The Truth Behind Honor By Marguerite De Navarre

Decent Essays

The Truth Behind Honor Honor is a concept that has a great deal to do with entitlement and based on the actions or qualities of a person. There are three main types of honor that society recognizes; family, men, and women and in The Heptameron, Marguerite de Navarre portrays each of the three types of honor throughout her stories. However, there are often a number of complications that follow honor that lie with classified and understandably honorable deeds or traits, and who is it that determines this. Another issue that one may find is that it is also complicated to be able to view one form of honor in the presence of another due to certain views clashing with one another. In addition to this, Marguerite de Navarre’s stories are …show more content…

In the past, it was even more so an issue than it is now, creating little freedom for women. Men held the power in this instance, and believed that they were more worthy of an integral status than women were. In The Heptameron, Marguerite de Navarre introduces the reader to the Duke of Medici, married to Madame Marguerite who had been too young to consummate the marriage. As a result, he had a great deal of love affairs with the women in town. Eventually this lead to him developing feelings for one of the virtuous women who had been the sister of the man the Duke considered his “other half”. The Duke then goes on to say “So be it then! […] Since you are not my friend, I know what I have to do!” (159) Occurring after his friend refused to send word to his sister of the Duke’s request, he responded in the typical manner that he was known for – ruthlessness. At this point, he believed that due to his social standing, it was only right that the sister of the man he had been quite close with were to be his current love affair. His honor lies with the accepting of his offer – without it, he would take her by force. This relates back to manliness and honor coexisting. Obtaining a women’s virtue is a sign of manliness, no matter the generation, and it is because of this that the Duke believes this virtuous women must sleep with him. If a woman were to refuse, as the sister did in this tale, the man would turn to

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