Expectations Of Women In Geoffrey Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales

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The Middle Ages was a dark time in history. And it was the beginning of the long and ever going fight for women's rights. In this time period women took an interest in education, religion and careers. There were many expectations of women in this time-they had to be good house-wives, mothers, religious or lead pious lives-i.e. be nuns. Women in the Middle Ages were strong and independent with many struggles to face. They had to also fulfill various expectations. Society expected these women to be independent, strong, fragile, good wives and mothers, religious and pure. The women had to be sophisticated and well-spoken as well. Women, regardless of their wealth were married off young to be simple house wives and mothers. Many women had taken…show more content…
He uses characters such as the Prioress or even the Wife of Bath to portray different women-the Prioress and Wife of Bath. The Prioress was a pious and delicate woman. She was educated, well-mannered and overall average. The Prioress was devoted to her religion and had a slight sense of style. Prioress in the end was the woman the Middle Ages expected and wanted. The Wife of Bath on the other hand, was a rambunctious woman who loved 'love', wealth and sex. She had married about 5 to 6 times and wore the pants in the relationship. The Wife of Bath questioned God, loved material things and was not afraid to insult or slurr.She was not the everyday, typical woman of the middle Ages. Though both these women showed to possess similarities to real medieval women such as Heloise and Christine de Pizan.The Prioress and Heloise-both were prioress, devoted to religion and educated. The difference between the Prioress in 'The Canterbury Tales' and Heloise was that Heloise had a relationship with a man. The Wife of Bath [from 'The Canterbury Tales] and Christine de Pizan were both women who loath to be ruled by men-they were women who wanted freedom; they did not want to be controlled. Though, Pizan did not marry 5-6

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