The Wife Of Bath 's Tale Essay

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The Wife of Bath’s Tale in the Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer is a very pivotal point in the text. It argues in favor of feminine dominance in marriage in a time where women were always under the skeptical view. The leading example of the medieval skeptical view of women is St. Jerome’s response against Jovinian. It shows how women were more restricted than men and thought to be in the fault for the wrong things that happen to them. Chaucer opposes that stereotype by introducing the Wife of Bath, a very radical character just like the other characters in the Canterbury Tales. The Wife is a very outspoken feminist and justifies her decision to remarry four times. She uses St. Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians and other arguments to undermine the traditional antifeminism arguments, such as St. Jerome’s, against her remarriages. Two of the traditional arguments that support the popular medieval belief that a woman should only marry once are that we should follow Jesus’ actions and obey his words. One of the arguments is Jesus’ words to the wife of the Samaritan. Jesus told “her that her fifth husband is not her husband (Chaucer p. 219).” This statement implies that Jesus disapproves women marring five times but the wife argues that Jesus’ words can have many interpretations and that there is really no way to know for sure which one is right (Chaucer p.219). The second argument dealing with Jesus is that the medieval society thought that since Jesus only went to one

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