After the knight forced the young maiden, the King sent orders for him to lose his head. “This act of violence made such a stir, so much petitioning of the King for her, that he condemned the Knight to lose his head.” The Queen doesn’t agree with the punishment so she offers a proposition.” Yet you shall live if you can answer me: What is the thing that women most desire?” The Queen gave him a chance to live by finding the answer. The Knight asks many women what
Throughout literature, deep relationships can often be discovered between a story and the author who writes it. Relationships can also be found in stories about a husband and wife. In Geoffrey Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales many of the characters make this idea apparent with the stories they tell. In “The Pardoner’s Tale”, a distinct relationship can be made between the character of the Pardoner and his tale of three friends. Also, the Wife in “The Wife of Bath’s Tale” boldly declares her relationship towards her husband.
In Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen introduces the major thematic concept of marriage and financial wealth. Throughout the novel, Austen depicts various relationships that exhibit the two recurring themes. Set during the regency period, the perception of marriage revolves around a universal truth. Austen claims that a single man “must be in want of a wife.” Hence, the social stature and wealth of men were of principal importance for women. Austen, however, hints that the opposite may prove more exact: a single woman, under the social limitations, is in want of a husband. Through this speculation, Austen acknowledges that the economic pressure of social acceptance serves as a foundation for a proper marriage.
There are three women in Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, the prioress, the wife of Bath and the prostitute in the Shipman’s Tale. The prioress and the wife of Bath are the only ones of the three that have a fully developed part of the overall work. They are equal to the male characterizations; the prostitute is only minor player. Women are rarely mentioned in the other pilgrim’s tales. The wife of Bath and the Prioress are examples of strong medieval women. As Chaucer depicts them, they are a departure from the typical sinful daughters of Eve with the exception of the prostitute. The wife Dame Alisoun, and the prioress are both pious, successful females but they are still under the domain of men. Chaucer’s women are still part of the patriarchal world of the late middle ages.
Although it is the wife who is always looking for a husband in her personal life, in the Wife’s tale, it is the man who is forced to find what it is that all women desire. In the end he is obligated to marry, while the Wife is always excited to marry her next husband. The Wife wants the woman in the marriage to make the decisions and to have power, which is also seen in the old woman in her tale. In her tale, the old woman basically tricks the man into marrying her, and then into kissing her. This gives her control and she can then reveal her true self.
"It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want if a wife"
In Geoffrey Chaucer's work, The Canterbury Tales, many travelers gather together to begin a pilgrimage. During their quest, each of the pilgrims proceed to tell a tale to entertain the group. From these stories arise four different tales, in which Chaucer uses to examine the concept of marriage and the problems that arise from this bonding of two people. In the tales of "The Franklin", "The Clerk", "The Wife of Bath", and "The Merchant", marriage is debated and examined from different perspectives. Out of the four tales, The Franklin's Tale presents the most reasonable solution to the marriage debate because the problems are resolved with the least amount of heartache.
All through Canterbury Tales, women are dealt with as objects in everyday life. In the “Miller’s Tale,” an old man marries a younger, attractive women for her looks. In the “Wife of Bath’s Tale,” a virgin woman has her virginity and innocence taken from her by what is suppose to be a noble and honorable knight and when his punishment is later to marry an older, less attractive women, all respect for his newly wife vanishes. A woman’s level of recognition in Canterbury Tales are through her class in society, whether she is young and beautiful, or old and disgusting, and her degree of experience in life. Women are not desired for their intelligence, wisdom and capabilities which might of kept a relationship deceitful-free. The “Wife of
First let us review her tale. In the tale a knight is riding along until he comes across a woman. He then “in spite of all she said, by force took her maidenhead” (Lines 63 and 64), that is a nice way to say he violently raped her. Afterward he is taken into court where the queen takes pity upon him and gives him the task of finding out what women most desire but if he fails he will be executed. The knight then searches about for the answer asking every woman he can find for the answer to his question. He gets conflicting answers from each woman he asks until he comes across an old hag. The hag makes a deal with him that she will give him the answer if he carries out any request of her choice when she calls for it later on, to which the knight agrees. The hag tells him that what women most desire is power over men. The knight gives this answer to the queen who spares him. When he returns to the hag she makes her request, “Before this court I ask you, sir knight, to
The story the Wife of Bath tells is of a knight who rapes a young lady and subsequently is condemned to death by King Arthur. Chaucer then satirizes the male patriarchy by having the queen take ability to pass judgement on the knight, not King Arthur. This exhibits the power of women over men. This act foreshadows the course of events, manifesting the knight as merely a puppet on a string. The queen gives the knight the choice between a year long quest or to be put to death. The quest the knight must complete is to find what women most desire by the end of the year or he will put to death, “I’ll grant you life if you can tell to me / What thing it is that women most desire. / Be wise, and keep you neck from iron dire!” (Chaucer 910-912). With one of the
The Canterbury Tales, begun in 1387 by Geoffrey Chaucer, are written in heroic couplets iambic pentameters, and consist of a series of twenty-four linked tales told by a group of superbly characterized pilgrims ranging from Knight to Plowman. The characters meet at an Inn, in London, before journeying to the shrine of St Thomas a Becket at Canterbury. The Wife of Bath is one of these characters. She bases both her tale and her prologue on marriage and brings humor and intrigue to the tales, as she is lively and very often crudely spoken. Her role as a dominant female contrasts greatly with the others in the tales, like the prim and proper Prioress represents the
The disparity in the outcomes of the hag's marriage and Alison's marriages in Geoffrey Chaucer's "The Wife of Bath's Prologue and Tale" depends in part on the women's differing expectations of their husbands. The hag's modus agendi depends on a knight's obligation to honour his pledge, whereas Alison's modus operandi depends on her husbands' conduct after marriage, i.e. on her circumstances. Having saved the knight's life, the hag asks the knight to permit her to be his wife. Moreover, she wants to be his love. The knight must marry, since marrying the hag lies within his might. Since the hag's definition of being his wife includes her loving him, he is duty-bound to
woman to avoid death. The knight and the old woman do not get along well, and
The power struggle between man and woman has been tangible since the time of Adam and Eve. In Canterbury Tales, written by Geoffrey Chaucer, a plethora of characters share stories that reflect their personalities and lives. Several of these stories revolve around the female position and focuses on the role they play in society. Although women are usually seen as subordinate to the male, in Canterbury Tales, they are portrayed as independent human beings. The Wife of Bath embodies her independence through her dominance over her first three husbands in marriage. Additionally, Alison from “The Miller’s Tale” is representative of this strong female character, for her denial towards the males in her lives, manifests how independent she is.
She does not tell the knight what to think about women, but instead wants him to learn for himself what women most desire. She gives him, “A twelfmonth and a day to seeche and lere / An answere suffisant in this matere” (Chaucer l. 915). The knight must interview countless women to find the answer to this question. He is forced to listen, and learn from their desires, instead of following his own and raping them. The Queen allows the knight to live, but forces him to consider and value women’s opinions. Perhaps she allows him to live because all men at times aggressively assert their domination over women and the better option is to rehabilitate them, rather than killing every aggressive man.