And she kept faith alive: Vittoria Colonna, Jungfru Maria, och skapandet av en ny kvinnlig identitet.
Sammanfattning: Ideas regarding women, womanhood, and femininity are and always have been a controversial as well as ever-changing and evolving subject, which has occupied the thoughts of a number of men and women throughout history and keeps doing so. The subject of this paper is to study some views on femininity, womanhood, and female strength and worth, in a certain time, place, and cultural context, as well as how constructs of feminine strength could be used as a tool to help create a new form of female identity during that era. Through the study of Vittoria Colonna, one of the first and most successful woman writers and poets in Europe, and her spiritual poetry and written meditations, my aim is to find and present the “new” female ideal and identity that Colonna created and openly presented to her peers and her readers alike. Vittoria Colonna herself was active as a writer, poet, and religious reformer during the Italian renaissance, and was a most prolific poet and avid writer of letters, and in her texts, in personal letters as well as in her poetic works and meditations, discussions of the worth and strength of women are repeatedly present, often in the form of one of the most important figures in Christianity; the Virgin Mary, Mother of God. The primary source material for this study is Colonna’s poetic meditation on the Virgin’s experience during and after the crucifixion, Pianto della Machesa di Pescara sopra la passione di Christo, from which I will draw examples of Colonnas often very personal, sophisticated, and pro-woman version of Mary, and by extension, her positive and in many ways modern and slightly controversial views on womanhood and the role and competence of women and the female gender.
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