The Return Of Martin Guerre

Essay by EssaySwap ContributorHigh School, 11th grade February 2008

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The Return of Martin Guerre is a controversial film taking place in the sixteenth century. It is about a legal dispute taking place is the French village of Artigat. The villagers are typical peasant farmers and craftsman of the time period. They demonstrate the rural lifestyles and thought patterns found throughout much of Europe in the sixteenth century.

This film showed the importance and significance of religion in Europe during the sixteenth century. At the beginning of the film, a marriage was taking place between Martin Guerre and Bertande. The entire marriage process was very religious. For example, each of them was blessed and a prayer was said over them. Their bed that they would share together as husband and wife was also blessed and surrounded by incense. There was no such thing as pre-marital sexual relations; therefore, having a child out of wedlock was a horrible sin against God.

This is why Bertande felt so awful and ashamed when she found out Arnaud was not Martin Guerre. She said that she had "committed a terrible act against God and would go to hell." Another example showing that religion played an important role during the sixteenth century is shown through the village priest. Father Dominique, the village priest in the film, had a very active role in the community. He made major decisions concerning the community. An example of this is shown during the trials of "Martin Guerre." Father Dominique was part of the judiciary council. At this time, there was no separation of church and state. This is quite different in today's society.

Villages in the sixteenth century were male dominant. Men worked as farmers and craftsman. The women of the village were domestics. They cooked, cleaned, and took care of the children. Neither the man nor the...