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Dominant Women in the Wife of Bath's tale.

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Introduction

Dominant Women in the Wife of Bath's tale We can further look into Chaucer's view on women in the Wife of Bath's tale, the only tale that has its narrator as omnipresent when recounting the tale, with the views and opinions of the Wife of Bath clearly present. It explores strong feminine issues, posing the question "what do women most desire?" and offering the conclusion that wives deserve kind and devoted husbands who will allow the wife dominance in a marriage. Whilst the Wife of Bath's tale and The Knight's tale share similarities, the main difference is the role of the women. ...read more.

Middle

However she has no regrets about her ways and insists that 'God bad us for to wexe and multiplye', citing examples of great Old Testament figures, like Abraham, Jacob, and Solomon, as having numerous wives at one time. She makes a valid point that not everyone can follow the church's instructions to remain a virgin or else the human race would not procreate, And certes, if ther were no seed ysowe, Virginitee, thanne wherof sholde it growe? She makes no excuses for her untraditional ways and believes that women should use their 'gifts' as best as they can, hers being her sexual prowess. ...read more.

Conclusion

He seems to void her opinion because of her social class and looks, when her methods are actually shrewd and astute. Yet her intelligence is overshadowed by the fact that she has had five husbands and considered something of a whore, emphasised when she speaks of her reasons for coming on the pilgrimage, simply to find another suitor; 'Welcome the sixth whenever come he shall.' Yet whatever Chaucer may feel about these women, he certainly acknowledges their potential authority, (the queen intervenes to stop Palamon and Arcite getting killed, and the queen in the Wife of Bath tale also intervenes to prevent certain death for the knight convicted of rape) depicting examples of female dominance and superiority in both tales. ...read more.

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