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The Ideas Of Reality And Ideal Life Of Women And Marriage

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The ideals of marriage have changed drastically throughout history, but then it all comes around as history repeats itself. In medieval times there were several texts about the contradictory ideas of reality and ideal life of women and marriage. Chaucer explicitly refutes the misogynistic ideals when the Wife of Bath argues her point using scripture, behaviors of women from his other tales in similarity to the Wife of Bath and detailed events throughout the prologue of the Wife’s roles in her marriages.
To begin with, the Wife of Bath argues and opposes the traditional rules of women by quoting scripture. First she quotes two men in the bible, Abraham and Jacob who in their times had many wives and were also holy men, followers and
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Her point exactly is that if remaining a maiden was a command, then marriage would have been condemned. Also if women remained virgins how could there be any growth or reproduction in society. It is only fair that it be a “prize won to whoever claimed it first.” Although Paul wished and advised that everyone remained as he, a virgin because the body was a temple and pure, she argued that a body is that person’s own and they should do with it whatever they see fit.
Furthermore, the Wife of Bath was referencing behavior of women from Chaucer’s other tales. In one of his first tales Chaucer created a character Emily, entwined in a Knight 's Tale. She was the object of love, desire, and lust between two knights. Those two knights, Palamon and Arcite revolved around the idea of finding her and keeping her as their own like a prized possession they longed for and journeyed on to find at the end of their voyage. Emily was deprived of options and expressing her own feelings towards the situation. She was trapped in the societal ideal of arranged marriage to whomever proved themselves worthy and honorable. Whether or not she loved the man she was condemned to a life as a wife, although that goes completely against her own wishes and desires. She even prayed to the god Diana for help and guidance to fulfill her preference which was to stay a maiden and marry no man. Even at that time long ago there were women like her that strived to defy
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