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What does the phrase jus primae noctis mean from "1984"?

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gabe1234aaaaa | Teacher | eNotes Newbie

Posted February 10, 2009 at 9:57 AM via web

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What does the phrase jus primae noctis mean from "1984"?

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rmccord | Elementary School Teacher | eNoter

Posted February 10, 2009 at 10:38 AM (Answer #1)

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Jus primae noctis translates to "right of the lord." It was the feudal right of the lord in medieval Europe to sleep the first night with the bride of any one of his vassals.

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timbrady | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator

Posted February 10, 2009 at 12:13 PM (Answer #2)

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Not that it's all that important, but I think "jus primae notis" means the "law/right of the first night."  It refers to the medieval belief that the Lord of the manor had the right to have sex with any peasant bride in his domain on the first night of her marriage.

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parama9000 | TA , Grade 11 | Valedictorian

Posted January 31, 2014 at 11:45 PM (Answer #5)

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Yes. The last answer will suit best. It is that he is entitled to a portion of the Bride's dowry and not that he is entitled to intercourse in the context.

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dedrington | Elementary School Teacher | (Level 1) Adjunct Educator

Posted February 10, 2009 at 10:20 AM (Answer #3)

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Translated literally from Latin to English jus primae noctis means right youthful at night.  It refers to the medieval custom where the Lord of the manor had the right to have sexual intercourse with the wives of any his male peasants.

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pmcclure | High School Teacher | eNotes Newbie

Posted May 3, 2009 at 10:08 PM (Answer #4)

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Although all of the answers provided are true they are only half truths.  There is no proof of the "first night" every being actually used in Europe.  It was first intended as a sort of Bride Price which means that the Lord was entitled to a portion of the Bride's dowry. 

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