Essay on Male Fear in Historic Literature

Essay on Male Fear in Historic Literature

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In reading many of the works of the authors of our past such as William Shakespeare, Geoffrey Chaucer, and Kalidasa we tend to see a reoccurring theme in many of the works of times past. This theme that I speak of is the male fear or opinion that a woman has to be a pure and sacred to be considered of any worth or value. This opinion is not specific to any certain time period in time or held by author by a certain region. In fact this particular theme can be seen from European stories to tales from the far east in places such as India as seen in the tales of Sakuntala and the Ring of Recollection and Ramayana. There is no question that these are all talented and entertaining stories that are enjoyed by many even in our modern times. Unfortunately what also can be seen is the blatant use of women as the protagonist in many of the stories of past times. I look to show examples of how women are portrayed in a less than positive light primarily using, but not exclusively the work of English author Geoffrey Chaucer.
The English author Geoffrey Chaucer (1343-1400) has been widely considered the father of early English literature. His works range from a variety of different stories ranging from The Book of the Duchess, The House of Fame and his most famous work the Canterbury Tales which contains the tale of my argument The Wife of Bath. Unlike the story of Sakuntala and the Ring of Recollection and Ramayana, the tale of The Wife of Bath is not centered around the plight or adventure of a male. In this story the author chooses a female to be the center of his story, going against the works of previous authors. In The Wife of Bath the main character is not of a conquering hero, a man fighting for his people, or even a man trying ...

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...t women. Immediately shock went out throughout the nation as how a married man could do such a thing to his spouse. As soon as most if not all details were exposed people were asking if the wife would be the bigger person and stand by her husband. If the situation was reversed how many of the media would really expect a man to stay with a wife that was intimate with twelve men. The media and writers would have a field day about what a fool he would be for staying with a woman that committed such a brazen act. I think a change in the way we naturally judge women in works of literature must change. To many negative stories are being put out making women to be the reason for the demise of certain men. To do this an overall change in the attitude of our society must change in order to achieve more equality in our works of literature and to analyze our works of the past.

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