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Secrets Of Women And The Mother's Part Analysis

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Within Italy great advances in many different fields of science occurred in the Renaissance, regarding dissections, the practice of medicine and the study of anatomy Park like the people of the Renaissance looks back to Greco-Roman knowledge of the topics. In the second and third chapters of her book titled, Secrets of Women and The Mother’s Part, Park uses Latin text De secretis mulierum, and informs the reader on the interest of the powerful Italian families, such as the Sforza family in conception and reproduction. Park begins her argument stating that the main reason why the powerful families took an interest and why women were dissected was because of the reproductive ability of the female body, and the significance of …show more content…
In chapter three, she uses the rise of male doctors assisting in childbirth as evidence and of the importance of the Cesarean Section procedure in Italy. Park states that due to the inability to organize among the female midwives, Florentine women began looking to male medical physicians for childbirth. Park stress though, that role and responsibilities between the midwives and the Italian male physicians were different and, “ This did not represent a “usurpation” of the functions of midwives by physicians…”. Male physicians were more involved in the pregnancy of the women and were present in difficult births, while the midwives were usually just present at the moment of birth. With the gaining of creditability, the profession grew, for example, Park presents the evidence of the wife of Lorenzo de ‘Medici demanding a physician be involved. The de ‘Medici family was the most wealthy and powerful of the Florentine families, and their use of the physicians also added of the status of the practice of …show more content…
The knowledge of the ancient Greeks is a fundamental trait in Renaissance Italy, to gain respect for a profession such as medicine. With the use of Galen’s writings, the final chapter is focused on Andreas Vesalius. Park begins with the analysis of the image of Vesalius’ De Humani Corporis Fabrica. The image is of Vesalius, an anatomist with his right hand on the opened the uterus of an unknown executed woman, on the dissection table in an auditorium, surrounded males and only one female. This image is reminiscent of the traditional image that people have of dissections, however Park’s analysis of the image places the uterus as the focal point of the image. She very carefully analyzes every aspect of the image, from the position of the dissected body, to the faces in the crowd, even the lettering in the image. Park comes to the conclusion that Vesalius used the dissection procedure, the focus on the uterus to remove the associations between the holy body and the scientific body. Throughout her book, Park made such a large emphasis in the importance of the uterus in dissection and the profession of medicine vie other evidence, that the image serves another source of concrete evidence in her attempt to break the taboo that surrounds dissections and medicine during the medieval and

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