The Canterbury Tales And The Wife Of Bath And William Shakespeare

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The historical classics of English literature expose a predominantly patriarchal culture in which the masculine domination of the public sphere imposes numerous oppressions on the female population in England. Despite the contributions of influential female monarchs to the nation’s political stability, significant male writers characterize women as subaltern, submissive citizens. The conventional dialogue of English literature records women speaking in passive voices, as their primary role in the private sphere is to serve their families and attend to their domestic duties. While a population of female characters express fulfillment in the traditional expectations of their gender, others convey a disposition of discontent. These characters achieve a position of power by manipulating the social and political structures of the public sphere. Two of the most extensively recognized characters who access a form of influence in their patriarchal societies include the Wife of Bath in Geoffrey Chaucer’s “The Wife of Bath’s Prologue” and Lady Macbeth in William Shakespeare’s “Macbeth.” Chaucer and Shakespeare accentuate the dialogue the women use to gain authority over the male population. Their use of the English language documents an occurrence of social and linguistic changes from Middle English to Early Modern English. Geoffrey Chaucer’s “The Wife of Bath’s Prologue” in The Canterbury Tales and William Shakespeare’s “Macbeth” address the subject of feminine authority through

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