Gender role refers to those behaviors and attitudes that are considered to belong to one sex. Gender role is based on femininity and masculinity that differentiate women and men by giving men some roles and women which results to gender inequality. There some work in society that is regarded to belong to women such as cooking, taking care of children and other less important roles while men are given roles that makes them superior than women. Most of the gender roles associated with women makes them inferior and creates a room to be oppressed. Gender roles are constructed by society and attributed to women or men. In the book of vindication of the right of a woman, Wollstonecraft brings out clearly the roles of a woman in her society and how it has led to oppression of women (Wollstonecraft 22). Wollstonecraft believes that men and women are equal given the same environment and empowerment, women can do anything a man can do. In her society, education for women is only aimed at making her look pleasing to men. Women are treated as inferior being and used by men as sex objects. Wollstonecraft believed that the quality of mind of women is the same with that of men, and therefore women should not be denied a chance for formal education that will empower them to be equal with men. In the book of Wife of Bath’s Tale, Geoffrey Chaucer shows the role of a woman being weak creatures while men are economically powerful and educated. Women are seen as inheritor of eve and thus causes
Click here to unlock this and over one million essaysShow More
In The Wife of Bath’s Tale, Geoffrey Chaucer uses the tale as a fable to reveal the human nature of shallowness by its plot and characters. The story begins from the ancient days of King Arthur, when the “hero” of the story condemned sexual assault, but then was saved by an ugly woman. Chaucer created characters that are lusty, greedy, materially desires, and amazingly shallow in order to compare and comment on the lifestyle of the higher classes at the time. From the start of the story, Geoffrey Chaucer illustrated how foolishly shallows the young Knight is in comparison to the upper classman.
She tells tales of how she controls her husbands, defying misogynist views in the tale but her boisterous presentation of her ideas showcases Chaucer’s true opinion of women. Though the Wife of Bath is dead set to disprove every misogynist idea of the time, she exemplifies others, all as part of Chaucer’s underlying point to prove women the lesser sex.
Beowulf and “The Wife of Bath’s Tale” are both narratives in which gender acts as an important theme within their individual communities; both have underlying meanings when it comes to defining what the role men and women in a good community should be. Or in other words, both stories paint a vivid picture of the role of women during the medieval time period, by suggesting that one gender had more power over another. However, these two narratives take alternative paths when expressing their views; Beowulf conveys its message through what is missing, while “The Wife of Bath’s Tale” incorporates satire and uses explicit narrative when telling the experience of a woman that is highly different from other women in her time. Furthermore, another difference that is appealing to the reader’s eyes, besides the way the two narratives reflect to women’s role in medieval times, is that men become the hero in Beowulf, while “the wife”, so a woman, becomes the authority figure in the story of “The Wife of Bath’s Tale.” I want to first introduce the two main differences between the two narratives and then I will explain how regardless of the differences, both of these narratives’ main goal is to show that women had less power and a good community back that time was male dominated.
The Wife of Bath is often seen within the literature as being the antithesis of the joke through the craftwork of Chaucer, displaying at times the concept she is arguing against from her obsession of sovereignty to her appearance itself. This idea is first seen when the reader is introduced to the character, where the narrator describes her as “hips large” in which “upon an easyriding horse she easily sat” (Chaucer 27). These details automatically set up an image of a person who is possibly sexually promiscuous, and in that time period often gave way to the stereotypes that plagued women in society as a whole. At no point does the narrator describe any other character in this sort of fashion, meaning that the only thing he could pick up on
In the 18th century Wollstonecraft changed Women's rights forever when she published “ A Vindication of the Rights of Woman”. During the 18th century women were supposed to stay at home and cook, clean, and take care of their family. Therefore, women were not allowed to vote or study history, art, geography, etc. Wollstonecraft believed that both men and women had equal abilities, and they should both have equal rights. Wollstonecraft says, “ Reason and experience convince me that the only method of leading women to fulfill their peculiar duties is to free them from all restraint by allowing them to participate in the inherent right of mankind.
In the fourteen century, men were always the superior, head of the household, the breadwinner, but women were always inferior, they would stay at home, do the house work, cook, and never would have a job. Well, times have changed. Women are reaching an equal status to men in political, social and economic matters It’s part of the idea called Feminism. In many ways the Wife of Bath displays many characteristic of women in the 21st century. Instead of being directed by men, she views herself as an independent person.
The Wife of Bath is possibly the most interesting character in The Canterbury Tales. With her blunt personality and intriguing past, The Wife of Bath has been able to catch the attention of everyone who reads her tale. It is not just the story itself that makes people interested in her but the themes that come with her story. Power and marriage are just a few of the many themes that are found in The Wife of Bath’s prologue and tale. These two main themes are able to connect the prologue and the tale together.
Throughout this text, Wollstonecraft discusses how close-minded society was about women and equality. She describes society as being under the impression that women and men were two different animals. Society also believed that men were free and logical thinkers that could rule and change society while women were seen as pretty objects that could bear children. Wollstonecraft’s feminist view discusses that the problem was not only men inhibiting women, but women themselves were also not pushing against the ideology that men were superior. She continues to explain her new feminist ideology that discusses changes in society that would create equality.
Chaucer implies that men should be on equal ground with women by showing the Knight when he had more power than women, when the King had no control over the Knight’s punishment, and when the Knight acknowledges that he should honor women/old women. In the beginning of “The Wife of Bath's Tale”, the Knight was portrayed to have a lot of power, however it occurred only towards women. The Knight saw a maiden one day, “And of that
In the Prologue, it tells the reader that she believed that women were the head of the household. She tells her tale by using her five marriages as examples for her tale. In today’s world Americans will use the quote “happy wife happy life” which portrays as if women have a way of controlling men. The Wife of Bath says, “ She boast of how she controlled her first three husbands by always making them
Wollstonecraft wrote A Vindication of the Rights of Woman in response to a report to the French National Assembly, which stated that women should only receive a domestic education (Johnson Lewis). She believed that women needed to be educated in order to find their way to equality with men. Wollstonecraft writes in the introduction: “The education of women has, of late, been more attended to than formerly; yet they are still reckoned a frivolous sex, and ridiculed or pitied by the writers who endeavor by satire or instruction to improve
Women in the middle ages were seen as the inferior gender. In the Canterbury Tales, the portrayal of women during that time is shown. The great chain of being was the idea that the position of one in society was based on the closeness to God. In the Wife of Bath, the wife wants women to be superior to men, moving their positon closer to God. Palomon and Arcite from The Knights Tale, demonstrate the idea of courtly love toward Emelye.
To a certain extent, using the Wife of Bath as his mouthpiece, Chaucer does satirise traditional stereotypes, ideas and values held by the Medieval society in which he lived and wrote, though not necessarily those held by men. For instance, the archetype of a noble knight is challenged through her portrayal of a ‘lusty bacheler” (883). Habitually, one would expect a quintessential Medieval knight to be noble, chivalrous and polite, especially towards women, however the Wife’s image portrays a disrespectful, violent and libidinous nobleman who, perhaps due to his heightened sense of social status, feels he can act nefariously towards women, even to the extreme of rape: “by verray force, he rafte hire maidenhed” (887-888)! However, to a contemporary
The Wife of Bath has been the topic of the constant debate as of whether to be categorized as a revolutionary feminist figure or the affirmation of all misogynist views towards women in the times of Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales. She can be interpreted as a nominalist, her experience gained through her five marriages playing into her approach to love and marriage; parallels are struck concerning her emotional and physical control over her first three husbands and the lack thereof she had in the last two. Scholars have argued in favour of her being one of the first feminist characters in literature as she breaks the mould of a typical feminine figure, written to be more of a character than a prop and her unique insight and opinions lead her
In her first three marriages, the wife of bath is not vulnerable because she sees her husbands simply as a source of money; when she allows herself to feel a real bond with the next two husbands, consequences follow. She is never interested in having an emotional connection with the first three men, so there is little risk involved with using them for her own benefit. Her fourth husband however is “a reveller- that is to say, he has a paramour; and [the wife of bath] [is] young and full of wantonness” (Chaucer, “The Wife of Bath’s Prologue” 453-454). As she becomes more confident with her manipulation skills, she makes herself susceptible to being taken advantage of by marrying for attraction. Lastly, the control of her final husband makes her admit “that even if he [beats] [her] on every bone, he could soon win [her] love again.”