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The eccentrics of Margery Kempe, an aspired Saint

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  1. Introduction.
  2. The begining of Margery Kempe's biography.
    1. The spiritual life of Margery Kempe.
    2. Margery - considered eccentric by her contemporaries.
    3. The distance that Margery has to 'travel' in comparison to the life of a true medieval saint,
  3. The difference betwenn the legend of St. Perpetua and the life of Margery Kempe.
  4. Margery apparent desire to become the partner or spouse of Jesus Christ.
  5. Concluion.

Margery Kempe, the daughter of John Burnham, a popular mayor of Bishop's Lynn, England, was born in 1373. Although she could not read or write, Kempe dictated a biography of herself to be written, that begins with her marriage at the age of ?twenty year of age or some deal more? (Greenblatts, 384). Her biography, The Book of Margery Kempe, tells the spiritual story of her life, and acts as a bid for sainthood. She was a dramatic, medieval mystic, who dedicated her life to God after the birth of her first child, upon which she had her first vision. In her book, she claims to speak to Jesus Christ on a regular basis and have an extremely personal relationship with him. Margery's life was extremely controversial in regards to her bearing fourteen children, speaking out freely about her encounters with Jesus, and being excessively emotional in her piety to the Lord.

[...] During the birth of Margery's first child, the trauma made Margery feel as a terrible sinner. ?After the birth, she sought to confess to a priest whose harsh, censorious response precipitated a mental breakdown, from which she eventually recovered through the first of her visions? (Greenblatt, 383). From her confession on, she began to live an extremely structured and pious life. She attempted to live the life of a saint, despite her being married and having fourteen children. These were initial grounds for controversy. [...]


[...] One can see the distance that Margery has to ?travel' by looking at the life of a true medieval saint, in The Passion of St. Perpetua and Felicitas. This story tells a little bit about the martyrdom that occurred in the life of Perpetua. She is a young Carthaginian woman who is arrested and tortured in the public arena for believing in one God and not the normal pagan gods of that time period. She was asked to denounce God several times before her death, but she never backed down. [...]

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