Document 1


Document 1

Petrarch, Francesco.

- 53 Poems from the Canzoniere

. A.K.Kline, 2002. Web. 01 June 2015.

The following is “Vergognando talor ch’ancor si taccia,” a poem by Francesco Petrarch. In your essay, this poem can be used to provide insight on how women were viewed by men during medieval times.

‘ Vergognando talor ch’ancor si taccia,’ Ashamed sometimes that your beauty, lady, is still silent in my verses, I recall that time when I first saw it, such that nothing else could ever please me. But I find the weight too great for my shoulder, a work not to be polished by my skill: the more my wit exercises its force the more its whole action grows cold. Many times my lips have opened to speak, but my voice is stilled in my chest: who is he who could climb so high? Many times I’ve begun to scribble verses: but the pen, the hand, and the intellect fell back defeated at their first attempt. Summary: In this poem, Petrarch briefly describes the beauty of a lady whom he harnesses feelings for, and he is described as being shy and lost for words in her presence.

Document 2


The Family of Charles IV

. 1800. Museo National del Prado, Madrid.

Museo National del Prado

. Web. 22 May 2006.

This painting offers a portrayal of the Virgin Mary, surrounded by angels, as a nurturing and motherly figure. Her motherly presence is helpful in identifying the role women played during 12 th and 13 th century society.

Summary: In this piece of artwork by the Italian painter Cimabue, the Virgin Mary is shown surrounded by angels. It features a large amount of gold leaf and a symmetrical appearance.

Document 3

Cossar, Roisin..


"A Good Woman": Gender Roles and Female Religious Identity in Late Medieval Bergamo .

.” JSTOR. Web.

27 May 2015

In this document, Roisin discusses the donations of women to a certain almsgiving charity. This document can be used to identify the roles of women and the typical wealth they possessed during the time period. It also shows the relationship between women and the church.

Summary: Women, as the article highlights, were treated as slightly inferior to men. They played a significant role in providing for the poor, however, the amount tended to vary.

Document 4

Glenn, Diana C. "Women in Limbo: Arbitrary Listings or Textual Referents? Mapping the Connections in Inferno 4 and Purgatorio 22."

Dante Studies, with the Annual Report of the Dante Society



. Web. 31 May 2015.

In this review, Glenn discusses Dante’s description of women in Canto V1, the first circle of hell. You can use this information in your analysis to describe the achievements of some women and how people might have viewed them during Dante’s lifetime.


Many pagan women, whom Dante placed in the first circle of hell, were viewed as impressive beings, aside from their lack of faith. In fact, in Canto VI, many of them were received as equal to their pagan male counterparts.