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Renaissance Court Case Study

All throughout history, women were often held to a different set of expectations from that of their male counterparts. This is something that is seen all over the world, during various time periods and in different societies. Renaissance Florence, is no different in this social aspect, because women were expected to do and act a certain way, so that they could hold their distinct place in society. There are three areas that are really important to a woman’s sphere during the Renaissance time period: The first being, her family’s status in society, to her her ability to bare children, and finally her chastity leading up to and during her future marriage. These are all aspects of a woman’s scope that are portrayed in the court case of Giovanni…show more content…
A family’s prestige and honor were very important during the early Italian republics. Certain classes of these societies were arranged to marry each other in hopes of building family alliances and raising a family’s reputation. This procedure that takes place during the Renaissance period was nothing more than arranged marital contract, that was designed to interlock family ties and ensure social hierarchy. It was often looked down upon to marry outside of your class, which is one reason Lusanna would have in contesting that Giovanni was indeed married to her and not to Marietta (A woman from his same social prestige). Once her husband Andrea died, she would need someone else to take care of her or else she would have to return to one of her male relative’s house, as was the custom of women during this era. This meant that aristocrats were expected to marry fellow aristocrats, merchants to merchants, artisans to artisans, and so on and so forth. This is seen very clearly throughout the court case of Giovanni and Lusanna. Giovanni della Casa came from a well to do family and one that had many aristocratic ties. On the other hand, Lusanna’s family came from an artisan background, which was lower on the totem pole than that of Giovanni’s. The fact that Lusanna had to have her brother Antonio plead her case to the pope in…show more content…
Women were held to this standard, unless they were a prostitute or some kind of courtesan of sorts. The idea that Lusanna did not live up to this ideal is demonstrated a few different times throughout these proceedings. For starters, Giovanni’s procurators argue that their client met and had erotic encounters with Lusanna while she was still married to her first husband. It is alleged that Lusanna used these meeting times to seduce Giovanni into his vow that he would marry her if anything were to happen with her husband. This shows that Lusanna was having an extra marital after behind her husband’s back, which would bring terrible shame to herself and her family name. Why then would she act in this manner? Was she trying to challenge the fact that men were allowed to have concubines and mistresses, but women were not? Another aspect of this lies in the consummation of marriage. It was a woman that is supposed to endure in her chastity until she and her future husband effectuated the marriage. Clearly that Lusanna was freely having a wanton relationship with Giovanni prior to her marriage to him would throw the idea of her being an honorable woman out the
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