Love In Geoffrey Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales

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When one typically thinks of the romance literature written in the Middle Ages, stories of heroic knights rescuing princesses from danger and winning fame typically are the first to come to mind. These types of stories, part of a genre known as Chivalric Romance, glorified loyalty, honor, and chivalry and pure and noble love. The tales that employed this genre were popular amongst the aristocratic class of Middle Age Europe and later were embraced by the lower classes too. With this said, it is surprising that Middle Age writer Geoffrey Chaucer would choose to satirically deviate from the norms of romance literature in his book, The Canterbury Tales. Two tales in particular, “The Miller’s Tale” and “The Reeve’s Tale”, tell stories about love…show more content…
This social climate and the standards that exist within influence these storytellers, making their perspectives biased. A problem arises when these stories that include women are being told from a male perspective, especially during this time period, when the forced silence and compliance of women let men assume and write what they wanted to about women. This is shown in the warped perceptions that men, like the Reeve, had of women. Instead of being seen as actual humans, women are made to seem like sexual objects, evident in how the Reeve describes Malyne as one would describe cattle, how Nicholas approaches Alison, and how Alan and John treat the women in the Reeve’s Tale. From the viewpoint of these characters, love is impractical when their final goal is to sleep with the women that they see as objects for their pleasure. This view of women is still present today and knowing where this problem stems from by analyzing how women were represented in the world, including in stories like this, is an important step in improving the conditions of women and how they are treated in this world
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