Book Of The City Of Ladies Analysis

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In the Middle Ages, books, and verbal stories, were typically didactic in some way whether they were religious or secular. These sources give modern readers and historians’ insight into gender roles and ideals in the middle ages. The Book of the City of Ladies and the Poem of El Cid both inform the medieval readers of the ideal behavior for the respective sexes through references and archetypes. Christine de Pizan instructs women to be more pious, good daughters and wives and to behave like the saints would, while Poem of El Cid instructs men to be brave conquerors, loyal vassals, but also to be pious men. Christine de Pizan’s The Book of the City of Ladies directs its female readers to the ideal female behaviors of her contemporaries. …show more content…
This aligns with the societal importance of religion during the Middle Ages. According to Rosenwein, “Secular states, yes; but their populations took religion very seriously.” Christine de Pizan both directly and indirectly encourages women to be religious and pious women. Christine indirectly encourages her readers to be pious through the use of multiple saints and biblical women as anecdotal evidence of good women. This is most obvious in her placement of the Virgin Mary as the queen in her Book of the City of Ladies. This makes the Virgin Mary the ideal female and being the icon of female piety, Christine is indirectly telling women that they should to mimic the Virgin in order to be pious. She also directly encourages female readers to be pious, mostly in the third part. Christine again points towards the Virgin being the most pious woman when she wrote, “you should follow the example of your queen, the noble Virgin” . She reminds her readers of the virtues she believes all women should possess when she told her readers to “be humble and long suffering and the grace of God will be magnified in you” . Shortly after this she very blatantly told the readers to ”be devout in your words and deeds” as a better explanation of piety then simply instructing women to be pious . In the Poem of El Cid, el Cid’s piety is pushed almost to obscurity so that the reader needs to read very closely and have background knowledge of the period to see it. According to the poem, the Cid had a dream in which God conducted him to defeat the Moors after which he “crossed himself and commended himself to God” . Throughout the poem, there are references to the Cid’s piety in his manner of speaking and praising God before and after battles. Once he gains a priest, whom he titles as Bishop of Valencia, he makes sure all of his men and him receive mass before battle so that none of them

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