While the main character of The Wife Of Bath’s Tale began with little respect or understanding of women, after undergoing a long journey and learning valuable lessons, he seemed to better understand women, and give them equal respect. Several events from the story in particular triggered this change in the Knight: his initial punishment, reaction to the old woman’s request, and his decision on their wedding night.
The Wife of Bath and her tale are the most similar out of all the tales because they both share a domineering outlook over others. In the general prologue she is told to have had five husbands and is described as a looker, “Her face was bold and handsome and ruddy,” (Chaucer 39). In her prologue she goes more in depth of her time spent with her five husbands. Wife of Bath talks most about how she gains control over her husbands. For instance, her fifth husband was the controlling force in their marriage until he made the mistake of hitting her and telling her he would do anything to keep her with him and said, “My own true wife, do as you wish for the rest of your life…” (335). Next, her tale. Her tale starts with a man deflowering a woman
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
Chaucer Refutes Chaucer presents women in a light different to the long tradition of anti-feminist literature. In The wife of Bath’s tale, he presents women as grace givers; When the queen chose to show mercy rather than showing the knight to his death. Chaucer’s
The Wife of Bath: An Analysis of Her Life and Her Tale 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.
What do women yearn for most? At times, most women cannot answer this ancient question. A substantial amount of women prefer money, never ending youth, to be wed, to be widowed, to be respected, or to be pampered; the list is infinite. In The Wife of Bath’s Tale, King Arthur’s knight rapes a young maiden; the punishment at this time was beheading. Yet, the King allowed the Queen to choose the consequences that the knight will suffer. The Queen instructs the knight to answer the question: “What is the thing that most of all women desire? (Martin, 2006)” or he will be beheaded. The knight agrees and is given one year and a day to embark on his quest for what women long for most.
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?
In the Wife of Bath’s, she broke all the stereotypes Medieval society thought a wife is. She tells the people that being married intercourse is part of marriage and God has made privates parts to make generations, not to waste in doing nothing. Being categorized or stereotyped in Medieval society was hard for married women in the Medieval era because often they were portrayed as disloyal, uncontrolled sexual beasts because of the lack of marriage
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.
Both the Wife of Bath’s tale and Sir Gawain have trials assigned to their main characters by women. The knight in Wife of Bath’s tale is being punished for raping a young woman and his punishment is to find an answer to the question, “what do women want most?” instead of death. He learns that women want sovereignty, but in return for obtaining his answer he needs to marry the hag that provided him with the answer. The hag later transforms into a beautiful woman once she wins over the right to choose and rule at her own will. This tale is based on the Celtic Sovereignty myth about a king marrying a goddess who initially appeared to be hideous, but with the willing kiss from the king, turned into a beautiful woman. In Sir Gawain, the knight is being tested to see if he will choose virtue and chastity or the beauty and promiscuity of the Lady of the Castle.
The knight is angry and disgusted with his new wife whom he only sees as " ugly, elderly, and poor” (Chaucer. 1063). The knight has practically barred himself from being happy with her because of his close-minded, unchanged generalization and the wife is upset because of her judgmental, single-minded
The portrayal of women in literature over the years has often times denoted roles and capabilities through society. Unlike most, Geoffrey Chaucer has been credited to writing various works exemplifying women by showing their equal powers and potentials. Through what ways does Chaucer depict The Wife of Bath to be a stronghold in society within the Canterbury Tales? The female narration in The Wife of Bath’s Tales firmly sets the main character as strong independent women.
“This act of violence made such a stir, so much petitioning to the king for her,..” (65-66). Within every relationship the scale of power tends to fluctuate between the man and woman, this however gradually comes to a draw over time. Geoffrey Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, “The Wife of Bath’s Tale”, suggests one’s gender determines how much power one will receive. However, just because one receives such power does not mean it must be used.
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.