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The Loyalty of Wives in "The Canterbury Tales".

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Introduction

The Wife of Bath - Dorigen - Pertelote The Loyalty of Wives in "The Canterbury Tales" "The Canterbury Tales" is the epitome of ideals of medieval Europe. The lives of most medieval women were the role of the wife such as the lives of the women in "The Canterbury Tales." These women create a new definition of loyalty and partnership. The three women, The Wife of Bath, Dorigen, and Pertelote, all have different forms of expressing loyalty, but still hold the strong principles of marriage and honor to their husband. The Wife of Bath is one of the three female story tellers. She travels around the world and allows her experiences to freely flow. She has a refined characteristic shown by the way she dresses. The Wife enjoys conversation and uses both commonsense and intellectual truth. She has been married five times and through her experiences with her husbands, has learned how to provide for herself in a world where women had little independence or power. In her prologue her experiences give her the chance to speak on marital troubles: "Experience, though no authority were in this world, were good enough for me, to speak of woe that is in marriage (line 1-4)." ...read more.

Middle

She mourned, watched, wailed, she fasted and complained (Franklin's Tale page 2 of 9)." A squire, Aurelius, confesses his love with Dorigen only to meet her refusal. Dorigen tells the squire that she would consent to his love if he could remove all the rocks from the coast of Brittany to make her husband's voyage back home safe. In search of her love, Aurelius desperately gets a magician to make the rocks disappear. Meanwhile Arveragus returns home safely and they are happily reunited. Aurelius goes to meet Dorigen to demand that she fulfills her end of the bargain. Dorigen, who has been certain that the promise would never be met is horrified, shows her loyalty towards her husband by telling him about the dilemma. Arveragus tells her that she must honor her promise and sends Dorigen to Aurelius. Aurelius is extremely moved by Arveragus's nobility and Dorigen's unconditional love and loyalty to her husband. With reason lady Dorigen refuses to be unfaithful to her husband and he releases her from her obligation. The Nun's Priest's Tale finalizes the distinction between the three wives in "The Canterbury Tales." An old widow along with her two daughters lives in a small cottage near a meadow. ...read more.

Conclusion

The screeching of the hens awakens the widow and her daughters and the pleas for help causes a number of men and women in the town to chase the fox. In order to save himself Chaunticleer coerces the fox into yelling at the crowd. The fox follows the suggestion and when he opens his mouth Chaunticleer brakes free and flies away. This story shows that Chaunticleer is ruled by women and does not like it. Pertelote explains Chaunticleer's dream medically and does not see it as a prediction of the things to come. Pertelote's ridicule of her husband's ideas about the importance of dreams reflects her medieval wifely behavior. The Franklin's Tale provides a compromise between the ideals of Dorigen's patience and compliance and the Wife of Bath's demand of sovereignty. The Nun's Priest tale deals with the relation between the control of a women and the power of a man. All stories show that a wife's celebration of marriage contradicts the view of love and mastery by the husband. The women's honor, which is her chastity and flattery, are acted out differently by these women. A t the same time their actions still show that a wife should be loyal and hold the place of a true partner. Each woman goes about it in a different way. ...read more.

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