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?
The Canterbury tales is written by Geoffrey Chaucer takes place in the late 14 hundreds . Chaucer and 30 pilgrims are traveling to Canterbury, and to pass time each pilgrim tells a tale about their life. These tales are told through Chaucer's point of view, where he uses his humor to attract the reader in many different ways. Chaucer’s humor consist of three main attributes , sarcasm, sexism, and appearance. SEXISM - Chaucer uses Sexism to draw humor into The Canterburry Tales.
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.
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
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.
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
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.
“Come on, come on! You are pictures out of door, bells in your parlors, wildcats in your kitchens, saints in your injuries, devils being fended, players in your huswifery, and huswives in your beds.” (l.122-125. 2.1) Iago states that women only have two jobs- take care of the home, and give pleasure to their husbands in their beds. The Wife of Bath in Chaucer's, “The Canterbury Tales”, is a successful cloth maker, “At making cloth she had so great a bent she bettered those of Ypres and even of Gent.”
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
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 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.
“The Wife of Bath’s Tale” begins with an unequivocal incident of sexual assault, yet how that assault and the question of consent are interpreted are complicated in light of Suzanne Edwards’ essay, “The Rhetoric of Rape.” Edwards’ essay provides a new historicist lens to provide a context in which the reader can perhaps reconcile the problematic nature of sexual assault that Chaucer inserts into the “loathly lady” narrative. The rhetoric employed by the law in regards to rape complicates Chaucer’s knight’s crime by creating an atmosphere of ambiguity that raises more questions than answers. The disconnect that occurs between the rapist and his victim seems quite abominable on the part of Chaucer and his narrator in that it is quickly forgiven
In the story, “The Wife of Bath,” Chaucer handles satire to critique class and nobility. Alike today, class and nobility still haunt us. Being that, we still see it in high school, it obviously hasn 't gone away. Chaucer brings forth the issue by sending the Knight on a journey of a lifetime. When he arrives back, he still doesn 't have the answer that he was sent to find.
A story that reflects a timeless issue of equality, morals, and lesson on what women really desire. The Wife of Bath by Geoffrey Chaucer is a story in The Canterbury Tales that expresses multiple moral lessons and an exciting dialogue that provides an entertaining story. The two stories that will be examined today are the “Pardoners Tale” and “The Wife of Bath”, after much evaluation I believe that “The Wife of Bath” is the better story. This is the better story because it’s more entertaining and also has more morals with better quality.