Preview
Preview

A Comparison of Sei Shonagon and Marie de France Essay

:: 2 Works Cited
Length: 1393 words (4 double-spaced pages)
Rating: Blue      
Open Document
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

A Comparison of Sei Shonagon and Marie de France

 
   Though more than two hundred years have separated Sei Shonagon and Marie de France, the scene is much the same. A courtly lady sits in a candle-lit room, with her writing hand poised above a book of parchment. Her face brightens in an instant of inspiration and she scribbles furiously onto the paper. This woman is closely associated with the royal court and is something of an anachronism, a woman author in a male-dominated world. The scene pictured here could have taken place in either Shonagon's late tenth century Japan or the twelfth century France of Marie de France. The differences that exist between these two authors are a result of their differing cultures and personalities. Marie de France writes as a product of her time, expressing herself through her characters, while keeping in mind the mandates of the church. Sei Shonagon is ruled by no such mandates and as a result wrote with merciless honesty. Accordingly, the structure, diction and imagery used by each author reflects her own distinct personality and values.

 

Sei Shonagon is most well known for her Pillow Book, a collection of her personal thoughts and observations during her time at court. The structure, or lack thereof, in this work gives the reader a peek at Shonagon's personality. She writes in short bursts, giving the mini-chapters such titles as "The Sliding Screen in the Back of the Hall," "Hateful Things," and "Oxen Should Have Very Small Foreheads." The titles are representative of her tendency to write at length on subjects that may seem inconsequential, or as the author admits in the last segment of the Pillow Book, "most trivial." In fact, these so-called trivial observations provide a s...


... middle of paper ...


...es and cultures. One author is governed by her strict faith and adherence to the church, the other by her own strongly-held opinions. Each woman's writing clearly reflects her own distinct personality and temperament: Marie de France, more eager and spiritual, Sei Shonagon, more satirical and opinionated. Both courtly ladies seem faithful to their own beliefs and reflective of their time and culture.

 

 

Works Cited

 

Sei Shonagon. The Pillow Book. Trans. Richard Bowring. The Norton Anthology of World Masterpieces. Expanded Edition. Ed. Maynard Mack. New York: W.W. Norton & Co. 1995. 2191-2218. All quotations are from this text.

 

De France, Marie. "Eliduc". Trans. John Fowles. The Norton Anthology of World Masterpieces. Expanded Edition. Ed. Maynard Mack. New York: W.W. Norton & Co. 1995. 1680-1692. All quotations are from this text.

 


Click the button above to view the complete essay, speech, term paper, or research paper








This essay is 100% guaranteed.


Title Length Color Rating  
Lais Of Marie De France Essay - Throughout the Lais of Marie de France there are several themes presented as central to the various stories. Some of these themes are present in all of the lais. One such example is that of courtly love and it’s implications. Courtly love being one of the more prominent themes in all of medieval literature, it is fittingly manifested in all of the lais as well. Another theme present in two of the lais is isolation. The theme of isolation plays a large role in the stories of Guigemar and Lanval....   [tags: Marie France]
:: 1 Works Cited
1934 words
(5.5 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
Essay on The Lais of Marie de France and Quickly-Budding Love - Boom. The door flies open and a handsome knight runs into the room and yells, “Come my lady we must go now, for he is on his way”. The lady jumps to her feet and says “My love whom is on their way?” he responds, “your husband is on the way and he has heard of our romance”. The couple joins hands and quickly runs through the castle hoping that they are not seen. Suddenly the king jumps from a dark shadow, stops the couple in a sudden halt, and says, “Where do you think you are going?” With no response from the lady, the king reaches to his side and pulls a rope that releases a large bucket of acid onto the queen and her secret lover, which eats their bodies flesh within minutes only leaving t...   [tags: Lais of Marie de France, love, relationships,] 678 words
(1.9 pages)
Good Essays [preview]
Essay about Solitude in Marie de France's Lanval - Solitude in Marie de France's Lanval Marie de France’s “Lanval” is a Breton lai dominated by themes common to 12th century literature, which through its exploration of love, erotic desire, wealth, gender and community, tells the story of a young knight who finds himself caught between two worlds: his lover’s and his own. Forced to separate these societies by a warning in which his lover states, “do not let any man know about this…you would lose me for good if this love were known” (Lines 145-148), Lanval must keep his love a secret and exist apart from the Arthurian world into which he was born....   [tags: Marie de France Lanval Love Essays]
:: 1 Works Cited
1378 words
(3.9 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
Essay on Romantic Love in Marie de France’s Poem, Lanval - Romantic Love in Marie de France’s Poem, Lanval In her poem "Lanval," Marie de France shares a fantasy with her readers, telling the tale of a mysterious woman who journeys from a distant land to be with Lanval, a dishonored knight of King Arthur's Round Table. Marie's portrayal sets Lanval's mistress apart from the maidens and ladies in waiting at King Arthur's court, as she eclipses even Queen Guenever. Much like an editor of a modern woman's fashion magazine, Marie targets her audience of mostly aristocratic twelfth-century women....   [tags: Marie de France Lanval Essays]
:: 1 Works Cited
645 words
(1.8 pages)
Better Essays [preview]
Marie Antoinette's Life and Achievements Essay - Who was Marie Antoinette. A prestigious queen who was the face of France and a role model to her people, or a partying, rude woman with a luxurious life that would come to a tragic end. Ever since Marie Antoinette was 10 she always knew she would be a queen. Her mother Maria Theresa, who was the Empress of Austria, had arranged a marriage with King Louis XV; the grandfather of Louis XVI, who was to become the King of France, the man she was destined to marry. Together they would rule France and stay entwined in marriage through thick and thin, and anything that came their way....   [tags: france queen, marie antoinette, louis XVI] 1726 words
(4.9 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
The Supernatural in the Works of Marie De France Essay - In Yönec and Bisclavret by Marie De France, the element of the supernatural is used to emphasize virtue. Those who embrace the supernatural are portrayed as worthy and morally upright, while those who are repulsed by the supernatural are portrayed as evil and immoral. In Bisclavret, the lord's supernatural situation draws attention to the virtues of love and loyalty. In Yönec, Muldumarec's shape-shifting abilities are used to emphasize the virtues of courtly love. Muldumarec's prophecy before his death establishes him as a character who is so virtuous that he is blessed with prescience....   [tags: Literary Analysis]
:: 3 Works Cited
1157 words
(3.3 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Frances as the Devil's Advocate in "Fall On Your Knees" by Ann-Marie MacDonald - In Fall On Your Knees, Ann-Marie MacDonald presents a vivid and life-like character in Frances Piper. Frances Piper is one of the four Piper girls, and she is indifferent from the rest of them. From her early childhood, Frances is a bold and naughty girl, always getting herself into trouble. She has a great mischievous streak which troubles her father, James Piper, immensely. James Piper also has a demon like personality at various times throughout the novel, some of which he amasses from his father in his early childhood....   [tags: Fall On Your Knees, Ann-Marie MacDonald, character] 1486 words
(4.2 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
Essay on The Representation of The Body in The Works of Marie de France - Often time in literature, the body becomes a symbolic part of the story. The body may come to define the character, emphasize a certain motif of the story, or symbolize the author or society’s mindset. The representation of the body becomes significant for the flow of the story. In the representation of the body in the works of Marie de France’s lais “Lanval” and “Yonec,” the body is represented in contradicting views. In “Lanval,” France clearly emphasizes the pure beauty of the body and the power the ideal beauty could hold, which Lanval’s Fairy Queen portrays....   [tags: Literary Analysis]
:: 2 Works Cited
1411 words
(4 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
The Use of Symbolic Objects in Marie de France's Works Essay - The Use of Symbolic Objects in Marie de France's Works Marie de France uses several symbolic objects in her stories to get the point across. Sometimes what is the simplest object can have a thousands meanings. Whether you're talking about trees to the color of an article of clothing, there was a reason, a purpose for making it a weeping willow or a red scarf. You need to look deep within the story line and fine it's true meaning. In Yonec, Laustic and Milun, see the usage of birds, especially that of a swan....   [tags: Papers] 356 words
(1 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Essay on Biography of Marie Antoinette - Biography of Marie Antoinette Born with the name Antonia, Marie Antoinette was born in Vienna, Austria on November 2, 1755. Marie-Antoinette was one of the 16 children of Holy Roman Emperor Francis I and Empress Maria Theresa, queen of Hungary and Bohemia. She was the youngest and most beautiful daughter of all. Marie Antoinette was brought up believing her destiny was to become queen of France. Marie Antoinette's first child was Marie Therese Charlotte(Madame Royale). Unpopular Queen Marie Antoinette supposedly had numerous affairs, especially the one with Count Hans Axel Fersen, who was a Swedish diplomat....   [tags: History Queen France Antoinette Essays Papers] 2088 words
(6 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]