The Wife Of Bath In Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales

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One might presume the Wife of Bath to strongly favor feminism, but upon closer analysis, one realizes that it really does not favor it at all. On some level, the Wife of Bath presents herself as a strong and independent woman. She has had five husbands and considers herself physically attractive, so she easily manipulates men in order to get what she wants. On the other hand, this manipulation can also viewed as mocking the typical medieval woman. It supports the stereotypical idea that women only want riches from men and in return, only find their value to men through sexuality. Many commentators agree by adding that, “She embodies a number of negative female characteristics including stupidity and arrogance; deceitfulness, and lewdness” (Medieval). As a whole, the Wife of Bath’s Tale does not support feminism but actually…show more content…
Chaucer uses the Wife of Bath to make a mockery out of all women during the Medieval Period. The woman says, “Married in church, husbands she had five, / Not counting other company in youth” (Chaucer Prologue Lines 462-464). This implies that the Wife of Bath practically exudes promiscuity and surely does not represent the ideal woman during this time period. It would have been considered very taboo for a woman to sleep with a man that she had not yet married, so one can infer that she had very loose morals and gave no regard to what was socially acceptable at the time. One also receives the impression that she would use her sexual advantage to obtain what she desired. In regards to her multitude of pilgrimages, Chaucer states in the general prologue that, “Three times had she been at Jerusalem”
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