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Medieval Culture

            It is known that the people of medieval European culture were for the most part, idealist. They liked to think of things as they should be rather than how they really were. This idealism is evident in much of their stories, art and architecture and much more.
             One good example is how they respect the women of their culture. Most cultures around their time treated women fairly, but never as well as a man. Men were seen as the more powerful, intelligent, strong, and just all around better human being. They were the next best thing to the gods. But in medieval culture it seems that it was possible for some women to be treated a lot better than the men, especially if they had a higher ranking over the men. This idea is expressed really well in the story of Tristan and Iseult. Throughout this story, Iseult is treated with great respect; sometimes it seems even as much as her husband who is the King. This comes partly because she is royalty but none the less she is still respected. Even when the King is about to have his wife killed for committing a crime against him, the common people try to stand up for her by asking the King that he at least give her a trial with a sentencing before he just kills her. (Romance 78) In asking this they are showing respect and love for the Queen, but by doing this they are also disrespecting the King by questioning his decisions.
             Also in Dante's book, the Inferno, there are plenty of other examples of the veneration of women, such as when the story of his love for Beatrice is described. He is describing how he felt when he saw her across the street when they were both eighteen years old, and he said she waived to him "with such a virtuous abearing." What this means is that he felt she had such a moral excellence, or righteousness about her, like she was above everybody else. In saying this he is idealizing that this woman is better than any other and even better than any man.

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