The Wife of Bath had five husbands, and she believes that women should have all the power in the marriage. This is very important to her tale, and the Wife of Bath shows just how smart she was, manipulating her
She believes that women should have absolute power over their marriage. Sovereignty is one of her significant values. Throughout the tale it is apparent that the storyteller still has those same beliefs. During the knight’s quest to acquire the answer, he finds an old lady. This older woman holds the answer he had been searching for. She will tell him the solution if, he promises her one thing. He is to do as she says, if she is ever to need anything. After presenting the answer that the old lady gave him, his life was spared. As a result the old lady asks the knight to marry her. Disgust filled the knight however, he had no choice. In this case the older woman had the power over the knight. The knight had to abide by her request. His negative attitude towards the old lady does not go unnoticed. A preposition if then offered to the knight. The old lady can stay old and loyal or become beautiful and treacherous. Power is rooted in the woman and not the man. The knight has the choice but no sense of ability to change her. The Wife of Bath’s made it clear that she believed women should be in command. It is decided that the old lady will turn beautiful and remain
that he never went to hell (272). She clearly valued sex as the most important attribute of a husband for, “…in our bed he was so fresh and gay….Heaven knows whenever he wanted it- my belle chose-, thought he had beaten me in every bone…”(272) Even though her final husband had beaten her, because he was good in bed with her she felt she loved him the best of them all (272). Clearly, The Wife of Bath valued three things in her marriages, sex, power, and money. In her tale we find that power is an important role to women in marriage. A knight, after raping a women is spared by a queen (282) but in order to save his life, he has one year (283) to find, “What is the thing that women most desire”(282)? After searching, he finds no answer but on his way home finds an old women who promises she will save him, he must promise to do what she asks of him after however, and he agrees (285). When he and the old lady meet with the queen, he exclaimed, “A women want’s the self-sovereignty over her husband as over her lover, and master him; he must not be above her” (286). This answer is perfectly inline with The Wife of Baths views, she always wants to be more powerful than her husband. When the old lady says he must marry her, he protests but soon she offers him two choices, he can have her be old and ugly till she dies, but loyal, or she can be young and pretty and take chance that she might not remain faithful (291). He gives his answer to be that she may choose, thus giving her the
The many references to emotional physical interaction between men and women was how the Wife of Bath justifies her marriages. She did what she needed to do for survival and get what she wanted for herself.
The wife of bath stands up for women equality and does not let men push her around. She had five husbands, with each of them she used a technique to get what she wanted. She would blame them for things they did not do, she would make them buy her things and have complete mastery over all of them. With her fifth husband things become rocky with her having the upper hand in the relationship. This is shown through the book that her husband reads which in that book degrades women. She snaps back into this mode of control and stands up for women by tearing the pages out of this book. The wife of bath thinks women should always have mastery in a marriage,this leads her to realize with her fifth husband women get taken for granted and have a bad
"Her main job was to serve drinks, socialize among the kings and warriors, and help bring peace between the soldiers. Hildeburh obeyed her husband 's wishes and was obligated to follow through with his demands. This was another example of how women were used by men. Her father gave her to Finn for the purpose of eliminating conflicts and disputes between the tribes. By assisting her husband with these dilemmas, his image was refined and he perceived himself more prominent among his peers (Grayson)." The Wife of Bath in The Wife of Bath Tale had no problem in dominating the men. She said "she knew what men wanted and she knew how to get it when she wanted it." The Wife of Bath considered herself an expert on men and marriage since she had been wed five times by the age of twelve.
The Wife of Bath begins her prologue by explaining that she considers herself an authority of marriage due to her “experience”; the Wife of Bath says, "Experience, though no authority/Were in this world, would be enough for me/To speak of woe that married life affords;/For since I was twelve years of age, my lords,/Thanks be to God eternally alive,/Of husbands at the church door I've had five” (Lines 1-6). Due to her five marriages, she has often been criticized because others have said that Christ went “to a
In her tale Dame Alice claims once again that the most important thing to a woman is to have control and dominance in a relationship with a man. This is seen when the knight returns to the castle to answer the queen’s question, saying "a woman wants the self-same sovereignty over her husband as over her lover, and master him, he must not be above her" (174-176). As part of a previous arrangement the knight is saved, but must marry the old hag. The woman knows that her new husband is upset that she is old and ugly, so she decides to give him a choice. The hag questions the knight as to whether he would rather have her old and faithful or young and unfaithful. The knight tells the hag that the decision is hers to choose what she thinks will be best. Because the knight was wise enough to give the woman the choice to choose for herself the old hag was able to become young, beautiful and good. The Wife’s tale demonstrates that life will be better for a man when he gives his
Do men and women fully understand each other or do their generalizations prevent them from really understanding what the other is like? In “The Wife of Bath’s Tale,” Geoffrey Chaucer conveys that it is hard for people to understand the opposite sex. The tendency of being bias towards a specific gender makes it difficult to reach an understanding. The struggle of trying to understand each other is also seen in “News Coverage of a Woman’s Rights Campaign” and “The Men we Carry in Our Minds.”
There is an evident change from women being completely subjected to men's superiority and authority to them starting the question the social rules and beliefs. Through "The Wife of Bath" Chaucer illustrates women’s need to be in control in order for men to be happy. Through Alisoun, Chaucer demonstrates how women are beginning to advocate for their rights and illustrates medieval society’s views of women in power ultimately conveying that women need to be in power for men to be happy
The wife of baths tale takes place during a pilgrimage in the mid-14()0s, during such a time when not all women were ladies but being polite, noble and kind was fundamental at the time of this stories portrayment. The wife of bath's tale depicts a not so spoken element of a widowed women that's in an endless pursuit of pleasure. The first line of the first page states that "Experience, though no authority." Her many men she's wedded has given her a seasoning of knowledge that can't be learned from
In "The Wife of Bath's Tale", sovereignty is the major subject that is dealt with in the marriage situation. The knight, in search of the correct answer of what women most desire in life, stumbles upon an old hag with the answer. In exchange for the answer, the knight is forced to marry the woman. The woman desires sovereignty over her husband, which is selfish and inconsiderate.
In a more modern context the wife could be looked at as a manager and the master a higher end executive. The instructions were passed on as if they were from boss to manger to worker. This system made the women highly valuable to this society even though it was not fully realized. In The Domostroi, while women are looked on as subservient they are also very highly prized being stated as with “without whom the family could not survive.” It was for the skills of housekeeping, schooling the children and most of all, childbearing that the women were so highly looked for. The Domostroi talks much of how the husband should find himself a suitable wife, and how to do so for “she will be a blessing on your house…a man is blessed to find such a wife.” Having such a knowledgeable wife, who knew how to sew and bake bread stability to the household, and a highly capable mother. It was also stated that a good wife is “her worth is far beyond coral.” This coveting of finding a wife is really showing that women were more sought after than men would be, since women aren’t chasing after the men the women are the valuable ones in this
Wealth and property feature heavily in the wife’s portrayal of marriage and along with the issue of her independence is responsible for many of her marital conflicts. The first three husbands "riche and olde" were married each for "hir land and hir tresoor" then discarded as the Wife looks for other prospects. When one of these husbands tries to restrict the Wife’s spending she refuses to let him be both "maister of my body and of my good" so refuses sexual favours in return for her freedom as she will not become a mere possession. She generalizes that women "love no man that taketh or keepth charge" suggesting an element of independence and individualism in 14th century marriage. The wife resents being controlled; she
The Wife of Bath starts by explaining herself as “Experienced, though no authority”. She considers herself as experienced because since the age of twelve she’s been married but not with the same husband. She’s had five husbands throughout her lifetime. The reason why I think she’s been married so many times is because the men didn’t have what she wanted. They may have been good to her but they may have not met her needs. The Wife of Bath looks at life in a different way. God says women are supposed to make more life such as children. This may be another reason why she has had so many husbands. God try’s to explain to her “that only once in life” should she be wed. Instead of listening to God & taking his authority she ignores his authority. This is an example of her acting as if she as no authority. When explaining the Wife of Bath she can be explained as a knowledgeable person that’s does what she can do find happiness in a man that is wealthy,