Women in the Merchant's Tale and the Manciple's Tale
The Wife of Bath's extraordinary prologue gives the reader a dose of what is sometimes missing in early male-written literature: glimpses of female subjectivity. Women in medieval literature are often silent and passive, to the extent that cuckolding is often seen as something one man (the adulterer) does to another (the husband). Eve Sedgwick argues in Between Men that in many literary representations, women are playing pieces or playing fields in struggles between male players. By default it seems, male writers cannot help but create shallow constructions of women; heroism occurs in male spheres of activity, while the wives and daughters make the background, and the female love interest becomes a trophy. Unfortunately, when women are not silent they are often monsters‹and quite often, the silent ones conceal hidden dangers. Why should women present such a threat? Why do so many pre-modern (and, unfortunately, modern) male writers approach female subjects with such trepidation, with strategies of demonization or avoidance? Analysis of the Merchant's Tale and the Manciple's Tale proves fruitful in exploring these questions. In the sphere of the written word, women have often been silent in the West; the small number of great female medieval writers combined with a value system that praises passivity and quiet in their sex has effectively muffled female subjectivity, and yet somehow in silencing women men have doomed themselves to uneasiness and fear. To silence someone is to cut off access to her subjectivity, and in an intimate world like marriage such a formidable barrier quickly becomes a source of apprehension; woman becomes the terrifying, ...
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...rsity of Iowa Press, 1990.
Pearsall, Derek. The Life of Geoffrey Chaucer: A Critical Biography. Blackwell, 1992.
Dominion and Domination of the Gentler Sex: The Lives of Medieval Women. 1997. 20 August 2003 <http://library.thinkquest.org/12834/>.
Irvine, Martin. Medieval Women. 1998. 20 August 2003 <http://www.georgetown.edu/labyrinth/subjects/women/women.html>.
Lalonde, Michael. Sybils! Homepage. May 2002. 20 August 2003 <http://www.humanities.mcmaster.ca/~mmedia/mw2.htm>.
Lopez, Alan. The Appropriation of Masculine Discourse and the Disruption of Gender Identity in Chaucer's The Merchant's Tale. 2000. 20 August 2003 <http://www.iusb.edu/~journal/2000/lopez.html>.
Sample A paper: Undergraduate. Fall 1998. 20 August 2003
Cox, Catherine S. Gender and Language in Chaucer. Gainesville, Florida: U of Florida P, 1997.
Hansen, Elaine Tuttle. Chaucer and the Fictions of Gender. Berkeley: U of California P. 1992. Print. (Kennedy Library PR1928.W64 H36 1992)
Fair is foul, and foul is fair, a phrase that has become synonym with Macbeth. It is also the introduction to one of the most important themes of this tragedy: appearance and reality. Shakespeare uses various characters and situations to emphasize this confusion between the real and the surreal, the authentic and the fake, the act and the sincere. In order to discuss this theme, different characters will be looked at : in the first paragraph, the Witches, in the second, Duncan and in the third, Lady Macbeth.
Sexual relations between men and woman have created issues of life and death from the beginning of time. In most classic Western beliefs it began when Eve with the help of the Devil seduced Adam thus leading the downfall of humanity into an abyss of sin and hopelessness. This issue arises in all literature from Genesis, Chaucer and into modern day. Authors, clerks and writers of all types have aided stereotyping women throughout history and Geoffrey Chaucer is not an exception in most cases. However, in Chaucer's Wife of Bath we can find the beginnings of a new type of woman arising from the dark ages of the post-Roman era. And of course at the center of his character's struggle is sex. As this topic develops, we shall take a brief look into sex, women, the Middle Ages and Chaucer's Wife of Bath as an example of Middle Ages reflections.
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.
If a picture tells a thousand words, than imagine the importance of an image upon a play such as Macbeth. In any literary work, it is extremely important that the author can effectively manipulate a reader's feelings towards a character. In Macbeth, that feat is accomplished magnificently by Shakespeare. Through his skillful use of imagery, Shakespeare shows us a deeper look into the true character of Macbeth. Though imagery is widespread throughout Macbeth, it is most dominant in clothing imagery, light and darkness imagery, and blood imagery. Through these images,
Shakespeare's play "Macbeth" is considered one of his great tragedies. The play fully uses plot, character, setting, atmosphere, diction and imagery to create a compelling drama. The general setting of Macbeth is tenth and eleventh century Scotland. The play is about a once loyal and trusted noble of Scotland who, after a meeting with three witches, becomes ambitious and plans the murder of the king. After doing so and claiming the throne, he faces the other nobles of Scotland who try to stop him. In the play, Macbeth faces an internal conflict with his opposing decisions. On one hand, he has to decide of he is to assassinate the king in order to claim his throne. This would result in his death for treason if he is caught, and he would also have to kill his friend. On the other hand, if he is to not kill him, he may never realize his ambitious dreams of ruling Scotland. Another of his internal struggles is his decision of killing his friend Banquo. After hiring murderers to kill him, Macbeth begins to see Banquo's ghost which drives him crazy, possibly a result of his guilty conscience. Macbeth's external conflict is with Macduff and his forces trying to avenge the king and end Macbeth's reign over Scotland. One specific motif is considered the major theme, which represents the overall atmosphere throughout the play. This motif is "fair is foul and foul is fair."
There were typical male traits, and these had a more positive connotation to them. In the following list of terms, the first are meant to be masculine and the second to be feminine; “limit and unlimited, odd and even, one and plurality, right and left, male and female, resting and moving, straight and curved, light and darkness, good and bad, square and oblong” (Cox 8). The more desired traits like the obvious ‘light’ and ‘good’, were saved for the traditional male. These ideas stem from the Aristotelian paradigm, and are consistent with gender roles in Chaucer’s world. The Wife of Bath was expected to have the feminine traits, but she would not accept that. Why should the positive traits be reserved only for men? Being born a woman should not automatically exempt a woman from being cast into a more positive position within society.
One of the most interesting and widely interpreted characters in The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer is the Wife of Bath. She has had five different husbands and openly admits to marrying the majority of them for their money. The wife appears to be more outspoken and independent than most women of medieval times, and has therefore been thought to symbolize the cause of feminism; some even refer to her as the first actual feminist character in literature. Readers and scholars probably argue in favor of this idea because in The Canterbury Tales, she uniquely gives her own insight and opinions on how relations between men and women should be carried out. Also, the meaning of her tale is that virtually all women want to be granted control over themselves and their relationship with their husbands, which seems to convince people that the Wife of Bath should be viewed as some sort of revolutionary feminist of her time. This idea, however, is incorrect. The truth is that the Wife of Bath, or Alisoun, merely confirms negative stereotypes of women; she is deceitful, promiscuous, and clandestine. She does very little that is actually empowering or revolutionary for women, but instead tries to empower herself by using her body to gain control over her various husbands. The Wife of Bath is insecure, cynical towards men in general, and ultimately, a confirmation of misogynistic stereotypes of women.
This theme is further verified by King Duncan's statement "There's no art/ To find the mind's construction in the face..." (Act 1, Scene 4, Lines 11-12) Although Macbeth has the semblance of the amicable and dutiful host, ("fair") he is secretly plotting Duncan's death ("foul"). Furthermore, Lady Macbeth's orchestration of the murder exemplifies the twisted atmosphere in Inverness. Both a woman and a host, she should be the model of grace and femininity. She is described, however, as a "fiendlike queen" (Act 5, Scene 6, Line 69) and exhibits a cold, calculating mentality. In addition, the very porter of Inverness likens the place to the dwelling of the devil Beelzebub. This implies that despite its "pleasant seat," (Act 1, Scene 6, Line 1) Inverness is a sinister and evil place. It is also interesting to note that Macbeth is unable to say a prayer to bless himself after murdering Duncan. It is strange and "foul" that he should think of religion after committing such an unholy act. The very sanction of sleep and repose is also attacked in Macbeth. What is normally considered a refreshing and necessary human activity is "murdered" by Macbeth after he commits his heinous crime. Neither Macbeth nor his wife is able to sleep after killing Duncan. Macbeth's lack of sleep makes him a brutal killer; Lady Macbeth begins to sleepwalk and inadvertently reveals the source of her distress through her nightly babble.
As a man fascinated with the role of women during the 14th Century, or most commonly known as the Middle Ages, Chaucer makes conclusive evaluations and remarks concerning how women were viewed during this time period. Determined to show that women were not weak and humble because of the male dominance surrounding them, Chaucer sets out to prove that women were a powerful and strong-willed gender. In order to defend this argument, the following characters and their tales will be examined: Griselda from the Clerk's Tale, and the Wife of Bath, narrator to the Wife of Bath's Tale. Using the role of gender within the genres of the Canterbury Tales, exploring each woman's participation in the outcomes of their tales, and comparing and contrasting these two heroines, we will find out how Chaucer broke the mold on medievalist attitudes toward women.
There is great concern presented in Chaucer’s Wife of Bath story that women are painted in a negative light as a result of men having written these classic stories; it is argued that women would have authored these stories differently and in such a way that women would be perceived in a different light. The purpose of this paper is to review The Knight’s Tale as it is found in the Canterbury Tales and establish whether Hippolyta is portrayed in a negative, positive, or neutral light.
In Macbeth, Shakespeare confronts audiences with universal and powerful themes of ambition and evil along with its consequences. Shakespeare explores the powerful theme of the human mind’s decent into madness, audiences find this theme most confronting because of its universal relevance. His use of dramatic devices includes soliloquies, animal imagery, clear characterisation and dramatic language. Themes of ambition and mental instability are evident in Lady Macbeth’s reaction to Macbeth’s letter detailing the prophecies, Macbeth’s hallucinations of Banquo’s ghost and finally in the scene where Lady Macbeth is found sleep walking, tortured by her involvement.
This paper will reflect on the different uses of Project Risk Management and ways in which it can benefit organizations to have the ability to identify potential problems prior to the problem occurring. Risk, this is not something to be taken lightly whilst dealing with matters that include high end projects meeting specific details, deadlines and expectations for the end client. Project risk management teaches one to be aggressive early on in the phases of planning and implementing the tools for a project. This is usually easier as costs are less and the turnaround time to solve the issues at that present moment is beneficial rather than later. The result in a successful project for one’s self and other key people involved in the process is also another requirement. Stakeholder satisfaction is important because the