Women During The Medieval Era

1535 Words Nov 21st, 2016 7 Pages
Women withstood a multitude of limitations in the medieval era. Due to the political, social, and religious restrictions women encountered, historians neglected to realize that they demonstrated agency. The female experience is something that has been overlooked until recently. Unfortunately, without the knowledge of how women found ways to exert their power, we are experiencing a deficit of knowledge in this period. Through the close examination of the primary sources: The Gospel of Mary, Dhouda’s Liber Manualis, and Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, the creative means of female force are displayed.
In the Gospel of Mary, circa 120-180 AD, Mary Magdalene displays that women exercised agency by being a vessel of God and finding favor with the Lord. Beginning in the first paragraph of the work, it states, “Andrew and Peter question her veracity and ask why a woman should become a favorite disciple” (The Gospel of Mary 53). This demonstrates that men did not understand why a woman would be seen as a greater or more trustworthy being themselves as Christ’s inoculator. However, Mary remains humble, and she uses her agency to teach the men. Mary shows her willingness to enlighten the men when it is stated, “Mary answered, ‘What’s concealed from you I’ll tell; I saw him in a vision and I told him’” (The Gospel of Mary 57). This demonstrates Mary’s power over the males. In this situation, she holds knowledge that only she can give to them. This allows for her to become the individual in…

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