Women's Role In Middle English Literature

The role of women in society is, to this day, ever changing in England. Women are not proportionately represented in the media, now, or in early English eras such as the Medieval Times. In early English literature, there was not a single female author to be published until the fifteenth century. This can partially explain the beginning of women’s oppression, as it stemmed from a lack of representation. Today, women are still underrepresented in the media, but not to the same degree as during the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. Income inequality is also a massive problem, worldwide, as it is a proven fact that women are not payed as much as men are for equal work. Women have made much progress, gaining rights and freedoms; however, it has …show more content…
Women were actually wanted by men, and were seen in a somewhat valuable way. However, women are viewed positively by men mainly because they consume a sexual role and are lusted after, and nearly possessed by men during this time. In “The Rising Sun,” the man says “Thou, sun, art half as happy as we,” when speaking about his lover (Donne). In literature, the sun is typically a symbol for happiness, because of its bright colors and how radiant it is. Therefore, when the man is happier than the sun it shows how abundant his happiness is. Donne uses the conceit of the sun to compare how happy the sun is, to how happy the woman makes the man. This conceit shows this time period’s view of women. Women were seen as sexual figures, that are lusted over by men. The man is happy because of his relationship with the woman, and he nearly acts as if she is a possession, saying that “She is all states, and all princes I” (Donne). As the man views himself as a “prince” it shows that he was wanting to be a ruler over the woman, or an authoritative figure in the woman’s life (Donne). This is important, because it shows how women are treated by men. The woman is treated as an object whose sole purpose is to bring the man happiness. This is because women are lusted over and sexualized. Through this poetry, one can see that this is a reaction to the Puritan rule, due to the lustful character of the man and the

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