The Nobility and Excellence of Women, and the Defects and Vices of Men Symbols, Allegory and Motifs
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The motif of female nobility
By showing the service women offer to their families as a type of nobles oblige, Marinella reframes a woman's uniquely feminine qualities as salvific and royal.
The motif of male pride
By showing how men's moral failures can often be reduced to an inferiority complex, Marinella warrants her case that female superiority is obvious for anyone who is brave enough to face the truth.
The female symbol of God
Marinella wisely notices that God's functions in regard to mankind certainly have feminine qualities. Just as a baby depends on its mother for milk, we depend on God's provision, and God is the giver of life, just like mothers are on earth. She inverts the patriarchal idea of God and substitutes a female depiction of God instead.
Murder as the hallmark symbol of masculinity
The most female thing about women is their ability to produce life, and Marinella argues that the most masculine thing about men is that they often murder other human beings. This isn't to say that only men kill, but she does note that men are certainly more likely to kill, and that murder is an inherent part of competition.
The motif of names
By focusing her initial conversations on names, she shows that there is a choice to call a woman by her name, to acknowledge her divinity, or to simply objectify her as a woman. Later, she does a little bit of name calling herself to show that anyone can smear someone's reputation, but that doesn't necessarily validate their opinions.
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Study Guide for The Nobility and Excellence of Women, and the Defects and Vices of Men
The Nobility and Excellence of Women, and the Defects and Vices of Men study guide contains a biography of Lucrezia Marinella, literature essays, quiz questions, major themes, characters, and a full summary and analysis.
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