Margery Kempe Gender Analysis

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The female Creature examined in The Book of Margery Kempe explores the radical ideas of self-expression and the challenging of social authority. This Creature hid no emotions and expressed herself freely. Often, her “crying was so loud and so wonderful that it made the people astonished unless they had heard it before” (NA Kempe p430). The creature also weeped and expressed herserlf “as though she had seen our Lord with her bodily eye suffereing his Passion at that time. Before her in the soul she saw him verily by contemplation, and that caused her to have compassion” (NA Kempe p.429). This creature of self-expression believes she holds authority over others, for she's compassionate to Christ and his Passion's. This demonstrates how…show more content…
Rather than fulfilling her role as a wife, the Creature bargains for celibacy with her husband and wishes to depart from him on a pilgrimage. When given the ultimatum of breaking celibacy or having her husband's head smited off, the Creature “had rather see [him] be slain than [they] should turn again to our uncleanness” (NA Kempe P.427). The Creature disregards her husbands desire to be bedded once again as his wife, and even challenges him further by showing her husband how drastically she wants to remain celibate. She then continues to express her desires and challenge her husband's authority by provoking him to “amend yourself and ask God mercy” (NA Kempe P.247). The creature disregards her husband's power over her, and rather gains self-authority by expressing herself and having her desires met. As her husband submits himself to her devotion, he tells her “as free may your body be to God as it has been to me” (NA Kempe P.428). That quote is significant, for as the husband entrusts his wife's body to God, he is also surrendering his sense of authority to his wife. Due to her self-expression, the Creature was able to gain authority over her husband and build confidence in her self-authority as she later challenges a…show more content…
The Creature, in all her self-righteousness, rebuttals: Sir, his death is as fresh to me as if he had died this same day, and so I think it ought to be to you and to all Christian people. We ought ever to have mind of his kindness and ever think of the doleful death that he died for us (NA Kempe P.435). Not only does the Creature defy an authorative figure with such power, like a priest, but she also gives him directions. She challenges him to remember Christ's kindness and His death for our sins, as though the priest himself is unaware of Christ's doings. It can be infered that as she's challenging the priest's authority, she's also insinuating that the priest could never feel what Jesus has and is therefore unable to understand the Lord's egregious actions for his people. Due to the illiteracy of the Creature, she cannot read nor study bibles like a priest would. Rather, she must depend on her experiences and express those experiences in order to build her own authority. Also, her self-authority can be justified by the fact that even the good lady bystander advocates for the Creature to the priest. The good lady defends her by saying “Sir, it is a good example to me, and to other men also, the grace that God works in her soul” (NA Kempe P.435). Other women are beginning to believe in the Creature's experiences

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