Canterbury Tales - Comparing Chaucer's The Clerks Tale and The Wife of Bath Tale

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In "The Clerk's Tale" and "The Wife of Bath's Tale " from Geoffrey

Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales, characters are demanding, powerful and

manipulating in order to gain obedience from others. From all of The

Canterbury Tales, "The Clerks Tale" and "The Wife of Baths Tale" are the

two most similar tales. These tales relate to each other in the terms of

obedience and the treatment of women. "The Wife of Bath Tale" consists of

one woman who has complete control over her husbands. It evolves the idea

that a woman is more powerful and controlling in a relationship. She

intimidates her husbands to do things and treat her in a certain ways so

that they would buy her material things and favors. "The Clerks Tale"

supports almost the opposite idea about women. It mentions that the man

has complete power in the relationship and the woman must obey everything

that the husband says. Such is the case with Walter and Griselda. Walter

is demanding and controlling over Griselda. She does whatever he says and

she lacks her own opinion. One difference between these tales however is

that "The Clerks Tale" is a very unrealistic story, whereas "The Wife of

Baths Tale" is a more practical story and would have the possibility of

taking place.

Between the two stories, the Wife of Bath and Walter are both

characters who are the most demanding in order to gain obedience. Both

characters demand love, a sign of obedience to them. Walter tells Griselda

that the only way they will marry is if she promises to obey his commands.

He says "you love me as I know and would obey, being my leige-man born and

faithful to whatever ple...

... middle of paper ...

...and the General Prologue. Ed. V.A. Kolve. New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 1989.

---------"The Wife of Bath's Tale." The Canterbury Tales: Nine Tales and the General Prologue. Ed. V.A. Kolve. New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 1989.

Levy, Bernard. "The Meanings of the Clerk's Tale." Chaucer and the Craft of Fiction. Ed. Leigh Arrathoon. Rochester, MI: Solaris, 1986. 385-403.

Leicester, Jr., H. Marshall. "Of a fire in the dark: Public and Private Feminism in the Wife of Bath's Tale." Women's Studies 11.1-2 (1985): 157-78.

Internet Sources Consulted

Chaucer, Geoffrey. "The Wife of Bath and Her Tale," The Wife of Bath. Web 30 Apr. 2015.

Delahoyde, Michael. "Chaucer: The Clerk's Tale," Chaucer. Web 30 Apr. 2015.

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