Vous êtes sur la page 1sur 2

By looking at many texts that provide us with glimpses into peoples’ personal

lives, we can see that their personal concerns about marriage lie in the decision of
whether or not to sacrifice their education and passions for marriage. These marriages are
valid objects for political interest in females because as we can see from the letters in A
Corresponding Renaissance, the wives play a more active role in politics than in the past,
especially when the husband is dead or away at war (Karborycha 99). Due to the
important political responsibilities a wife has, authorities would take interest in these
marriages when it is taking place between families that would have rule over the
kingdom. Marriages cause public and political concerns because of the sacrifices and
responsibilities that they result in.
The greatest personal concern for women about marriage was the sacrifice of their
education. It was difficult for women to get a good education during the Renaissance
because it was considered unnecessary for them (Kaborycha 61), and for the most part
marriage made a serious impact on their intellectual productivity. The impediment of
their studies was not due to marriage itself, but because of realities and responsibilities of
motherhood (Karborycha 32). Women were expected to have as many children as
possible to offset the high infant mortality (Karborycha 32). The burden on education that
resulted from marriage can be clearly seen in the two sisters Isotta and Ginevra, who
were both renowned for their classical studies (Karborycha 67). Ginevra was married in
1438 and gave up her humanist writing, while Isotta never married and went on to write
Latin poems and orations (Karborycha 67). We can clearly see that the dichotomy in their
lives resulted from ones decision to marry and the others decision not to. This sacrifice is
something that women were aware of and contemplated before choosing to marry, as can
be seen by Cassandra Fedele’s response to Alessandra Scala’s request for advice on
whether to write or marry: “You are uncertain whether to dedicate yourself to the Muses
or to a Man” (Karborycha 46). Because education was very atypical in women and it was
a known fact that marriage would negatively impact their intellectual productivity, it
makes sense that many women, similar to Alessandra, would struggle with this decision.
By choosing marriage, one would have to sacrifice their passion of education for the
responsibilities of motherhood.
Taking a step back and looking at the bigger picture, marriages were also valid
objects for political interest because of the political influence women gained from
marriage at this time. Women were able to govern in place of their husbands while they
were away at war or even rule outright when widowed (Kaborycha 99). This political
influence can be seen in Eleonora d’Aragona, who had the respect of the people and
rulers of other states (Kaborycha 109). She was known as an efficient administrator as
governor when her husband was away, and even directed the city’s defense when Ferrara
was under siege while her husband was bedridden from a foot injury and unconscious
(Kaborycha 109). All the tasks and achievements that Eleonora accomplished show the
reason for political interest in marriage and the importance of a capable wife that is also
strong leader. So in situations when a marriage takes place between two influential
people who have rule over a kingdom, authorities must take interest so that they will be
aware of who will be governing them in the future during the absence or death of the
Family ties are also very important when considering marriage, because they can
help aid in a country’s political interest just through their connections alone. Lucrezia
Tornabuoni is well aware of the importance of family connections as she considers
Clarice Orsini, the daughter of one of the most powerful noble Roman families, to be a
prospective bride for her son (Kaborycha 106). Lucrezia treats her son’s marriages as a
business merger and thinks of all the potential political influence and financial assets
their family would acquire through Clarice’s family connections. The girl’s family has
one half of Monterotondo, three other castles, and connections to the cardinal,
archbishop, Napoleon, and the knight through her mother’s side alone (Kaborycha 107).
These marriages have great political interest because of the possibility to form stronger
family connections and foreign alliances. Authorities in these situations not only care
about the strong alliances gained through the marriage, but also the financial assets that
would be added to their kingdom’s wealth.
From the texts, we can see that marriages were concerns for peoples’ personal
lives and also a valid object for political interest when taking place between two powerful
families, as seen in Lucrezia’s letter to her husband (Kaborycha 105). It was specifically
in situations when a powerful family member was getting married that the authorities
would take an interest so that they could foresee the financial and political state of the
country in the future. Even when a marriage was not between influential families, some
women had to take into account the sacrifice of their education. So regardless of people’s
socioeconomic status, there were many concerns associated with marriage.

Word Count: 840