Oppression Of Women In The Knights's Tale By Chaucer

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What is a woman’s role in society? Today this question would cause uproar of answers from both feminists and anti-feminists. Despite the disagreement, the most popular response would be, without a doubt, that women’s role in society is equal to men’s. Currently, women can vote, hold a stable job, and lead a successful life without a husband. However, back in medieval times there were no such luxuries for women. Examples of their treatment can be found in Chaucer’s story, The Knights Tale. From being forced into marriage, to oppression by men, it is clear to see that women were treated as objects. In the beginning of the story, the Duke of Theseus takes Queen Hippolyta, his future wife, and her younger sister Emily after the Duke is victorious over the Amazon. The two women are simply spoils of war for the Duke and the Amazon people. Meanwhile, the Duke of Theseus represents his traditional gender roles as he is a strong …show more content…

Chaucer shows that women cannot always be won as objects of war. Although the winner of the war is supposed to win over Emily, Arcite doesn’t actually win Emily. Instead, the one that truly loves Emily wins her. This could be a possible message that love conquers strength and women ultimately conquer men. Despite some non-traditional gender roles, Chaucer still portrays the women as emotional and weak. They cry over their husbands and cry the most at death. In addition, men are the stronger ones as they are knights and the ones that are engaged in death and brutality. Chaucer presents most of the human characters within the rigid gender roles of the time. When he presents the female that has a non-traditional gender role, Venus, she is non-human. Perhaps, Chaucer suggests that human gender roles are hard to break while non-human gender roles are easier to break. With that said, the objectification of women in medieval times is certainly one deserving of

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