Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales

1381 Words6 Pages
The Canterbury Tales serves as a moral manual in the Middle Ages. In the tales, Geoffrey Chaucer portrays the problems of the society. For instance, Chaucer uses the monk and the friar in comparison to the parson to show what the ecclesiastical class are doing versus what they are supposed to be doing. In other words, it is to make people be aware of these problems. It can be inferred that the author’s main goal is for this literary work to serve as a message to the people along with changing the society in relation to these problems. The author mentions several issues of the society including how women are treated. Pertaining to women’s role in the society, the Middle Ages was also considered a patriarchal society which is why in the…show more content…
In other words, women in the Middle Ages wanted independence. In the end, John ends up as a cuckold, and this is Chaucer’s representation of the punishment and consequences of taking away a woman’s rights.
Allison is in the tale itself, but Chaucer also mentions two women in the pilgrims. One of these women is the Prioress or the Nun. The Prioress is described as a woman who was “modest...and coy”, but despite that, Chaucer uses satire in her description in the prologue. The Prioress is a woman with sophistication who “spoke her French...fluently” who also had table manners with “never a driblet fell upon her breast” (Chaucer 4-5). Along with those characteristics, she is also “charitable and piteous” caring for mouse that is caught in a trap, and she feeds dogs too (Chaucer 5). The Prioress can be analyzed in two ways: one with the society's perception of women and one as an issue of the church class. In the society’s viewpoint, she can be seen as a woman who cared for things that are not worth caring about. This is also another example of Chaucer’s use of his literary work to show the issues of society pertaining women. The Prioress might be high in society who went to a school in “Stratford-at-the-Bow”, but she is also a woman affected by the gender stereotypes of the Middle Ages (Chaucer 5).
Besides the Prioress, another woman that is also in the pilgrim is the Wife of Bath.
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