The Letters of Abelard and Heloise

Masculinity in Medieval Europe College

El Cid and Peter Abelard were both extremely well known, influential men during their respective times. They were each masculine in their own way which proves that masculinity was defined several different ways in medieval Europe, depending on the man’s role in society. El Cid depicts a more stereotypical idea of masculinity. He was a brave, rugged warrior who won many battles to regain his honor, lift his banishment from Castile, and win his people fortunes and land, while at the same time gaining widespread respect. There was no doubt that El Cid displayed many masculine features throughout his various adventures. Peter Abelard was also someone who rose to fame in medieval Europe. His representation of masculinity was a bit different than El Cid’s. Abelard was one of the most intelligent philosophers of his time. He gained incredible fame and respect from his teachings and controversial debates. His father was a knight, like El Cid, but Abelard was more attracted to books and debate rather than swords and battles. Although Abelard did not have the good fortune and luck that El Cid had, he still held numerous masculine traits. These two individual’s illustrations of masculinity have many similarities, but also display some...

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