Geoffrey Chaucer 's Bath

1767 WordsMay 12, 20168 Pages
The Bible includes over sixty-nine references to God smiting down a man or performing genocide or inducing a war or famine in the Bible; even one count of a blasphemer being stoned to death. If The Cantebury Tales had been based on real events instead of just being the satirical work of Geoffrey Chaucer, at least one more count of death would have be added because the Wife of Bath commits the crime of blasphemy on multiple occasions. She turns the sacred words of God into a defense of her indecency. She uses his words to justify her twisted beliefs and actions. She speaks of lust and greed and power. But the most tragic part of all is what she is saying is necessary. She may not be representing women in the fairest light, but that is not…show more content…
As she continues on, the Wife of Bath manipulates the biblical scripture to “make her case that God intended women to use their bodies carnally” (Retractions). She does this by saying that “God bad us for to wexe, without lye,/ That gentil text kan I wel understonde” (lines 28-29). She believes that she needs to marry as much as possible because it is what God intended for her to do. Although it is more commonly believed that God was referring to procreation within the limitations of marriage, she deserves credit for creativity. She uses the story of Solomon as a reference to multiple spouses by saying that “he hadd wyves mo than oon” but the interpretation of the Bible at the time was at the mercy of the Roman Catholic Church (line 36). The Church believed that women were the cause of “the original sin or the Fall of Man” based on the actions of Eve (Women History). Women were looked upon as “instruments of temptation and sin”, they were believed to drag “men down by the lure of their physicality”, and were the “instruments of man’s damnation” (Retractions). Though this is not the case, because women are perfect, these negative connotations caused women to lead “extremely subservient lives” (Struggle of female equality). The Wife of Bathes may have been a satirical representation of women being greedy and lustful but her purpose was to contradict “oppressive customs and assert her own overbearing assessment of the
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