Desire of the Fourteenth Century Women Essay

Desire of the Fourteenth Century Women Essay

Length: 862 words (2.5 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Better Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Desire of the Fourteenth Century Women

Is not what we desire, the most hard to get? It has always been this way. Unfortunately, women’s rights and abilities have been underestimated over the centuries. In the fourteenth century, the status and condition of a European woman depended on her husband’s position. Women had to endure arranged marriages, abuse and male dominance. During that time, Geoffrey Chaucer wrote The Canterbury Tales and taught us about one extraordinary woman whose name is Dame Alisoun. Alisoun is called The Wife of Bath, and she defines what women desired most in fourteenth-century England. She believes that women wish for power over their husbands, and I personally agree with her opinion.

The Wife of Bath, a cloth maker, gets rich after her husbands die and leave her their fortunes. Even though medieval women were still far from being powerful, and had to obey their husbands, Alisoun states that she has power over her men’s bodies and property all her life: “ I have the power during al my life, Upon his proper body, and nat he”(line 164). Alisoun is an exception to the rule because she marries five times and is widowed five times. It is important to mention that there was no divorce for women in the fourteenth century: “She was a worthy woman al hr live. Husbondes at chirche dore she hadde five, Withouten other compaignye in youthe” (line 461). The three first husbands are old, rich and loyal to her. The fourth husband has a mistress: “My ferthe housbonde was a revelour. This is to sayn, he hadde a paramour” (line 459). The Wife of Bath learns that it is very important for a woman to satisfy her man, and she knows how to act to make him obedient and less powerful...

... middle of paper ...

...nder difference will still have an impact on women’s lives six hundred years from now. What do you think?


Abrams M. H, et al. The Norton Anthology of English Literature. 7th ed. New York: W. Norton & Company, 2000.

Fell, Christine. Women in Anglo-Saxon England and the Impact of 1066. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1984.

Catholic Encyclopedia. Online. October 24, 2000. Harvard University. Online. October 24, 2000. http://www.icg.fas.Harvard Luminarium Organization. Online. October 22, 2000.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Women's Desire to Be Happy in The Canterbury Tale by Chaucer Essay

- The question still remains even today that what do women most desire to be happy. The Canterbury tale, by Chaucer the Wife of bath talks about women and their happiness. The wife of bath’s prologue describes the audience about her experience with men and marriage from her past. As Chaucer starts to describe Allison, the wife of bath the very first word from her prologue is Experience. It is clear to the audience is that her prologue and her tale will definitely be focused with her experience in her life....   [tags: wife, wealth, sex]

Better Essays
676 words (1.9 pages)

Essay on What Women Want: Then and Now

- What Women Want: Then and Now 1. According to “The Wife of Bath’s Tale” and the story of Dame Ragnell, what is it that women most desire. Do you agree or disagree. Explain. According to these two tales, women desire sovereignty over their husbands, to be treated as masters over their love. Women wish to be given the ultimate say over whichever decisions might be brought into their household. They wish for their men to behave without arrogance and supremacy, to step to their every move in unison....   [tags: The Wife of Bath’s Tale Essays]

Free Essays
962 words (2.7 pages)

Essay on A Streetcar Named Desire: The Repression of Women in the 20th Century

- A Streetcar Named Desire: The Repression of Women in the 20th Century. Feminist critics, are people who agree to the idea that gender differences are culturally determined, and not born with it, interpret literature as a record of male dominance; particularly the repression by men. The play A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams shows the attitudes of men who impose their will on women and try to convince them of their inferiority. the way they interact with women, discuss them, look at them, talk to them, use and abuse them....   [tags: gender, stereotypes, abuse]

Better Essays
1222 words (3.5 pages)

Essay on Fourteenth Century Art

- One can learn a great deal about fourteenth century art by observing and analyzing the subjects ,the central and main focus of the art works at this period.The main subject religion ,in particular Christianity was flourishing in Europe at this time . Christianity was the central and dominate power politically and religiously.Political leaders ruled under a theocratic government.Every aspect of life revolved around religion;Education domestic,and social.Any work of art paintings or architectural,communicates these historical significance in fourteenth century Europe.Before man learned to write they learned how To draw and make art so it's only natural they recorded their history th...   [tags: Christ, altarpiece, Europe]

Better Essays
678 words (1.9 pages)

The Decline in Catholic Authority in the Fourteenth Century Essay

- For centuries historians have argued about what might have caused the decline in the fourteenth century Roman Catholic Church, and whether it was related to the Great Western Schism, or the Black Death and famine. While each of these events were devastating to Europe at the time, the majority of decline in authority and power of the church and pope lie within the anomaly of the Great Western Schism. According to much research a divide in power of the Catholic Church led to two strongly opposing popes claiming legitimacy....   [tags: Great Western Schism]

Free Essays
987 words (2.8 pages)

Essay on American Women in the Nineteenth Century

- Contrary to popular belief, ideas on femininity in the eighteenth century were not so much restrictive as in the nineteenth, at least not where sex was concerned. Catherine Clinton, a professor of American history, elaborates in her book, The Other Civil War: American Women in the Nineteenth Century, that it was even accepted for women to have a high sex drive. Clinton also reveals that it was not uncommon to see a pregnant bride (147). At the turn of the century, however, those free ideals morphed into strict guidelines....   [tags: women's role, sex drive, femininity]

Better Essays
1184 words (3.4 pages)

Essay on Women Authors of the 19th Century

- Women Authors of the 19th Century Some of the most influential women authors of all time lived in the 19th century. These women expressed their inner most thoughts and ideas through their writings. They helped to change society, perhaps without knowing it, through poetry, novels, and articles. Emily Dickinson, Harriet Jacobs, Kate Chopin, Louisa May Alcott, and Elizabeth Oakes Smith are the best-known controversial and expressive women authors of their time. On December 10, 1830 a poet was born....   [tags: Women 19th Century Authors Writers Essays]

Better Essays
3165 words (9 pages)

A Fourteenth Century Castle Essay

- CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION Towering high above the landscape, European castles still look commanding. Imagine how powerful a castle looked 600 years ago when it was brand new. A castle was built to impress. It was the home of a powerful warlord. From its safety he ruled the surrounding land. Castles building began in the 10th Century. The first castles that were built replaced wooden forts. Castles evolved and became stronger as methods of warfare changed. In the next few paragraphs I will be talking about how warriors surrounded and attacked a castle, how the people in the castle prepared for war, how they defended themselves, and how they lived in peace....   [tags: Free Essay Writer]

Free Essays
2549 words (7.3 pages)

Essay on Women in the 19th Century

- During the 1800s, society believed there to be a defined difference in character among men and women. Women were viewed simply as passive wives and mothers, while men were viewed as individuals with many different roles and opportunities. For women, education was not expected past a certain point, and those who pushed the limits were looked down on for their ambition. Marriage was an absolute necessity, and a career that surpassed any duties as housewife was practically unheard of. Jane Austen, a female author of the time, lived and wrote within this particular period....   [tags: Gender Female Women Woman]

Better Essays
747 words (2.1 pages)

The Fourteenth Amendment Essay

- On a date that will be remembered forever as a step forward for our nation, July 28, 1868, the Fourteenth Amendment became part of the U.S. Constitution. The Fourteenth Amendment gave a new sense of hope and inspiration to a once oppressed people. It was conceived to be the foundation for restoring America to its great status and prosperity. The Amendment allowed “equal protection under the law”, no matter what race, religion, sex, sexual preference or social status. It was designed to protect the newly freed slaves....   [tags: Racism Equality Constitution Essays]

Better Essays
762 words (2.2 pages)