The Female Figure From The Narrative As A Mourning Woman

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The artist depicts the next female figure from the narrative as a mourning woman. Spatially placed on the second floor of a building, a woman crouches on the ground holding her hood up to her eyes (Fig. 4). One can observe this as a way to cover her tears or just shield her face in mourning. The Latin text above this scene declares that King Edward, the Confessor, has just passed away. This female figure stands apart from the other gathered mourners carrying the king 's body. Her size is also diminutive, which could refer to her overall rank of importance to the other figures. The artist, however, only had so much space to work in, as the drapery above her nearly touches her head. The female figure, however, remains unnamed. This suggests…show more content…
The female figure is also petite in stature to the men setting the building on fire. This was a deliberate choice for the artist, as she is taller than the building being set on fire as well. Caviness relates this scene to the message that William sent back to Harold to engage in battle to save his people. The spear held by one of the men burning the house signifies him as a soldier. While the female figure raises her spare hand to try and reason with the soldier, he avoids her gaze. This provides a sense of hopelessness to the scene, and shows how little power women had during the Middle Ages. The artist of the Bayeux tapestry also depicts three female nude figures in the border to highlight scenes in the narrative. Caviness states that "the tenor of the marginal zone is defined by the fact that wild beasts and chimeras by far outnumber the bridled horses in the main field. This is where the context for the three naked women in the borders, each of whom faces an aggressive, nude male partner. Thus, three clothed women in the central field are matched by three naked sex-objects in the margins." This pairing of three women in the narrative and three in the borders provides a sense of symmetry and order to the otherwise chaotic pairing of men in various states of battle and at court. Women, therefore, fit more of a model, and a lack of more female
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