The Book of the City of Ladies Summary & Study Guide

This Study Guide consists of approximately 41 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of The Book of the City of Ladies.
This section contains 488 words
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The Book of the City of Ladies Summary & Study Guide Description

The Book of the City of Ladies Summary & Study Guide includes comprehensive information and analysis to help you understand the book. This study guide contains the following sections:

This detailed literature summary also contains Topics for Discussion and a Free Quiz on The Book of the City of Ladies by Christine de Pizan.

"The Book of the City of Ladies" by Christine de Pizan is a novel that acts as a defense against the common notions of women as immoral. With the help of Lady Reason, Lady Rectitude and Lady Justice, Christine de Pizan constructs an allegorical city through the use of stories of women whose lives refute the common misconceptions about women. "The Book of the City of Ladies" serves as a partly historical and partly mythological collection of stories praising women and contradicting common beliefs about them.

As Christine de Pizan reads a slim book by Matheolus, she falls into despair at the harsh portrayal of women as immoral and begins to mourn being a woman. A flash of light fills the room, and three ladies, Lady Reason, Lady Rectitude and Lady Justice appear. They tell Christine that she will build a city of ladies and populate it with noble and accomplished women. The city will be a safeguard against the cruel accusations of men as well as a reminder of the true and virtuous nature of women.

Reason takes Christine to the Field of Letters where Christine must use her pen to excavate the land and lay the foundations for the City of Ladies. Reason relates stories about the lives of exemplary women in order to build a strong foundation for the city. She begins with military and political women, then proceeds to learned women. Once the foundation and walls are completed, Lady Reason turns the building over to her sisters' instruction.

Rectitude helps Christine complete and enclose the palaces, mansions and houses where the residents of the City of Ladies will reside. She discusses prophetesses and focuses on faithful wives and daughters. Rectitude celebrates the benefits that women have brought to the world and argues that women should have equal access to education as men. She also focuses on the importance of chastity and condemns the horrors of rape. Rectitude claims that men are more likely to be fickle in love. She argues that integrity, honesty and generosity earn more distinction for women than physical attractiveness. With the edifices completed, Rectitude turns the completion of the city over to Lady Justice.

Lady Justice helps Christine complete the City of Ladies by adding roofs, doorways and gates. She introduces the Virgin Mary to reign as queen of the city. Justice tells stories of the women that were tortured and martyred because of their faith in Jesus Christ and Christianity. Many of these martyred women are saints who compose the princesses of the City of Ladies. After the City of Ladies is complete, Lady Reason, Lady Rectitude and Lady Justice relinquish the city to Christine de Pizan. Christine rejoices in their accomplishments and declares the city a refuge from the harsh criticisms of men. She reminds the women to stay strong and uphold the virtues that made it possible to build the City of Ladies

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This section contains 488 words
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