narrative, it can be concluded that love potion made bothIsolde and Tristan victims of circumstances. Despite their love forKing Mark, both could not hide their love for each other. Theirpassion for one another forced them to lie and cheat for them to betogether. They betrayed King Mark and broke all the rules thateventually lead them to face tragedy. Despite what befall king mark,he was portrayed as a weak king and husband. Also, he is described asmurderer and coward. In the story, KingMark is hated by hissubjects.
Accordingto Marie De France stories, it can also be concluded that during thetwelfth-century women played various roles in society. The role ofthe women during the period cut across social, political and economicaspects. Society expects women to behave in a certain way in which itwill promote morality. Christian traditions define the role of womenin marriage and their contribution to the society. Also, the churchhas a defined role to play in shaping the marriage, and it stronglycondemns adultery and unfaithfulness in marriage.
BURGESS, G. S. (1999). MARIE DE FRANCE. 17.