The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer encloses various fables voiced by a company of pilgrims traveling to the shrine of the martyr Saint Thomas Becket. The position of women during this time, the Middle Ages, remained generally portrayed as oppressed and obedient. However, two particular tales depict the female characters rather inversely: The Miller’s Tale and Wife of Bath’s Tale.
In Geoffrey Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, he introduces a character known as the Wife of Bath. It is her turn to tell the stories, and her tale begins discussing her past marriages in the prologue. Married five times, the Wife of Bath tells us about her own marital issues, and the way she was able to manipulate the gender roles to her own advantage. As interesting of a character as she is, I find Chaucer created the Wife of Bath to deliberately introduce the issues gender roles play in our society. I believe that the role the of the Wife of Bath in the tale was purposely written by Chaucer to twist the traditional gender roles of the time, satirizing how gender plays in society.
Beowulf and “The Wife of Bath’s Tale” are both narratives in which gender acts as an important theme within their individual communities; both have underlying meanings when it comes to defining what should be the role men and women in a good community. Or in other words, both paint a vivid picture of the role of women during the medieval time period, by suggesting that one gender had more power over another. However, these two narratives take alternative paths when expressing their views; Beowulf conveys its message through what is missing, while “The Wife of Bath’s Tale” incorporates satire and uses explicit narrative when telling the experience of a woman that is highly different from other women in her time. Furthermore, another difference
“Lanval” by Marie de France and “The Wife of Bath’s Tale” by Geoffrey Chaucer are both medieval romances that put a knight on trial by a queen’s court for his treatment of a lady. Throughout the course of this paper, readers will get the opportunity to travel back in time to the Middle Ages and that during the twelfth-century women were superior to men, specifically in their relationships and marriages; however, today men dominant individuals, especially in working world.
Geoffrey Chaucer’s “The Wife of Bath’s Tale” is an important part of his most famed work, The Canterbury Tales. One of the most respected highly analyzed of all of the tales, this particular one is important both for its character development and its prevailing themes. It seamlessly integrates ideas on society at that time with strong literary development. This work stands the test of time both because of its literary qualities and because of what it can teach us about the role of women in late Medieval society.
During the medieval times, women were not seen as they are today. Although in the world today there are still those who are full of misogyny, it was much more common and intense during this time period. Women during the middle ages had specific roles assigned to them in society. These roles depended on the type of women they were, whether it be a peasant, noble woman, or an evil temptress. These roles that women have served have shown up in numerous stories from the middle ages including: Beowulf, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, and The Wife’s Lament.
Often, the most memorable female characters are those who break out of the stereotypical “good wife” mold. When an author uses this technique effectively, the woman often carries the story. In Geoffrey Chaucer's Canterbury Tales, he portrays the Wife of Bath, Alison, as a woman who bucks the tradition of her times with her brashness and desire for control. Chaucer effectively presents a woman's point of view and evokes some sympathy for her.
In the time period of the 14th century, many woman faced inequality. Women were not viewed to uphold the same quota as men. Most females were viewed as passive to males and were not able to make many demands in their relationships or make any contributions to their own survival or life. In the “Wife of Bath Tale”, written by Geoffrey Chaucer, Chaucer gives an insight into the struggles of a woman. Chaucer gives a voice for women who cannot speak for themselves. He creates a tale for the Wife of Bath that includes and questions the societal views of women. Written in the words of a woman, Chaucer undermines what it means to be a female in the fourteenth century who desires independence and
Beowulf and “The Wife of Bath’s Tale” are both narratives in which gender acts as an important theme within their individual communities; yet they use different tools to define the roles of men and women within a good community. Or, in other words, both stories paint a vivid picture of the role of women, by suggesting that one gender had more power over the other. However, these two narratives vary in their expression of such views; Beowulf conveys its message through what is missing, while “The Wife of Bath’s Tale” incorporates satire and uses explicit narrative when relaying the experience of a woman that is highly different from that of other women of her time. Furthermore, another difference that is apparent to the reader is that men become the heroes in Beowulf, while “the wife” becomes
Women throughout Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales seek acceptance and a voice but unfortunately the men think otherwise. Dominus, (domination), a concept often correlating to chivalry, appears consistently in every tale but is indisputable in The Knight’s Tale. Whether it’s the observing of Theseus brutally conquering the Amazons, a tribe of women barbaric warriors, or two once chivalrous knights competing over a woman with the sole intent of lustful desires, the dominus is evident.
In The Canterbury tales, Chaucer uses The Wife of Bath as a representation of what it was like for Women in the Middle Ages to be striped of equality and bow to the otherwise male dominated society. For the representation of women Chaucer uses the Tales of “The Scholar”, “The Second Nun “The Reeve’s”, and “The Franklin” and many others in a very dry, pretentious manner to steer readers into the view of how a women of the Middle Ages should be as a so called “virtuous” wife or woman. The concept of marriage plays a major part in manifesting the idea of the issues of inferiority of women. The perception rendered as women having to be obedient and inferior figure to their husbands or male counter parts. Chaucer
Many literary critics throughout the years have labeled the Wife of Bath, the "gap-toothed (23)" character of The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer, a feminist. She is a strong-willed and dominant woman who gets what she wants when she wants it. However, this is not the definition of a feminist. A feminist is someone who believes that women and men are equal, while also is able to recognize and appreciate the unique characteristics of both sexes. A feminist celebrates what it means to be a woman, and a feminist is definitely not what Chaucer meant his character to be interpreted as. If anything, the Wife of Bath could safely be called a sexist. She constantly emphasizes the negative
The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer is a collection of very well written stories with very complex characters. The most interesting characters are the female characters on their way to Canterbury with the rest of pilgrims as well as the women in the stories that the other pilgrims tell. Among these women, the most notable are Emily from the Knight’s Tale and The Wife of Bath. Both of these women, however different, appear to be strong, capable and self-ruling. In both cases, these women’s stories show Chaucer’s view on relationships with the opposite sex- that they will always be imbalanced, and that women are merely trophies to be won and displayed for all to see and, lastly, that subservience is equal to love.
The Canterbury Tales depicts how people in the Middle Ages were diverse. The pilgrimages brought a sense of unity, and all the stories shared a similar morale. The Wife of Bath's Tale shows gender roles during the Middle Ages. This tale explores the issues of feminism that arouse. Feminism was not a prevailing idea among women, but the yearning for equality was present.
Feminism Displayed in The Canterbury Tales Feminism, the belief in the social, economic and political equality of the sexes (Feminism, par.1). The idea of feminism largely originated in the West, manifested worldwide and is represented by various people and organizations throughout the world. There are many different ideas on what defines a feminist, but people have the freedom to choose whether or not they consider themselves a feminist. Many works in today’s society relate and show ideas of feministic ideas as well as anti-feminist ideas. The Canterbury Tales is a 14th century text that showcases ideas and discourses on female empowerment, female roles in society, and the absence of female characters.