Chaucer's Canterbury Tales Essay - The Powerful Wife of Bath

1099 Words5 Pages
The Powerful Wife of Bath In Geoffrey Chacer's The Canterbury Tales we are introduced to 29 people who are going on a pilgrimage to St. Thomas a Becket in Canterbury. Each person is represented to fit a unique type of behavior as shown by people during the medieval ages. My attention was drawn to the Wife of Bath through which Chaucer notes the gender inequalities. Predominantly, women could either choose to marry and become a childbearing wife or go into a religious order. Women were seen as property. Women during this period of time, had limited choices when it came to societal roles. The Wife of Bath exonerates the accepted roles of society, reflecting women's attempt to gain…show more content…
1-2) She is confident about her knowledge of love, virginity and marriage (after all she has been married five times). Just as men use the bible to justify women's oppression, so did the Wife of Bath. She states that double standards for women are deeply rooted in society. The Wife of Bath addressed and dispels the justification for multiple marriages through biblical figures and stories. "I woot wel Abraham was an holy man, And Jacob eek, as fer as evere I can, And eech of hem hadde wives mo than two, And many another holy man also" (p.118, ll. 61-64) The Wife of Bath relied on the bible to justify her unaccepted views, but when the bible did not favor her views she simply disregarded it. The Wife of Bath is a widow and therefore it is assumed that she would dress rather conservatively. This is not the case for the Wife of Bath. Her clothing is quite flamboyant with scarlet red leggings, soft new shoes, broad hat, and spurs on her feet. She is obviously not dressed in a typical manner or style of other women in her time (Hallissy 42). She disapproved of her husbands attempts to inflict control upon her. She
Open Document