Canterbury Tales Wife Of Bath 3

Essay, Research Paper

Canterbury Tales: Wife of Bath

Chaucer portrays the Wife of Bath as if she is a hypocrite,

although, beneath the words, there is a great deal of wisdom involved.

The approach that I take, is the view that this tale is advice for

women to take. This tale teaches women that there are times one should

be a feminist and times you should not. If a women would be a feminist

all her life, she probably wouldn’t get anywhere in her life or with

any man. If a woman were not to have a feministic character anytime of

her life, she would be overwhelmed by most men, of work or whatever

the case may be.

Early in The Wife of Bath, there is a quotation said by the wife

of bath supporting the idea that she is feministic. “I don’t deny

that I will have my husband both my debtor and my slave; and as long

as I am his wife he shall suffer in the flesh. I will have command

over his body during all his life, not he.” In other words, she is

saying that she will have total control over herself, her husband, and

their household and very specifically, “…not he”. This can be

interpretated that her husband will not have the same privileges as

her in the sense that he is like a ’slave’ and she will ‘command’ over

him.. This quotation seems as if the Wife of Bath is leaning toward

the feministic opinion.

“Nevertheless, since I know your pleasure I’ll satisfy your

physical pleasure.” This was said by the Wife of Bath and supports

the non-feministic view. The reason this is considered non-feministic

is because the woman is giving in to the man’s desire which goes

against feministic beliefs. The Wife of Bath has a choice of not

giving in to the man, but she decides to let the man have pleasure for

his desire not hers, because she has experienced sex before and she

knows how much men enjoy it. This quotation obviously goes against

feministic beliefs, leaving an unanswered contradiction about the Wife

of Bath.

My view on The Wife of Bath is negative. I feel that this tale is

very vulgar and contains too much involvement of sex. Besides the fact

of the tales vulgarness the Wife of Bath was a well told story and the

message was well received. This story might seem hypocritical at

first, but between the lines there is some helpful advice for many

women in the world today.


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