Violence In The Wife Of Bath By Chaucer

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In her prologue the Wife of Bath reiterates the topics of sex, marriage and violence, framing them into a story for a primarily male audience in order to encounter three serious social issues of the Middle Ages, which exemplify severe oppression of women of the era. The first one is the sexual negativity associated with women. Wife of Bath advocates for sexual freedom, she is proud of her attractiveness, sexuality. Seeing sex as a positive thing, the woman argues that it is God given “God Bad us to wexe and multiplyee” (28). She as well does not believe the idea of cleanness, purity and beauty being a trait of virginity. In response to those holding chastity up as an ideal will hear that “She will envy no virginity”(55). The Wife of Bath insists that one who enjoys sex, if married, should…show more content…
In the Middle ages a man could do whatever he wanted to with his wife as if she was property. It was not illegal to hit, rape, discriminate or sometimes even kill a woman, especially if she prooved to be unfaithful. But not only married women were treated as if they were toys. Young girls belonged to their fathers, even mothers would eventually obey their sons. In that context it is amazing how Chaucer’s character stands up against this idea. After being hit by her husband, the Wife refused to be submissive, she fought back “I hit him on the cheek” (814). The belief of gender equality is also shown in the tale told by the woman. When the noble knight speaks to Guinevere about what he had learned, his final lines “I am here at your will” (1048) show his submission to the queen. Moreof, lets his wife make the choice of his fate “I put me in your wife governance” (1236). A man will also be rewarded if he decides to provide his wife with a voice. After doing so, the knight got a young, beautiful spouse, who was loyal and faithful, fulfilled all her husbands wishes but maintained her

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