In this module, we learned that, in Medieval Europe, friendship enjoyed a status not unlike marriage. Vernon writes: “So great was the political weight that such friendships could bear that they could effect changes in much the same way as a marriage” (p. 179). Marriages between friends, kissing, sleeping together, and even being buried together were not uncommon. In places like Africa and Asia, this experience is also not uncommon. Yet, in the West, these actions are confined to interactions within marriages.

In at least 250 words total, please answer each of the following, drawing upon your reading materials and your personal insight. What have we lost or gained in our ability to fully express ourselves in our friendships in our contemporary, Western society?

  • To what extent is the enactment and expression of friendship similar/ different in contemporary society compared with Medieval Europe and Ancient Greece? Discuss the personal and societally-imposed constraints that limit our sharing close friendship bonds with others today.

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