The City Of Ladies Analysis

Decent Essays

The Book of the City of Ladies, published by the author, Christine De Pizan in the early 1400s, is known to be one of the earliest works of feminism. In her work Pizan constructs an allegorical city called “The City of Ladies,” a city where only women livelived, to defend the “chosen,” virtuous women from the misogyny of the male authors. Although the text may have sounded dreamy and fantastical for female readers at the time, listing their capabilities, intelligence and strengths, de Pizan cleverly includes a stratagem for females to follow in order to obtain rights. The article “Christine De Pizan’s City of Ladies: A Monumental (Re)construction of, by, and for Women of All Time” written by Jill E. Wagner analyzes the allegorical meaning …show more content…

Pizan, uses the character Christine to question the oppression of women, so that it may be answered by Lady Reason, who is the daughter of God, an absolute source. Christine continues to question the words of the male authors such as Ovid, Cicero, and Catos taking away their credibility. Wagner also analyzes the true meaning behind the action of digging, “Together, they prepare a section of ‘flat and fertile plain’ on which to lay their foundation of proto feminist...once the muck of misogyny is removed from the field, the rich substance of earth can bring forth fruit like in the Garden of Eden.” (Wagner, 71) As Wagner states, Pizan uses her literature to go against the norm, using a powerful source: God.
The construction of the actual city begins after Pizan revokes the stereotypes of women. Wagner states that Pizan uses St.Augustine’s technique of metaphor where, “Christine separates her structure… into parts: foundation, walls, houses… placing each illustrious women in each part of the city,... literally making the woman a part of the city.” (Wagner, 75) This technique used in St. Augustine’s historical model, City of God, gives the female readers a lesson of historical figures. Pizan includes the stories of historical women to incorporate them into the city as parts of the

Get Access