The Wife of Bath as a Feminist Essay

The Wife of Bath as a Feminist Essay

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The Wife of Bath’s Tale features a character that seemed to resemble a feminist. But in Chaucer’s time, feminism was thought to be abnormal and the pilgrims
reacted negatively towards her for it, but The Wife of Bath had no shame about displaying herself as she really was. She was not ashamed of the fact that she had been married five times, and was about to marry again and she hid nothing.
The prologue of this tale showed that the Wife of Bath was not seen as an upstanding woman, nor did she desire to be seen as one. She portrayed feminism, almost as soon as she began speaking in the prologue, she explained that she had gone through five husbands, and she was on the look out for a sixth. She also admitted that she married for money: "I’ll tell the truth. Those husbands I had, three of them were good and two of them bad. The three I call “good” were rich and old. They could indeed with difficulty hold the articles that bound them all to me” (Bath 263). She even went to the point of saying that she didn’t value her husbands’ love. Then again, why should she? She received what she wanted which was money, control, and anything that she desired, they provided. The Wife of Bath thought that all women needed to be the controlling factors in marriage. That is how she believed she would gain her husbands’ money. She claimed that if women can’t marry for money, they must marry for sex, for those are the only two things that really matter. Women must have control of their husbands, according to the Wife, and she is proud of the fact that she governed her husbands. If she had to put them in their place, she would make her husbands feel guilty, even if they had nothing to feel guilty about. The Wife exaggerated with her accusations, showin...


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...raitor, you say she’s game for any fornicator.” (Bath 265).
The wife wanted what every woman wants in a relationship which was POWER. The Wife of Bath came across as a very fake woman. So how would she be portrayed in today’s society? There are plenty of women out there who marry for money. Some of them like to publicize it, while others do not. There is only one thing that would make The Wife of Bath not as successful today, which is the law. Most men who do come from money, or have earned their own wealth, watch it closely. There are protectors out there, and contracts such as a pre-nuptial agreement. But The Wife played it well as she would wait until the husband would die. In that case, she would gain his wealth. But in my opinion, I have a hard time thinking that a man would stick around with an ugly old woman that liked to beat him and never honor his love.

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