In Praise of the Stepmother

In: English and Literature

Submitted By drdrew
Words 899
Pages 4
I would not categorize In Praise of the Stepmother as a romantic novel. According to Wikipedia, a romantic novel places their focus on the relationship and romantic love between two people, and must have an emotionally satisfying and optimistic ending. In my opinion, this book is far from that description. In addition to multiple intimate partners, there are a lot of twists and turns that you could classify as misogynistic. For example, Rigoberto made his wife have sex with the slave on page 15. He then professes “For it is beyond question that I love the queen”. I think this is a terrible way to express love. He justifies his actions by stating “I was drunk” concerning the incident. Does this mean he wouldn't have ordinarily done it and somehow knew it was wrong? He then had the slave Atlas beheaded (page 15) after sensing his wife's displeasure. This displays selfishness and callousness in that another man's life is meaningless to him. Seemingly, all that matters are his sick desires and fetishes.
On page 21 Rigoberto allows Gyges to watch he and Lucrecia have sex without her knowing he was there. "I kept her there before me for a fair time, feasting my eyes upon her and offering my good minister this spectacle fit for the gods". I think of a man in love as being protective of his wife and guarding their .privacy, not exposing it or her. Listening to Rigoberto's flattering words you would think he had great love and respect for his wife but when you view his actions you realize he is self-centered and loves pleasure more than her. When I think of romance and love I think of two people in an exclusive relationship that can trust each other.
According to, romance is a novel or other prose narrative depicting heroic or marvelous deeds, pageantry, romantic exploits, etc. Neither Rigoberto nor Lucrecia did anything heroic or marvelous for each other…...

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