Gender Roles In The Canterbury Tales By Anita Kay OPry-Renolds
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Gender Roles of Medieval Society
Throughout Anita Kay O’Pry-Renolds essay, “Men and Women as represented in Medieval Literature and Society," she speaks of the gender roles and their idealization during the medieval age. She argues that the medieval literature branches out from society and creates one that they truly want. The prologue of The Canterbury Tales and “The Wife From Bath” both surround the gender roles of societal norms. Throughout these tales, Anita Kay O’Pry-Renolds claims of gender norms that are supported through manner, society, and morality.
The manner of women in the middle age according to O’Pry-Renolds in society was one of chastity, purity, and goodness. In society, women had limited economic mobility that was restricted greater than a man’s. O'Pry-Renolds said, that not every woman was a damsel in distress during the medieval period, this is evident in The Canterbury Tales and "The Wife of Bath's Tale." One character from The Canterbury Tales, known as the Nun or Madam Eglantine, she was by no means a damsel in distress. She was very courtly in her manners and did not follow the Nuns attributes, for she ate, spent, and dressed well out of the ordinary. A woman, whom took no name, in “The Wife of Bath’s Tale” was sovereign in her actions towards the knight. She too was not a damsel in distress for she controlled the relationship fully from the start.
Men, on the other hand, were depicted as heroes with great masculinity, intelligence, or