Medieval Portrayals Of Masculinity And Heroism Essay

Medieval Portrayals Of Masculinity And Heroism Essay

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The idea of what is to be a man is one that is adapted, and constructed by society. Many theorists have found that there is a close relationship between medieval portrayals of masculinity and heroism, and the idea of what it was to be a man in the middle ages. Heroism was viewed as a gendered idea, being a hero was important to being considered a man. It was important to live a culturally accepted life and to adopt the gender roles of your culture and society; “a cultural alignment of behaviors formulated to be adopted and promulgated in order to be offered as a mode of living” (The Armour of an Alienating Identity ). The culture of men being portrayed as masculine heroes, who are have great bodies, are loyal to not only their king but God as well, and who have to save the damsel in distress is very heavily present throughout the romances and the portrayal of King Arthur and his knights of the round table.
The middle ages is a reference to the time period between the 500 AD and 1500. During this time it was commonly referred to as medieval times, and was a time period that hosted many takeovers, new social classes, and an unexampled culture including church reforms. Due to the changes in the church infrastructure the middle ages became a time of revolutionary art, literature, and new science. The changes made it very easy to allow the culture to be shifted and become a completely new society. During this period of change, new gender roles began to rise as well; the idea of what it meant to truly be considered masculine becoming much more defined by the depiction of the gallant knights in the romances.
The first depiction of masculinity being the way that a man was supposed to look. The medieval man was supposed to be a man who h...


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... was chosen a man most loyal, most strong, and of most noble courage and better taught and mannered than all the others. And after, it was inquired and searched what beast was most suitable, most fair, most courageous, and most strong to sustain travail and most able to serve man. And then was found that the horse was the most noble and the most suitable to serve the man. And because of that, among all the beasts man chose the horse and gave him to this same man that was so chosen among a thousand men. For after the horse which is called cheval in French is that man named chevalier, which is a knight in English. Thus to the most noble man was given the most noble beast. It behoveth after this that there should be chosen the most noble and most suitable arms such as been most noble and most suitable to battle. And these arms were given and appropriated for the knight.

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