In Chaucer’s... ... middle of paper ... ... when analyzing, explaining, and understanding The Canterbury Tales, especially “The Wife of Bath’s Tale.” It is important to have an even balance between the feminist critics who view Chaucer as feminist, and the feminist critics who view him as antifeminist when trying to unravel this character as a progressive creation. While it can be argued that the Wife of Bath could be an early feminist character, there are too many aspects to her that indicate how she is working within the system rather than outside of it. Alisoun is not a character who sprung fully formed from her creator’s genius. Instead, Alisoun learns how to use what Chaucer initially gives her until she is able to develop her own story, identity, tale, and conclusion. She will forever be a small piece of Geoffrey Chaucer, but she is eternally her own voice that cries out, “I am Alisoun.
Some women seek to mainly better themselves, while other women seek to better all women; demonstrating hardly known traits of a feminist (Vaněčková 5-6). For example, the Wife in the “Wife of Bath’s Tale”, represents a ignorant feminist because she has a view for all women but has no moral that completes her idea. Additionally, Wife of Bath’s idea and desire is for all women to achieve sovereignty which doesn’t necessarily mean that it won’t favor men. As you can see, the Wife acts as a feminist here. Although, Alison wants to have the power in the relationship, she b... ... middle of paper ... ...red.” Shakespearean Criticism.
The social roles and expectations that dominate a woman’s life are so demanding that Rich must learn to turn her “body without force.” She is pushed to internalize standards set by this force, but still finds the traces of herself that remained true. There has been damage caused by oppressive demands, but Rich finds harmony between her masculine and feminine qualities. She combats the standards that have left her as a “wreck,” and refers to herself and all women who have been damaged by such standards as “half-destroyed instruments. Used up by society’s expectations, Rich rejects the standards she was forced to dive into. Rich demonstrates a protest against the dominating patriarchal system which excludes women from the book of myth.
The Wife of Bath, it is clear, lives up to few, if any, of the ideals held by medieval society, in particular the Church, concerning how women should behave. This essay, however, will aim to show how she in fact does live up to many of the stereotypes concerning women and thus reinforces, rather than challenges them. The Wife of Bath, in both her lengthy prologue and her tale, makes clear that she believes that the main aim and desire of women is to gain control and mastery over men: wommen desiren to have sovereyntee As wel over hir housbond as hir love, And for to been in maistrie hym above. (Pearsall 1999, 138, 1038) In her prologue, in which she gives accounts of her five marriages, the Wife gives many examples of how she achieves this mastery over her husbands. She aims constantly to gain points over her spouses and one of the ways in which she does this is by frequently falsely accusing them of misdemeanours, or making... ... middle of paper ... ... ideals.
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.
He addresses the unfair treatment of women in marriages and the lack of power that they have over their own bodies through the Wife of Bath. Chaucer’s resilient and independent female character, Alice indicates that this story strives to empower women. This character stands up for what she
“Northanger Abbey’s narrator uses her familiarity with narrative form as she mocks the grandiose behavior of its female characters who would react to an affront with silence, avoidance, or flirtation as a form of revenge” (Cordon 46). Jane Austen criticizes the traditional societal roles for women as she displays her own skills to avoid such overbearing standards. In Austen’s writing, she uses the term heroine to define types of actions that are in actuality pretentious, conventional and delusive.
The wife of Bath makes it clear that more than anyone it is her that has experience in the field of marriage just from her tone one can see she is a woman with a desire for authority. The Wife's Prologue is the framework that allows room for making distinctions on all the issue women in the Middle Ages face and indeed with her hearty an well define details she is left to be an unforgettable icon of the Canterbury tales . It is suspected that the Wife of Bath feels strongly on the notion... ... middle of paper ... ...t the society was not ready to hand a woman control in a marriage which is why Dorigen’s husband was forced to keep the matter a secret but he is closer to being as modern as the Wife of Bath is than Griselda’s husband the Scholar. It compliments Chaucer’s modernistic way of thinking in terms of women and their roles. Although the Wife of Bath is slightly imperfect as it shows the disconnection between Women, Society and Christianity.
Her women stand at the cross roads of traditions. They seek change but within the cultural norms, seek not to reinterpret them, but merely make them alive with dignity and self-respect. Her women seek anchorage in marriage. They looked at it as an alternative to the bondage imposed by the parental family and opt for it. We see, her women protagonist caught in the conflict between responsibilities to oneself and conformity to the traditional role of a wife.
Even though they go against gender stereotypes, complete equality is one battle avoided by Christine and Emilia. In Shakespeare’s Othello, Emilia defies gender norms when she employs a speculative mindset introduced by the character Christine in The Book of the City of Ladies. Christine realizes a new perspective on women’s oppression after her journey with the Ladies of Reason, Rectitude and Justice. In The Book of the City of Ladies, she becomes more outspoken about female priorities as the text progresses. “In short, all you women, whether high, middle or low social rank, should be especially alert and on your guard against those who seek to attack your honour and your virtue” (de Pizan 239).