Checkpoint #2
Summary of Day 10, Story 10 in The Decameron by Boccaccio
The story begins by introducing the Marquis of Saluzzo, by the name of Gualtieri, a man who now rules an estate but spends too much time hunting and not enough time focusing on the future of his estate which involves choosing a wife so that she can bear him children. When at last, after great pressure from his vassals, he declares he will choose a wife, his people express their happiness and are willing to accept whomever Gualtieri chooses. Upon this, the Marquis sets off to a local village where he intends on asking for the hand of a young and poor woman by the name of Griselda. Griselda is noted for her kindness, obedience, and hard work. However, Gualtieri is only willing to marry under one condition—that she always obey him and never question his demands, no matter how cruel or disagreeable. She agrees and they are married. Over time, despite his harsh commands, Gualteri asks that his two children be put to death, though he actually sends them to live with relatives in Bologna. And yet, never does Griselda though pained, express disagreement, and so she passes the test. Years later, as the ultimate test, the Marquis tells the court he is tired of his wife and wants to remarry. Upon the news, Griselda is sent back to her village in nothing but a shift and Gualtieri brings back his children, more importantly his daughter, and disguises her as his new wife. Griselda genuinely expresses her good wishes to the Marquis and his bride, once again passing the test. It is then when the truth unfolds, Griselda learns that Gualtieri never had their children killed but rather he sent them away to be raised elsewhere in order to prove that he chosen Griselda wisely. Because she passed his every test, despite his feigned cruelty, she once again becomes his wife and she is praised for her patience, agreeableness, obedience, and perseverance to please. They live a happy life from thereafter.
Annotated Bibliography
Leah Schwebel. “Redressing Griselda: Restoration through Translation in the Clerk's Tale.” The Chaucer Review, vol. 47, no. 3, 2013, pp. 274–299. JSTOR, JSTOR.
  • In this article, Schewebel mainly concerns herself with the authorship of the original story of Griselda created by Boccaccio, and how both Petrarch and Chaucer chose to translate and borrow from it to create their own versions of the story. Schewebel argues that although Petrarch, as a friend of Boccaccio borrowed the story of Griselda in the claim that he only wanted to improve it for vernacular usage, Chaucer on the other hand failed to credit Boccaccio at all. The article aims to shed light on how this story is passed on through multiple authors and how this challenges the view of authorship in writing if Petrarch and Chaucer borrowed ideas from Boccaccio to claim as their own, but Chaucer had no intention of accrediting the original author, Boccaccio. This article written by Leah Schewebel, appears on the Chaucer Review, a journal that is published every quarter through Pennsylvania State University and edited through authors from Illinois State University is credible because the Chaucer Review is one of the leading journals of Chaucerian literature and literature of the Middle Ages. This source became of use of to me for background purposes in understanding how literature changes with translation and why it is important to learn a story’s origin in order to understand why it might have been altered and how to read it once it has been.
Bronfman, Judith. "GRISELDA (fl. 1350s)." Women in the Middle Ages: An Encyclopedia, edited by Katharina M. Wilson, and Nadia Margolis, ABC-CLIO, 1st edition, 2004. Credo.
  • In this article, Bronfman discusses the history of the story of Griselda, known by her many names throughout history and from what I gathered, the story of Griselda was widely used to serve as a model for womanly patience and constancy. Despite the cruelty that surrounded the many tests of patience that Griselda faced, she was revered for her demonstrations of what was believed to be female virtue. She was often compared to a saint and placed in the likes of Virgin Mary and even Christ himself. Griselda also became a model for what men should look for in a wife and the story was passed on to men and women alike to illustrate the behavior of Griselda as the desired model of woman, even if perhaps this was not the goal intended by either Boccaccio or Petrarch. This source was helpful as it allowed me to draw the connections between Boccaccio’s Griselda and the how women of the time were perceived not just by men but also by other women, and how this story pushed the boundaries further towards the misconceptions that can be drawn from this story about how a virtuous woman should behave. As for the credibility of the source, I found it credible because the source is derived from Women in the Middle Ages: An Encyclopedia, which covers women anywhere from the third to fifteenth century containing 479 articles altogether and author Judith Bronfman has published a large variety of other pieces some of which are also featured within this encyclopedia, while others have found themselves published in outside journals.
Goodwin, Amy W. “The Griselda Game.” The Chaucer Review, vol. 39, no. 1, 2004, pp. 41–69. JSTOR .
  • This source was greatly interesting because in it Goodwin discusses various contradictory perspectives from other scholars as to how to read and perceive Boccaccio and Petrarch’s versions of the story of Griselda. Mentions of an older article by Anne Middleton added an enlightening view of Boccaccio’s intent in writing Griselda. Middleton argues that Boccaccio’s Griselda story was meant to be a didactic tale versus Petrarch’s recreational, while author Charlotte Morse contradicts Middleton by claiming that Petrarch’s motives for editing and translating the tale only added to the story’s didactic and moral nature. Whichever perspective you agree with however doesn’t take away from the large amount of information that has been uncovered about the types of audience for these two tales. My greatest take from Goodwin as well as Middleton and Morse was that when focusing on Boccaccio’s version, the type of audience that most commonly heard this story is a huge giveaway towards its intended meaning. For example, if the story was told to those of higher class, it could be taken as nothing more than a story to entertain. Yet, if the story were to be told to people of lower status, it could be taken as a story for which one might wish to model after, seeing as Griselda was a poor woman who was able to gain status after enduring a cruelty that painted her as a virtuous figure, and thus desirable. I found this article very helpful to me and worth re-visiting in the future of this project. As for credibility, I would have to credit this as a largely credible source seeing as it was published in the Chaucer Review through Pennsylvania State University, and this review is largely well-known for its devotion to literature of the Middle Ages.
Critical analysis/close reading
1. “For quite some time Gualtieri had been impressed with the behavior of a poor girl who lived in a village not far from his home, and since she was also very beautiful, he thought that life with her ought to be rather agreeable. Thus, without searching any further, he resolved to marry her, and having summoned her father, who was very poor indeed, he made arrangements with him to take her as his wife (p. 332)”.
  • When Gualtieri agrees to choose a wife, he first gives a speech regarding how he does not wish to have his marriage be arranged for him, for it is not possible for his vassals to know the character of a woman through lineage. Instead he chooses a poor village girl to wed, but the addition that because she is “very beautiful” and as such, “life with her ought to be agreeable”, arises questions about the morality of the Marquis, as well as the values of women at the time. It is rather profound that Gualtieri ignores lineage in this scenario, as this shows that he is somewhat ahead of times, yet it is quite foolish of him to make such an argument of having to choose a wife when he did not look any further than this one girl, implying that perhaps he had already made his choice long before setting out on his journey. That or, in order to make him seem more polished in the story, Boccaccio purposefully made it so that he feigned trouble in choosing a wife for a long time in order to get his vassals to agree to a marriage with a village girl.
2. “The young bride appeared to change her mind and her manners along with her clothes. As we have already said, she had a fine figure and lovely features, and in keeping with her beauty, she now became so charming, so pleasant, and so well-mannered that she did not seem like a shepherdess and the daughter of Giannucole, but like the child of some noble lord, leading everyone who had known her earlier to marvel at her transformation (p. 333-4).”
  • This quotation made me think of the story of Cinderella both the modern and original Grimm tale, only because there are so many resemblances between her transformation and her marriage to a man of higher stature. I don’t know the dates per say but I do know that Boccaccio’s Decameron came first therefore the possibility exists that the Grimm brothers were influenced by either Boccaccio, Petrarch, or Chaucer to write some of their stories. Another thing that I noticed after looking at the quotation more closely is that later on in the story when Gualtieri sends off his son and daughter away to be raised elsewhere to fake their deaths, it made me think back to how Griselda’s quick-transformation to a noble lady could make more sense if she herself had been born noble and not know it. Is there a possibility that she herself had she been sent off perhaps by her father and raised elsewhere as a poor village girl? And could this then answer why Gualtieri sees something noble in her from the start, and why as soon as she is in the presence of nobility, her natural grace and nobility begins to unravel almost as if she had been noble born all along? It is an interesting idea and based on how the translations of this tale moved from a tale of morality to a tale meant to entertain as is revealed by Petrarch and Chaucer, the thought that the brothers Grimm began creating tales of morality and caution as well makes me think that this version of the story could’ve inspired their own.
3. “ What more is there left to say except that divine spirits may rain down from the heavens even into the houses of the poor, just as there are others in royal places who might be better suited to tending pigs than ruling men. Who aside from Griselda, would have suffered, not merely dry-eyed, but with a cheerful countenance, the cruel, unheard-of-trials to which Gualtieri subjected her? Perhaps it would have served him right if, instead, he had run into the kind of woman who, upon being thrown out of the house in her shift, would have found some guy to give her fur a good shaking and got a nice new dress in the bargain (p. 339).”
  • This quotation makes the story seem like one that’s meant to be passed on as a story of morality. What I find interesting about it however is how as Boccaccio puts it, some men are born poor but deserve to be kings all the while other men have power when they deserve to tend to pigs. The lesson here seems to be that, if fortune is in one’s favor when a man or woman is in God’s good graces, that this man or woman should be rewarded. It all seems very ahead of its times. The portion however that mentions how only Griselda could have managed to withstand the types of tests and cruelty that she was exposed to as opposed to just saying any good woman makes Griselda appear as the exception and not the rule. In the last portion of this passage it mentions how should Gualtieri have gotten what he might’ve actually deserved, the type of woman he would have ended up with would have given him a run for his money, quite literally speaking, and she would have gotten “a nice new dress in the bargain.” It appears that this portion should apply to every other woman who is not Griselda, making Griselda seem almost saint-like.
Boccaccio, Giovanni, and Wayne A. Rebhorn. "Day 10, Story 10." The Decameron. N.p.: W.W. Norton, 2016. 331-39. Print.

Checkpoint # 3

Annotated Bibliography:
Bettridge, William Edwin; Francis Lee Utley. “New Light on the Origin of the Griselda Story.” Texas Studies in Literature and Language,
vol. 13, no. 2, 1971, pp. 153–208. JSTOR, JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/40754145.
  • This article mainly focuses on the origin of the Boccaccio tale as well as later developments of this tale that are later found in different parts of the world such as for example, Ireland. One of the arguments made by authors Bettridge and Utley are that in the case of tracing back the origins of the story of Griselda, scholars infer that it is somewhat difficult to decide whether some stories are a product of the oral transmission of Boccaccio, or whether it is the other way around since these stories are often quite similar and there’s not always a literary device on which to date the timeline of these other versions in order to answer this question. There are cases such as the story of Cupid and Psyche written by Apuleius however, where we know that Boccaccio used inspiration from another author within his Decameron in his writing of other stories and vise versa, so the possibly of the borrowing of ideas and thus having the story of Griselda be of unknown origin seems plausible in that retrospect. This article might’ve not necessarily been helpful in understanding so much as the subtext or theme of Griselda in respects to marital or domestic violence, but it did help me think about why this text had such popularity and why there appears to be this spreading of the theme in relation to marriage and marital values of the Middle Ages. Perhaps this story could be deemed as an original depiction of early marital abuse towards women in which the woman was silenced. As for the credibility of the source, I found that this article was published in the University of Texas Press and has been cited 22 times and one thing I noticed after researching these two authors was that Bettridge seems like a particularly recent scholar with some publications but Utley has been published and cited many times and her publications seem to revolve around the subject of the Middle Ages which heightened her credibility for this source.
Suzuki, Mihoko. “Gender, Power, and the Female Reader: Boccaccio's ‘Decameron’ and Marguerite De Navarre's ‘Heptameron.’” Comparative Literature Studies, vol. 30, no. 3, 1993, pp. 231–252. JSTOR, JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/40246888.
  • The main reason for citing this article in my annotated bibliography was because it dove into the subject of violence of women in literature. More specifically, it talked about how Boccaccio’s Griselda through the perspective of Suzuki could be understood as one of the literary examples of gender power in literature; or even serve as an example for how medieval writers like Boccaccio could’ve used stories like that of Griselda as a way to fantasize victimizing women, using the literary device as their excuse. This idea, though it deals with subjects like misogyny, gender power, and even female abuse is also paired with the notation that many of the storytellers and audience in the Decameron were female. Therefore, what does that do for this argument? These are all questions I continued to ask myself while continuing my research on the topic of domestic and marital violence in literature of the Middle Ages. With this article I thought more on the topic of how abuse is devised through the character of the Marquis in this story, and how Griselda’s humiliation as a way to test obedience in combination with the lack of sexual context in the story, makes for a very specific woman. Therefore, can we use this story as a model for this topic, or should we only be interested in it as an example of a type of domestic abuse that could’ve happened but shouldn’t be taken so literally? All in all, I found the article useful and worth re-visiting. I also found that it was published by Penn State University Press and cited 23 times, and that the author has written on various subjects outside of Middle Age studies, something that was different from previous scholars I looked at. I would say the article is credible and this is because of the many instances of cross-referencing that occur in relation to it by other authors in other articles of similar level of credibility.
Cottino-Jones, Marga. “Fabula vs. Figura: Another Interpretation of the Griselda Story.” Italica, vol. 50, no. 1, 1973, pp. 38–52. JSTOR, JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/478350.
  • I came across this source when looking at the references found in the previous article I annotated above. However what I found interesting about this in relation to Griselda’s story in Boccaccio, is that author, Cottino-Jones makes an excellent remark about how many of Boccaccio’s Decameron is filled with stories about grandiose women who are depicted as remarkable in regards to the subject of love and relationships without the psychological or even physical abuse found in Griselda’s tale. So in a way it answered my previous question about whether Boccaccio truly envisions women as victims, or if through Griselda he is but providing a perspective for how other men envision women, seeing it, and thus recreating it as a product of his time within his literature. This article allowed me to look at Griselda in comparison with the rest of the Decameron rather than on its own. This allowed me to focus on the specific topic of marital and domestic abuse as it might have been viewed then versus now, and separate the two into sectors that don’t always coincide with each other. It did help me read Boccaccio in a new way and take the story of Griselda less literal and more as what I imagine Boccaccio envisioned it to be. Cottino-Jones’s article has been cited 23 times by authors that write both about the Middle Ages as well as about outside topics. This article was published by the American Association of Teachers of Italian which I was unfamiliar with, but after deeper research found it to be a teaching device that allows teachers to cover topics such as literature, culture, and Italian language across North America. Cottino-Jones has written and published other works surrounding Boccaccio as well as The Decameron, and these have also been cited on numerous occasions by other authors within the subject. Therefore I found her to be a credible source

Reflection on trends of scholarship:
  • Based upon my research to date regarding the subject of Boccaccio’s story of Griselda, I have found that in terms of scholarship, there seems to be a trend within articles being published in which scholars are concerned with writing about Griselda as a victim almost always. Not only that, but, in the majority of articles I encountered in my research, the perspective of the writer was almost always in favor of Griselda versus the male perspective. However, I also noticed that many of the articles, both those I chose to include in my annotated bibliography, and those I merely stumbled upon in my resource searches, were typically written by women, and there was a greater woman to man ratio in terms of who wrote these types of articles. Not sure if these can then be called biased opinions but it is what I noticed. In another note, in terms of the subject of marital and domestic violence found in literature of the Middle Ages through Boccaccio, I did notice that regardless of which story/stories were chosen as a focus point within an article, the topic of marital and domestic abuse was tied to many versions that might’ve stemmed from a Boccaccio’ original that might’ve been adapted in other parts of the world by other authors. There was also a trend as to the origins of authorship, regarding what could be considered rightful authorship, and whether stories that were inspired by previous versions of a text could then be accredited as originals with new authorship. The three names that almost always appeared were that of Boccaccio, Petrarch, and Chaucer. The approaches that were taken to solidify a scholar’s particular argument towards rightful authorship was then to trace back stories through theme and symbolism found across the world both before and after Boccaccio’s writing of it (for example).

Query about related texts:
  • One question that kept coming back as I was researching Boccaccio within the context of Day 10, Story 10, in the Decameron, was whether Boccaccio had an intention for adding this tale to his story collection for a particular purpose other than to entertain his audience. For example, did the fact that there appears to be an obvious theme of marital/domestic violence within story 10 have anything to do with Boccaccio wanting to draw attention to this theme as part of his time? Or, was it something he brought into the story because he wanted to depict a specific character that had a similar portrayal to women and sainthood which is something that is talked about within other parts of the Decameron. In addition, there are other stories in which people mention saints or saint-like miracles that are later unveiled as being otherwise, and so then could Griselda be a saint that is overlooked as such and provided with another name because of it? Along with these questions, the feminist arguments that I’ve come across while doing my research at times attack or criticize Boccaccio for the way Griselda is depicted or victimized. Are they on to something while they read between the lines of text? Or does anyone other than me find it strange that there seems to be female authors giving their perspective about the female mistreatment in this story, but fewer that are male? Lastly, something that I find worth exploring as a consequence of reading into this story so deeply, is why the Marquis of Saluzzo chose specifically a peasant girl as his Griselda after saying he had watched her behavior in the past, and yet never did it occur to him to mention that he has eyes on someone when he was prompted by his vassals so many times to choose a wife. When he chose Griselda, it didn’t seem as if there were other choices that he wanted to consider because he immediately chose her from the start; and yet he puts her through these series of awful tests to see if she’s worthy, almost as if he is second-guessing whether his rather impulsive choice to go with the first girl he sees worthy was a good choice.


Checkpoint #4

Abstract of Journal Article: Boccacio’s Day 10, Story 10, “Griselda” is not an attack against women but rather a creative depiction of female domestic/martial abuse in the Middle Ages. By this I mean that it is a product of its time. It is one of the many literary depictions stemming from the Middle Ages that portrays female hardships within an abusive domestic/marital household/partnership. Like many stories that stem both from it and outside of it, there appear to be correlations between the time period and the depiction of female abuse in literature. Griselda is not the only story that voluntarily writes a female character that is abused either physically, emotionally, psychologically, or all of the above, and as such I do not believe that Boccaccio’s view of women was misogynistic, especially considering all of the other female characters present in the Decameron that are held to a much higher stature, including his female storytellers. I hope to defend my argument by revisiting previous annotated bibliographical sources that either support or argue against my claim, as well as new sources that I have found since my last annotated bibliography. Within these sources, I plan to compare Boccaccio’s Day 10, story 10 to other stories that generate similar themes such as “The Clerk’s Tale” by Chaucer and Marie de France’s “Le Fresne” to demonstrate how authors within a similar genre and time period all depicted abused women. I feel that my argument is significant because as a woman myself, upon first reading the story of Griselda, I found it only too easy to become lost in the context of the story and its theme and as a result become blind to why the story might’ve been written in the first place. It did not help that many of the scholars who chose to try and debunk this story were primarily women who chose to look at both the story and Boccaccio through a feministic approach primarily. Because of this, it became easy to acquire a bias towards the author himself without realizing that Boccaccio was not the only writer creating these types of female depictions in literature, and in fact some authors who shared in this theme were women themselves. Yet many female scholars felt the need to attack Boccaccio regardless because of his involvement in this type of literary female depiction. However, we must remember that this was intended as a work of fiction, and as such, the author’s own opinions about women may not necessarily coincide with his story’s themes.

Annotated Bibliography:

Skoda, Hannah. "Violent discipline or disciplining violence? Experience and reception of domestic violence in late thirteenth--and early fourteenth-century Paris and Picardy." Cultural and Social History, vol. 6, no. 1, 2009, p. 9+. Academic OneFile.

  • The author of this article focuses on trying to determine what line could be drawn in regards to violent discipline within 13th and 14th century France according to canon law and what it determined for acceptable violent discipline within the familial household. Primarily it argues that canon law and the institution of marriage within Middle Age French society often blurred the lines of what could be acceptable discipline versus non-acceptable and socially punishable violence within a home. Since marriage was viewed as a private affair that was not socially discussed amongst society, violence in the home, unless “increasingly excessive could potentially go unnoticed. Canon law gave the husband the right to restore order and harmony to the home by allowing private violence to be used as a form of discipline. This would then explain why so many stories that stem from this time period regardless of geographical location depict the violence within relationships or within the home but not the punishment towards the enforcer (husband). Stories like Day 10, Story 10, The Clerk’s Tale, and “Le Fresne” may portray the females as victims but rarely do we as readers ever see the husband having to take responsibility for the damage he deals towards his wife. No matter how cruel the affair. This allows me to then make the assumption that stories like Boccaccio’s Griselda were designed to draw attention to this problematic type of society and to the aftermath of the abused woman living in a patriarchal world. Perhaps Boccaccio was trying to shed light on a problem he saw within his society, and because of this I believe this story is a product of his time period. This article was able to shed light on this issue and 13th and 14th century society, despite it dealing with French society versus Italian; this is because the time periods that the article and Boccaccio’s Decameron deal with still match up to the date of publication of the famous “Day 10, Story 10” in the Decameron. I found this article useful as well as credible. It was published in 2009 by Hannah Skoda who writes for the Cultural and Social History Journal which is published through Oxford International Publishers. It has also been cross referenced and although it has only been cited five times, its citations are fairly current and this was the first article that seemed well written without being outdated.

Goldberg, J. Communal Discord, Child Abduction, and Rape in the Later Middle Ages. Palgrave Macmillan, 2008. Print.

  • This book contains court cases from the late Middle Ages concerning the exercise of Canon law through the stories of three different women and their legal cases upon which various witness accounts (primarily male) decide their future. I became mainly concerned with the case of Alice de Rouclif and her case as the betrothed to John Marrays who evidently rapes her in order to consummate their marriage. And yet, despite the fact that Alice is kidnapped by her presumable ward shortly after this, the turn of events allows for the men to come together in court to fight for conjugal rights of ownership over Alice. At which in the end are given to John Marrays due to lack of witness accounts that state otherwise that the consummation was through force. And those who do account for this cannot be present in court because they are minors, leaving the decision of ownership in favor of a possibly abusive husband. I chose to include this source in my bibliography because it dove into the societal relevancy that was canon law in the Middle Ages, despite it not directly tying into Boccaccio, it allowed for a deeper understanding of what marriage meant for a woman of these times, and more importantly how easy it was for marital violence to exist within the household. I think that without this understanding we presume that marriage and love as they existed in these times, though glorified in other types of literature, through figures of knights and kings and Marquises was far from the fairytale we encounter in fiction. I came across this text through cross-references found in previously visited articles and upon finding that it had fourteen citations, I found it worth taking a look at, if anything for where it could further lead me.

Potkay, Monica Brzezinski, and Regula Meyer Evitt. Minding the Body: Women and Literature in the Middle Ages, 800-1500. Twayne Publishers, 1997. Print.

  • This book mainly concerns itself with drawing connections between female literary figures found in fiction, poetry, and religion and unveiling how they connect to the type of thinking that defined women of the Middle Ages. I found many occasions upon which Adam and Eve are mentioned in accordance to Canon Law and how Eve essentially becomes a model for how men of the time view the rights of man and woman. Specifically how religious belief fueled misogyny and the belief that women stemmed from Eve’s punishment which is what allowed men to silence and overpower their female counterparts as a result. Especially since marriage and intimacy were seen as strictly private matters. Seeing as belief was at the center of marriage and society, it makes sense why stories like Griselda, Le Fresne, Erec and Enide, and other various Arthurian romances for example, were created with these beliefs in mind and as such included themes such as abuse, neglect, rape, abduction, knights, and all other symbolism that pegged woman as the weaker of the sexes in almost every aspect. Apart from sainthood or religious stature, which were two of the few ways in which women’s depictions were respected and cherished, the typical woman of the Middle Ages, especially as presented through literature was not necessarily so. This source was helpful at providing the connections necessary for a part of my argument, and as such, I found it rather helpful in its inclusiveness of various aspects of womanhood, including but not limited to women and religion, women and marriage, women and intimacy, and women and poetics as presented through various forms of literature. This source was also highly credible seeing as it was cited 37 times since its publication in 1997 and appears as the source material for various articles both in and outside of medieval studies.

Argument against scholarly article: Gender, Power, and the Female Reader: Boccaccio's "Decameron" and Marguerite de Navarre's "Heptameron. I wanted to argue against this highly regarded journal article written by author Mihoko Suzuki because in her article she argues that Boccaccio’s story of Griselda works in part as a literary device that fantasizes victimizing women and that deals with gender power and after extensive reading and encountering other articles written by other female scholars on the same topic, I find myself more and more convinced that attacking Boccaccio is not the right call to make neither as a male or female scholar. I feel that I have begun to understand the reasoning behind many of the types of literary pieces that have survived through popularity from the Middle Ages and onward regarding mistreatment of women and I strongly feel that there had to have been other reasons for why these stories and poems were written and why they have been passed on and studied for generations. I believe that gender has always been a topic of great discussion and yet when I read Griselda, or Erec and Enide, or Marie de France’s Le Fresne, I don’t particularly think that these examples of literature that carve out these very specific depictions of women of the Middle Ages are meant to victimize women for the purpose of misogyny or gender-power, but rather it is to draw attention to a subject matter such as abuse in the home that was greatly ignored within the society of these times due to societal beliefs and the legal system which favored men over women. I think this because despite the cruel depictions of female assault, rape, abuse, or marital discord that many of these stories share that place the woman or women as victims of their husbands, this was also a time period of relentless female growth, both in literature and in history, and we can’t ignore that. Therefore, we can’t say for sure that the Middle Ages and its writers used the theme of marital discord and marital abuse as either entertainment or as a method for males to victimize females per say, but can infer that there had to have been other reasons that went beyond these for why these stories were so popular, and part of that I think is because literature was a way to talk about that of which was unspeakable due to laws that protected the privacy of marital life and intimacy.