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The Wife of Bath: Is She a REAL Feminist Icon?

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Introduction

The Wife of Bath: Is She a REAL Feminist Icon One of the greatest authors in history is called Geoffrey Chaucer. His fine products stand well positioned in English Literature. Geoffrey Chaucer was born in about 1340 and died on October 25, 1400. He began his successful career in 1357, when he became a page to John of Gaunt. Captured in 1360 in France during the Hundred Years war, Chaucer was promptly ransomed, partly by the king. This demonstrated a measure of his importance to the nation. He wedded in 1366. Chaucer was highly educated and read widely in Latin, French and Italian. His reading influenced both his specialty and his techniques as a writer. His work includes a number of long poetic works, starting with The Book of the Duchess and The Romance of the Rose. Chaucer's most celebrated piece is certainly The Canterbury Tales. Begun by the 1380s, it was never completed, and modern versions of it are creations of scholars, who have attempted to make the least flawed analysis of its numerous completed parts. In that time women were generally placed behind men, as were known and treated as frail and incapable. The main issue, or thesis statement, on this essay is based on Feminism and Status between the relationship of men and women. ...read more.

Middle

Similar to the Wife's struggle with Jankin (her fifth husband), the old Hag marries a younger man, who is rather cruel to her as well. The two only find happiness after the husband gives the wife a little bit of sovereignty. Even the personalities of the Wife of Bath and the old Woman are identical. The old Woman is prone to argumentative and defensive speeches, such as her defense about poverty and low status, while the Wife of Bath defends female sexuality in the prologue. Like the Wife of Bath however, she sometimes becomes weak. For example, when the Hag speaks, "Before the court then I pray thee sir knight" (L. 1054), she loses her intention: to make the knight realize that women crave for power over males. This is because she literally begs him to marry her, which doesn't really make her status rise. Another way, in which the Wife may be similar to the Hag, is that the Hag's oratory skills may be even greater than the Wife of Bath's. Her lecture against the knight defending her supposed faults uses nearly invincible logic. This was especially clear when the Wife of Bath stated, "Then our true nobility comes from grace" (L. 1163). This phrase stood out quite strong, as it is very factual as well as creative. ...read more.

Conclusion

Even though she is a fictional character created by Chaucer, her deep characteristics and brilliant values have almost brought her alive. But however much of a female supporter she is, I would think that as soon as she gets her way, she is happy, and lowers herself back down to being second best. I restate that to some extent, I see that she gets pleasure from being a little dominated. But it is also noticeable to perceive that men, in spite of how cruel they are to women, need females for a various amount of reasons. One of them being to help them higher their status. If women didn't exist, men wouldn't have dominance over anything. This is the way in which they valued women back then. So I'd say that the concepts of misogamy (hatred of marriage) and misogyny (hatred of women) don't really exist much in this story. Yes, they mistreat them, but hating them is out of the question. Reading this story, makes you think one thing: Chaucer knows a large amount about women. It brings up many questions to the mind; How? Did he interview women? Is he very experienced? Does he know a female like the Wife? That is a very puzzling aspect. Therefore once again, to repeat, I believe that the Wife of Bath needs a rethink about how she ends her story, if she's a true feminist symbol. ...read more.

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