Marriage Research Paper
Ian Moskowitz Mrs. Riccardi English IV H 30 January 2009 During the middle ages there were different expectations of marriage compared to today. Through out both there have been divorces arranged marriages and ceremonial traditions that have occurred. Each having comparisons and differences to one another. Divorce was something that been uncommon in the middle Ages the only ones who could divorce were men if their wives had committed adultery. Women on the other hand, could not divorce their husband unless he had committed numerous counts of crimes, one major crime, or was away on a long tour during warfare.
For many married couples during the middle ages period, divorces were very uncommon and were not ok with the fellow towns people who would bash and chastise the divorcees, making sure they knew what in there mind was something wrong. Today “In the United States, 49% of marriages end in divorce. Although 82% of all married couples will reach their fifth wedding anniversary, only 52% will celebrate 15 years of marriage”. (divorce. lovetoknow. com) Because unlike the Middle Ages, today women have equal rights as men do.
So a married couple can divorce one another for any reason they see fit. Whether it’d be lack of love, desire for another partners money, or acts or violence. The difference in ones own opinion is that today it is not looked down upon because so many people are doing it and it’s actually almost expected to happen. Even though the middle ages lacked divorce, it boomed with arranged marriages because back then the fathers of the brides would choose whom their daughters could marry. Whether it’d be to increase wealth or property, which occurred with noble or royal women.
For women who were apart of the low or peasant class “the father would need to take permission from the feudal lord for the marriage to be arranged”. (Marriage. ygoy. com) In this day and age arranges marriages are uncommon and seem to be a thing of the past fading away year by year, but do occur because just like the middle ages, there are still people who want to arrange a marriage for money, property or tradition to better themselves and their family. “Today arranged marriages tend to exist in Japan, China, India, in Jewish culture and many other parts of the world”. www. helium. com). To me arranged marriages are wrong, because marriage should be two people who feel a strong love for each other that they would want to spend the rest of their life together. Not because they have to be forced into it by their selfish family or by some old tradition. Lastly Ceremonial traditions were a big part of marriage during the Middle Ages and today. For the royal or nobles during the middle ages, would have a huge feast where the whole town would attend their castle and witness the couple get married. It was not always like this though.
The earliest forms of marriage were usually quite simple and could be done simply by signing a slip of paper “But it wasn’t until the 16th century Council of Trent that decreed a priest was required to perform the betrothal ceremony”. (www. medieval-weddings. net/marriage_laws. htm) and that it could not be done in secret but would have to be held in the open. Today, many couples will have the marriage with a big service depending on their religion and after have an elaborate party. But a couple can also do it as simply as signing a paper and having a witness present to verify there marriage.
A ceremonial tradition is something one tends to think of as a positive. It lets the people attending and the couples, take part and enjoy the sacred bond of love and passion two beings share with one another. All in all the Middle Ages marriages share both comparisons to today’s marriages and some differences. Ranging from divorce, arranged marriages for people, and the ceremonial traditions people part take in when they get married. Its interesting to see how over so many years, marriage itself has evolved from practically no love for one another to being mostly about love in today’s world.