Chaucer 's The Canterbury Tales

1306 WordsOct 10, 20166 Pages
In Geoffrey Chaucer 's The Canterbury Tales, Chaucer uses the climax of The Wife of Bath 's Prologue to illustrate how through the influence of the church, the figure of the wife, was seen either as week or evil. Chaucer makes this point by using religious terms and imagery, like sister and smite, and the symbol of the lion. After establishing this point, he then shows how damaging this idea can be, by showing how hollow and disturbing the relationship between the wife and her husband becomes, when the husband is in the submissive role, through the use of homonyms and objective language. Chaucer quickly get 's into the religious imagery in order to begin the shift of power between the Wife of Bath and her husband. Less than 10 lines in, Chaucer has the Wife of Bath compare her husband to a lion “And he up stirte as dooth a wood leoun, And with his fest he smoot me on the heed.” (Line 794-95) In the Bible, lions can both be good and evil. On one hand, they are frequently used as a simile for God. In Hosea 11:10, the roar of the lion is used to covey the power and righteousness of the word of God, “They shall go after the Lord; he will roar like a lion; when he roars, his children shall come trembling from the west;”. Yet, there are also several examples of the lion as an evil creature, in 1 Peter 5:8, the lion is compared to the devil, “Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.” Both examples liken a
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