Gender Roles In The Knight's Tale

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Within The Knight’s Tale by Geoffrey Chaucer, women are idealized as helpless objects of desire who have no voice in society. Merciful to the roles they were given, they had no ways of expressing themselves, and were unable to live their lives to the fullest. Controlled by men, they were expected to act as ladies. They were expected to be silent. They were expected to behave, since men were the ones who held power and tasted the flames of its corruptive tendencies. By exposing the negativities of these gender roles, not only did Chaucer reveal how women were powerless, but he also revealed how ridiculous these gender norms were in the late Fourteenth Century, acting as a rebel who hoped to bring a brighter future that rained equality for all. Within the rising action of The Knight’s Tale by Geoffrey Chaucer, weeping women are mourning the loss of their husbands, disturbing the town with their antics. In this way, women are already perceived to be frail beings who need the strong support of men in order to live their lives. Men hold all of the power in society, and it is no surprise that a widow ran to Theseus, crying: ‘I, wretched woman, who am weeping thus, was…show more content…
As Emily, the love interest of Arcita and Palamon, headed to Diana’s temple to plead to her potential savior, the audience was finally able to see how barbaric men can really be. Even though the cousins have only seen Emily once, they were willing to throw away all of their rationality in order to court and love her. Since Emily was unable to help herself (due to her position in society as a woman), she desired the aid of an almighty goddess: she desired the help of another woman, since she might understand her position. After all, how is a man supposed to help her when it comes to battles of love?

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