criticism of monasticism essay

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  • 8/9/2019 Criticism of Monasticism Essay


  • 8/9/2019 Criticism of Monasticism Essay


    This passage ma+es a moc+ery of the "lind adherence of mon+s to these acts.

    :y repeating certain phrases 8fasting, praying9 it suggests a lac+ of conscious

    thought, and ma+es a ;o+e of the mindless repetition involved. 5dditionally, de

    %avarre uses the word inessantly to further ridicule the upertitious -oman.

    5nother *enaissance meaning of the word superstitieu!is to descri"e

    some"ody who is unnecessarily mean with money3. !t is possi"le that this is a

    reference on the part of de %avarre to the practice of indulgences, to which

    Evangelists and *eformists ali+e were opposed. 5ccording to the Catholic

    Catechism, an indulgence is

  • 8/9/2019 Criticism of Monasticism Essay


    "ody, and does not thin+ of her soul, the uperstitious -oman uses hers

    merely as a way for her to prove her piety, and does not thin+ to +eep it

    healthy where it does not specically serve her soul to do so. The -ise -oman

    then sets out to show the two that they are "oth incorrect. he tells them that

    'man is not the "ody of which you spea+', and that 'it is the ;oining of the two

    4the soul and the "ody7 that should "e called man.')Thus de %avarre

    demonstrates the folly, in her eyes, of such masochistic activities, and shows

    that she "elieves the mon+s who follow this doctrine are in fact sinning "y

    destroying their "odies, which have "een gifted to them "y God and should as

    such "e treated with due care and reverence. he also suggests, when she

    states that '>e despises your suering, travels, and gifts that are done without


    , that these acts are done more out of a fear of punishment than agenuine desire to do good, and as such are pointless and displeasing to God.

    $oreover, de %avarre, through the -ise -oman, tells the audience that she

    "elieves the Catholic clergy are also committing sin through their pride and

    stu""ornness not to change. The -orldly -oman 8who could "e said to

    represent atheists, or merely those who do not su"scri"e to the Catholic faith in

    any guise9, once the -ise -oman has explained to her the Evangelicals' viewof religion, instantly ta+es the :i"le with which she is presented and says that

    she will 'read it continually, see+ing my salvation in it'. n the other hand,

    when the -ise -oman attempts to educate the uperstitious -oman, she

    continues to argue that she is correct, repeating how she worships/ '! pray the

    seven hours of the day and never cease wor+ing'&6, and when it is suggested

    that she admit her sins, she over#reacts, acting li+e the -ise -oman has

    suggested she 'confess to "eing a loose woman... a murderer'


    , as though to"e guilty of one sins she is guilty of all. This shows that the Catholic clergy at

    the time would go to ridiculous extremes to preserve their way of life. The

    uperstitious -oman claims that 'worldliness never travels on the path that !

    am ta+ing'&0, which not only does implies that the uperstitious -oman

    "elieves herself to "e "etter than the -orldly -oman, as her pilgrimage is

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  • 8/9/2019 Criticism of Monasticism Essay


    something only she may underta+e, "ut could also "e seen as a comment "y

    de %avarre on the insular nature of the clergy and mon+s. inally, when the

    -ise -oman gives her a copy of the :i"le, the uperstitious -oman says 'this

    is for the learned. !t would "e improper for me, ! am too ignorant'&3. %ot only is

    this evidently a comment on the nature of female education, of which de

    %avarre was a strong advocate, "ut it also ma+es a moc+ery of the values of

    the Church, implying that they do not draw their +nowledge from scripture, "ut

    instead from a sort of hearsay that has "een passed down. !t suggests the

    Church itself is not worthy to follow the word of God. :y the end of the play, the

    uperstitious -oman has also come around the the Evangelical idea of

    worship, which shows that de %avarre "elieves no"ody is out of the reach of

    salvation, even if it might "e hard to change their ways to "egin with.

    !n conclusion, $arguerite de %avarre uses the character of the uperstitious

    -oman to satirise the way in which the Catholic Church operated at the time of

    writing, and that of the -ise -oman to show how the Evangelist movement

    preached a much more rounded view of religion, neither harming the "ody nor

    the soul. This wor+ is extremely eective in putting across the point of view of

    de %avarre and her contemporaries, without "eing overtly critical, as it is theuperstitious -oman who at the outset refuses to change her ways. >owever,

    "y the end, "oth women have "een converted, in a manner that shows that

    everyone can change if they so desire.

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  • 8/9/2019 Criticism of Monasticism Essay



    dal Cavolo, r. Enrico, .D.:., The &istorial Origin of ndulgenes()htt()**:::atholiultureorg*ulture*li;rary*vie:fm



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