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Chaucer's Portrayal Of Women in Canterbury Tales Essay

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All through Canterbury Tales, women are dealt with as objects in everyday life. In the “Miller’s Tale,” an old man marries a younger, attractive women for her looks. In the “Wife of Bath’s Tale,” a virgin woman has her virginity and innocence taken from her by what is suppose to be a noble and honorable knight and when his punishment is later to marry an older, less attractive women, all respect for his newly wife vanishes. A woman’s level of recognition in Canterbury Tales are through her class in society, whether she is young and beautiful, or old and disgusting, and her degree of experience in life. Women are not desired for their intelligence, wisdom and capabilities which might of kept a relationship deceitful-free. The “Wife of Bath’s Tale” had a perfect example of how a man should treat his wife and how there was more to wealth, beauty and a man’s own selfish needs from a woman. The outcome for the men in Canterbury Tales for their poor decisions were ones they had no idea were coming.
A man’s ideal woman during medieval times were to wait on his every need, such as housework, propriety appearance and behavior, making and taking care of the children and sometimes fieldwork. If a woman was not married, then the needs of her father were attended by her. Higher class women did childbearing and household supervision and if their man was away for business she would manage their estate giving up her power as soon as he retuned. Women in Canterbury Tales had a bit of a different role which was to break free from a man’s dominance in a secretive unnoticed way, and provide faithful and loyal devotion and love to a man and his decisions. Such a beautiful woman should be treated and taken care of, for the one she lay with now may no...


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...women most desire is to “hold complete sovereignty over her husband”(http://www.grommersoft.com/content/view/191/43/). They do not want to be seen as a toy you play with for one day and put away when she not wanted. Chaucer gives men the opportunity to be noble and honorable men but they choose to be above woman and go against a woman’s wants and needs. Whether its marrying a woman for her looks or keeping up an end of a deal by marrying one who is not their original type, the men in Canterbury Tales are given a well learned lesson in life as these same woman master the men who betray their morality. As woman have the upper hand they give men what they deserve and what has been coming to them for a long time. The Canterbury Tales uses the knight and the old woman as an example of how men should view women, and how there is more to women than beauty and money.





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