The Role Of Men And Women In The Canterbury Tales

Decent Essays

The essay, “Men and Women as Represented in the Medieval Literature and Society” was written by Anita Kay O’Pry-Reynolds; this writing had revealed how men and women were place in society and the roles they played in romance or “Victorian” (O’Pry-Reynolds 37) novels. This form of writing also contributes to The Canterbury Tales, “Prologue” and “The Wife of Bath‘s Tale”, by relating and arguing the way each character presents themselves as well as their characteristics. However, Geoffrey Chaucer’s purpose of writing The Canterbury Tales were to satirize the corruption in the Catholic Church and how people’s roles in the church were supposed to be good but they were not. The tales portray a cross-section of the English society during the Middle Ages. O’Pry-Reynold’s essay presented similarities and differences to “The Prologue” and “The Wife of Bath‘s Tale”: man turning into the damsel, womanly sin, desirable control, and barbaric men.
Most of the women in Romance Literature are damsels in distress, but on the other hand, what if the roles were to reverse? The knight from “The Wife of Bath’s Tale” cries out desperately to the elderly women “Dear Mother, alack the day” (Wife of Bath l, 179); he is trying to seek refuge and trying to pay for one answer from the women by showing distress and hopelessness in his tone. O’Pry-Reynolds Believes that damsels in distress should be the one to make the hero heroic: “the chaste mind, good wife, and lady of the manor provides reason for

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