The martyrdom of perpetua and Felicitas Argumentative paper


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To raise an argument to one of the readings we did in class compared to society today, raise multiple arguments include citations in a structural manner. Include your own take on the arguments; argue your own opinion as well) 

Base an argument; to offer a set of reasons for evidence in support of a conclusion 

Clear thesis statement; what you’re going to argue

Comparing something of ancient literature to something today: 

Example: two reasons for evils in the world: lack of intelligence and morals defects, until we figure out how to get rid of moral defects is to improve intelligence. 

Topic to write on: 

The martyrdom of perpetua and Felicitas (argue that then and now women are similar in that women face issues today of sexism, job discrimination and pay equality) (you can argue that women today do have more rights then the olden times however women still face problems today in living in the world of a man; women are shadows in a sense) (Just as the story talks about her hiding her feminine body, today we still see this notion all over) (MUST ENGAGE THE TEXT include quotes and citations) (arguing your own perspective as well)

Though Perpetua was a strong woman, her narrative still upheld the idea that the only way to be heroic is to be like a man, and this is shown several times throughout the text.

While her naked male body in her vision was oiled up and splendid, her female body was utterly disheveled in the reality of her suffering before her death. She “fell on her loins” (Perpetua 145), her tunic was ripped and her hair was disheveled.  “The disheveling of the hair exposure of the body and exposure of the body were powerful symbols of shame for the female body whose honor could only be preserved by keeping it hidden and ordered” (Torjeson 82). 

The theme of the narrative seems to be that women can take on a masculine role for the sake of God to the point where they “become men” in the eyes of Christianity. Perpetua deliberately masculinized herself in order to subvert the restrictions placed on her in her role as a woman. Unfortunately, her society did not allow her to see strength in her femininity and even tried to shame her with it, so she saw no other choice but to do this. This implies that the narrative considers the femininity and masculinity to be social constructs rather than inherent to sex. For the third century, this is a progressive idea. Therefore, while The Passion of Saints Perpetua and Felicity certainly does not celebrate womanhood, it is a narrative about a woman who transcends the boundaries of her society and comes out on the dominant side. For that, it is a valuable text.

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