Feminism In The Wife Of Bath

1200 Words5 Pages
“The Wife of Bath’s Tale” is a frame story found in The Canterbury Tales, a poem written during The Black Death in Europe by Geoffrey Chaucer. The narrator, the Wife of Bath, is a seamstress who has been married five times all in which her husbands have died. She traveled to pilgrimages often, was red-faced, gap-toothed, and slightly deaf. “The Wife of Bath’s Tale” is a story of cowardice knight who raped a young maiden. For his punishment, the queen sends him on a quest to find the answer to her question or else he will be beheaded. Historians often refer to the Wife of Bath as a feminist even though the idea of feminism did not emerge until later. Feminism is the advancement of the women’s movement based on the idea of equality of the sexes. “The Wife of Bath’s Tale” illustrates Chaucer’s idea of feminism by contradicting the popular genre of courtly love and also the roles of women in the medieval time period which shows that Chaucer wants his audience to emulate the Wife of Bath’s independence rather than the elegance and passiveness of courtly love female. Many historians consider Chaucer a proto-feminist, which was a person that shows the beliefs of a modern feminist before feminism was discovered. Throughout the Canterbury Tales, there are many instances where Chaucer shows feminist values through his literature. Firstly, three women were made narrators in the poem including the Wife of Bath, the Prioress, and the Second Nun. This was very rare in literature in this
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