St. Jerome's Against Jovinian

1227 Words5 Pages
In the collection of fourteenth century stories known as The Canterbury Tales, the author, Geoffrey Chaucer, creates a character known to the audience as the Wife of Bath. She is a woman who considers herself to be a central authority for the subject of marriage, as she has been married five times already, starting at the young age of twelve. But before she tells her story, she gives a rather in depth look into her life in which she describes her justification for all of her marriages as well as her experiences being married to each of her husbands. While many believe the arguments of the Wife of Bath to be an early record of feminism with a stark contrast to St. Jerome’s Against Jovinian, it is quite obvious that her argument is a false one in which Chaucer uses to show his agreement with the argument in Against Jovinian. In the start of the prologue, the Wife of Bath begins by validating her five marriages, but with a little comparison it shows that it merely backfires on her argument. She begins with a quotation from the Bible which spoke of a woman who had five husbands,…show more content…
While yes, King Solomon had many wives, however, it is as if the Wife of Bath was unaware that St. Jerome knew very well of this, and even stated “when my adversary mentioned the many-wived Solomon, the builder of the Temple, I replied specifically to his arguments…”. (page 335) St. Jerome also goes on to attack the proverbs of Solomon, noting that his many wives were the cause of King Solomon’s leaving God, writing “Of Solomon he notes that it was his wives and concubines that turned his heart from God”. (page 334) This yet again proves the naivety of the Wife of Bath, and even makes it seem even more plausible that Chaucer created her as a thinly veiled message of how moronic he believes the feminist of his time to

    More about St. Jerome's Against Jovinian

      Open Document