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The Estate In The Wife Of Bath's Tale

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Register to read the introduction…A few of the pilgrims shown fell into this category of undeserved or ill fitting estates because of inheritance. In the Wife of Bath’s Tale Chaucer criticizes the way that people inherit status by pointing out the fact that bloodline doesn’t mean you inherit gentlemanliness “If you would be esteemed for the mere name / Of having been by birth a gentleman / …. / And do not live yourself by gentle deed / … / You are no gentleman,” (The Wife of Bath’s Tale, Chaucer 1808-1810). No matter what your bloodline, “‘fire never ceases to be fire,” or in other words, your true colors always show through (The Wife of Bath’s Tale, Chaucer 1804). Another character who inherited his estate is the squire. Unlike his father, Chaucer suggests that the squire is not worthy of being in the 2nd estate. He was born into it but has done little to earn it. He is only motivated by the “hope to win his lady’s grace” and he is frivolous, flamboyant, and not chivalrous (General Prologue, Chaucer…show more content…
The Wife of Bath is a powerful woman who has strong beliefs about marriage, a women’s place in society, and what women want. As a woman who has been married five times, she does not believe there should be a limit on marriage. She supports her claims on marriage with a lot of biblical evidence because, “In the Middle Ages, the Bible was the ultimate source of authority on all spiritual and moral matters,” (Thanassoulis 4). The Wife of Bath’s tale challenges the Medieval view of the women's estates by saying, “Not every dish and vessel’s made of gold, / Some are of wood, yet earn their master’s praise,” (The Wife of Bath’s Prologue, Chaucer 751-752). The vessels made of gold are symbolic of virgins while the wooden vessels represent wives, the Wife of Bath acknowledges the importance of virgins but suggests that wives “earn their master's praise” or are equally if not more important than virgins. Her argument about virgins provokes the idea of a rearrangement of the women’s classes. Additionally, the Wife of Bath secures an overall message of women wanting power and authority in relationships, a new idea during her time, with supporting in lines like, “I’d mastered him, and out of deadlock / Secured myself the security in wedlock” (The Wife of Bath’s Prologue, Chaucer
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