Margery Kempe

– Holy Roller Or Evil Doer Essay, Research Paper

Margery Kempe: Holy roller or Evil doer Upon reading, and re-reading, Margery Kempe, I realized just how much this text refers to the Bible. The first thing that I noticed was on pg.299, “she was laboured with great accesses, till the child was born”. I think that it is safe to say that this passage was written with the Bible in mind. Specifically Genesis 3:16 and “To the woman he said: I shall give you great labour in child bearing”. Given this image from the Bible so early in the text, I was not surprised to see yet several other parallels between Kempe and the Bible. The first time that I read Kempe, specifically when she says, “Forsooth, I had rather see you be slain than we should turn to our uncleaness”, I thought that she was the most selfish arrogant woman that could walk the earth. I saw neither goodness nor reasoning with her comment. But, upon referring once again to the handy dandy Bible and reading agaion what she said, I found that maybe, just maybe, she said this to her husband to maintain absolute holiness. To support this idea, turn once again to the Bible to the book of Leviticus 7:20 and read. If you don’t have one on hand, the verse reads, “but the person who, while inclean, eats the flesh from the shared offerings presented to the Lord is to be cut off from her father’s kin.” Maybe she feared disassociation from her family. Perhaps her husbands death would be less traumatic than loosing her family. Either way, there is a slight piece of selfishness in Margery. But, looking back in the text, and reading that “she was come of worthy kindred”, certainly supports the idea that “this worthy kindred” is of more importance than her husband and if it means that he is to be slain in order for her to maintain cleanliness, so be it. I am sure that in her mind, this would not be a choice of murdering her husband but rather, an act of keeping herself virtuous in the eyes of the Lord. In my opinion, Margery Kempe feels wed to God rather than her husband.



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