The Role of the Woman in the Renaissance

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THE ROLE OF THE WOMAN IN THE RENAISSANCE

“Two of far nobler shape, erect and tall; Godlike erect! With native honour clad in naked majesty, seemed lords of all; and worthly seemed; for in their looks divine the image of their glorious Maker shone, truth, wisdom, sanctitude, severe and pure, whence true authority in men: though both not equal, as their sex not equal seemed; for contemplation he and valour formed; for softness she and sweet attractive grace; he for God only, she for God in him.” (Paradise Lost, Book IV, 288-299) The time period Milton lives in, the Renaissance, is characterized by strong believes related to the religious views. The attention of the high society of that period was focused on women, beautiful women that used their beauty to attract powerful men. During their childhood and adolescence, getting married was something that girls were aware of: the dowry (consisting in assets, properties and privileges) was at the center of the worries of those women who were about to be married. A woman had to submit to the husband at the time of marriage. She had to share her dowry with her husband, a dowry that was a part of the property of her father or, depending on the time and geographical region, even the entire part of the father’s inherits. However every woman had the dowry. This system come from the Greek and Latin culture and consisted in the complete separation of women from the paternal line, and consequently the loss of any future rights (especially the inherits) on the paternal heritage. The women’s job was staying in the house: they were expected to take care of the education of the children, taking care of family members, being in charge of the direction of the slaves (if there were) and of everything that it’s linked to alimentation. The Church states the role of the woman in the family. According to the Protestant Church, the mother’s job is not only to teach the children the good manners but, also, to be “owner of the house” when...
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