The Role of Women in Lanval

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The Role of Women in Lanval By: Nikole Smith 5/2/2012 Prof. Howard Canaan. In the story Lanval the author Marie de France’s describes the roles of women to be very stereotypical. These gender stereotypes are actually considered to be harmful, as well as degrading; some example of these gender stereotypes would include: “The fairy appearance in court, the old temptress queen, and Lanval’s lover. According to carlavangrove.com” Women is described as “sexy objects and beautiful maidens in distress, as well as obedient to men and their bodies are their best feature.” (http://carlavangrove.wordpress.com) Some example of this quote would be: “Their clothes were in expensive taste, close-fitting tunics, tightly laced, made up in deep-dyed purple wool.” (Norton P.143) Another example is “My lady, sir Lanval who is so free, beautiful, wise, and praise worthy ordered us to come for you. For she herself has come here too. We shall bring you safely to her; see he pavilion is over there. The knight went with them; he paid no attention to the horse in the meadow left behind.” (Norton. p144) This particular quote actually depicts the young medians obeying Lanval’s men by following them to the pavilion, where the young medians gave into his words, and later bribed him with material things such as money, gold, and silver to keep his silence about the affair. If you refer to the introduction of “Lanval’s Fairy Queen” you will noticed that de France’s in fact challenges the role of women. At the time that the author wrote the story, women were not allowed to own property but the fairy in the woods owns a tent where “not Queen Semiramis…, nor Octavian, the emperor, could have afforded to pay for the right-hand flap of the front door” (Marie 129). What this means is that some women were more powerful than others in terms of title, wealth, wisdom and power. However, in this
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