Wife Of Bath Research Paper

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The portrayal of women in literature has changed dramatically throughout history. Women can be portrayed as heroines, accomplishing things never before done by females, or demoralized and put into a role that makes them appear to lack the ability to accomplish anything. In the case of the story of the Wife of Bath in The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer, the Wife of Bath falls somewhere in the middle of that spectrum. Geoffrey Chaucer worked for royalty at a very early age, and that is what inspired most of his early writing. As he grew older, he gained more experiences for his writing. These stories began the compilation of what became known as The Canterbury Tales (Williams). The Canterbury Tales is a collection of short stories about…show more content…
The class you were considered to be in decided the manner in which the marriage occurred. For girls from a wealthy family, marriage was an extremely rigorous process. Parents chose their daughter’s husband rarely taking love into account. Wealthy girls often had more suitors than poorer girls simply because the dowries that were offered were much more handsome. Less wealthy girls often had to marry men they met in the field, or servants or apprentices. Dowries between poorer families included the exchange of goods because some families could not afford to pay in currency. After the family selected the husband, all that had to be done was obtain a priest’s blessing and for the couple to say, “I do.” In order to be considered a good wife, a woman needed to be humble and perform tasks for her husband and family. She was expected to take off his shoes, tuck him in at night, and provide medical care. The woman was also expected to maintain herself in a presentable manner. This included maintaining good hygiene and not talking to anyone outside of her family. However, marriage wasn’t always happy ever after that. Many women became widows after their husbands died in battle. Some women inherited enough to not remarry, but some chose to remarry anyway. Another option for widowed women was to enter a convent. Some families would skip marriage completely and place their daughters in these convents to become nuns, either to avoid marriage, their inability to afford marriage, or because the family believed it would please God

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