The Medieval society was very traditional, in the aspect that men were the most dominant figure as oppose to women. Women had to learn their ‘place’ in the society. They were treated with very little respect and played a very slim role towards the country’s behalf. Her main duty was to support her husband and family and take care of all of her responsibilities. Women had very limited freedom and for the majority of the time, her father or husband would make all of the decisions on their wife/ daughter’s behalf.
The Wife of Bath’s Prologue stays consistent with the facts that experience is better than the societal norms, specifically those instilled by the church leadership. Chaucer uses the Wife of Bath to display the insanity of the church, but through switching and amplifying their view of men and chastity onto the opposite gender. The church doctrine at the time held celibacy in an idolized manner, forgetting the inability for humans to ever reach perfection, or live up to this standard. They also did not hold women in a high regard at all, again this is where Chaucer flips the role, as the Wife of Bath describes her five marriages in her prologue, essentially describing each as a conquest, where the result is her having all control.
The Wife of Bath’s behaviors are questionable but are inherently aided by the social injustices that face women of this time period. The Wife of Bath discloses that for her first three marriages she sought out older wealthy men for sex and money. Her intentions included making her husbands fall in love with her and then making them have enormous amounts of sex until they die. In addition, the wife elaborates on her occasional tumultuous tirades of accusing her husbands of being unfaithful to her. Her uproars chided her husbands into persistently obliging into her every request. Her actions do not fit the model visions a husband would have of a wife in the medieval times. In addition to the emotional and sexual abuse, the Wife of Bath sought
In “The Wife of Bath’s Tale” the knight’s punishment for raping a girl is to set out on a year long journey to find out what women desire most. This story is sexist portraying women in a negative light.
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
Women in the Middle ages were treated as the second class members within their social class. They were taught to be obedient to their husbands and were expected to run the household and raise children. Their role in the society, however, was much more complex, while some medieval women achieved a high level of equality with men.
Women have always had a significant role in history even though they were treated horrible in most cases. During the Medieval Times was really the first time women were allowed to become more than just a house wife. The fight for equality has always been a struggle and even in today’s society is still an ongoing battle. Although women of lower and middle class were treated poorly in the Medieval Times, some powerful women held great responsibility and were looked up too by both men and children; despite being admired, “men were thought to be not only physically stronger but more emotionally stable, more intelligent, and morally less feeble” (Hopkins 5).
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.
Most women during the early middle ages were not treated properly. They were treated as housekeepers ready to serve every single one of their husband’s needs. According to society women who were not submissive to their husband where all evil. These ideas influenced many of the stories written during the early middle ages; stories such as, Beowulf, Marie de France’s Lanval, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight and The Wife of Bath. In all of these stories women were given a negative image because of the standards set for women by society. Women were not respected and often thought of sex objects that are there to make great men fall; this becomes very evident in the literature written during this time.
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
Geoffrey Chaucer, an English poet during the middle ages, wrote The Canterbury Tale’s Wife of Bath; he was born from a humble middle-class family and climbed his way up through the aristocracy. The Wife of Bath main protagonist is molded by a sexist culture of her times. My goal with this paper is to shed light on The Wife of Bath’s main character. A story of a smart, strong-willed woman who manipulates her way to financial and personal independence, is she a feminist or a smart and scheming woman?
Throughout the course of the Wife of Bath’s Tale, it is said time and time again that women desire sovereignty. The initial mention of this was when an old
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. Throughout her introduction of the tale, and the story itself, we see the Wife of Bath as an experienced, intellectual woman, who despite living in a world of patriarchal power, provides for herself financially, emotionally, and physically. As a feminist icon, she confronts serious social issues that illustrate the subjugation women faced.
Mary Wollstonecraft’s, Maria or The Wrongs of Woman, is an analyzation and critique about a woman’s place in society. Specifically, that socially, politically, and economically woman are at a disadvantage. Furthermore, society perpetuates this imbalance through certain expectations about motherhood, marriage, and double standards. This power imbalance has always been present in society and through the analyzation of Maria and themes such as: motherhood, domination, and traditionalist thought it is possible to contextualize the era that Mary Wollstonecraft lived in to gain a better understanding of what women went through in her time so that we have a reference to compare to how women are treated today.
Many female critics have looked towards The Wife of Bath as a feminist role model (Reisman) She wanted authority over her five husbands, “She’d been respectable throughout her life, with five churched husbands bringing joy and strife, Not counting other company in her youth;” (Chaucer, l. 459-461) In Othello, the society centered around the men having all the control over women except in their beds, which was when the women could take control. Othello uses his power to over Desdemona to mock her,“Ay, you did wish that I would make her turn. Sir, she can turn, and turn, and get go on, And turn again. And she can weep, sir, weep. And she’s obedient.- Proceed you in your tears.- Concerning this sir- O, well-painted passion! I am commanded home.- Get you away. I’ll send you anon..” (l. 284-290.