Monday, March 16, 2020

Free Essays on The Canterbury Tales

The Wife of Bath’s Reflexive Contradiction for Sexual Equality in the Canterbury Tales The Wife of Bath has been described and depicted as an independent proto-feminist who long ago led the charge for sexual equality. Chaucer’s visionary protagonist was a refreshing and modern look at women’s rights in the fifteenth century. She spends much of her prologue breaking down stereotypical barriers that have confined women of her time to passive and subservient roles in her society. As a result, her prologue, if standing alone, can be noted as one of the great calls for female independence in historical literature. But upon viewing her works as a whole, her section of the General Prologue, her prologue and her tale, it is well noted that she strikingly contradicts her own call for equality with her story of the knight and the hag. She builds her case so strongly and defiantly in her prologue, yet subsequently demolishes her argument in her following tale. By allowing the hag to compromise her position, rewarding the knight for his chauvinist deeds and co untering her own stance with several questionable details, the Wife of Bath contradicts her position for sexual equality and retards the momentum she had built in her preceding works. After the hag has put the knight in a position where she could take advantage and follow the Wife of Bath’s principles, she not only passes up on the chance to treach the knight a lesson, but actually entreats his disturbing persona. To procure their first encounter the hag (and this can be rightly assumed by her mysterious and later magical nature) attracts the knight the only way he could be lured. She supernaturally displays twenty-four dancing women to which, â€Å"he drew ful yerne. (999)† This quick advancement upon the women by the knight can be derived as the hag controlling him by taking advantage of his carnal desires, already displayed by his Neanderthalic raping of the maiden in th... Free Essays on The Canterbury Tales Free Essays on The Canterbury Tales The Wife of Bath’s Reflexive Contradiction for Sexual Equality in the Canterbury Tales The Wife of Bath has been described and depicted as an independent proto-feminist who long ago led the charge for sexual equality. Chaucer’s visionary protagonist was a refreshing and modern look at women’s rights in the fifteenth century. She spends much of her prologue breaking down stereotypical barriers that have confined women of her time to passive and subservient roles in her society. As a result, her prologue, if standing alone, can be noted as one of the great calls for female independence in historical literature. But upon viewing her works as a whole, her section of the General Prologue, her prologue and her tale, it is well noted that she strikingly contradicts her own call for equality with her story of the knight and the hag. She builds her case so strongly and defiantly in her prologue, yet subsequently demolishes her argument in her following tale. By allowing the hag to compromise her position, rewarding the knight for his chauvinist deeds and co untering her own stance with several questionable details, the Wife of Bath contradicts her position for sexual equality and retards the momentum she had built in her preceding works. After the hag has put the knight in a position where she could take advantage and follow the Wife of Bath’s principles, she not only passes up on the chance to treach the knight a lesson, but actually entreats his disturbing persona. To procure their first encounter the hag (and this can be rightly assumed by her mysterious and later magical nature) attracts the knight the only way he could be lured. She supernaturally displays twenty-four dancing women to which, â€Å"he drew ful yerne. (999)† This quick advancement upon the women by the knight can be derived as the hag controlling him by taking advantage of his carnal desires, already displayed by his Neanderthalic raping of the maiden in th... Free Essays on The Canterbury Tales In Geoffrey Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales, participants of a pilgrimage to Canterbury tell tales to entertain each other, revealing many aspects of medieval society. Through the double narration it can be seen that the narrator of the Prologue is Chaucer but this pilgrim Chaucer is not the author Chaucer. The pilgrim never describes his own career or social standing, but upon examination, he proves to be a corrupt individual of the upper class. The tales are not simply a story or a poem, it is an individual speaking about his observations- an oral performance. In the tales that follow, Chaucher (the pilgrim) will impersonate the others, â€Å"The wordes mote be cosin to the dede- (Line 742)† so his words must match the action he sees. It becomes a double narration, where Chaucer creates this pilgrim who tells the story of a great pilgrimage to Canterbury. There is no longer a creator of the poem, simply a speaker, a character who has his own characteristics and repeats what he sees. Despite its subtly, these traits expose the pilgrim Chaucer. Each of the stories in The Canterbury Tales are to be told with the utmost accuracy, suggesting Chaucer’s literacy. â€Å"Whoso shal telle a tale after a man, He moot reherce as ny as evere he can Everish a word, if it be in his charge, Al speke he never so rudeliche and large; Or elles he moot telle his tale untrewe, Or feyne thing, or finde wordes newe.† (Lines 731-736) Chaucer tells us that to repeat another man’s tale, one must rehearse it as it is told, every single word, no matter how roughly or broadly he speaks because otherwise the tale will be untrue, filled with invented words. With 30 pilgrims telling two tales each on their passage to Canterbury and two tales each on the return home, that totals to over a hundred tales. To recite these tales exactly as they were told is a near impossible promise- to fulfill it he must be writing notes of some sort, proving him to... Free Essays on The Canterbury Tales When four knights murdered Thomas a Becket under King Henry’s orders in the cathedral, many people began to believe that the clergymen were crooked. Chaucer, author of The Canterbury Tales, represents these sentiments that the medieval church is a corrupt institution that produces corrupt and untraditional individuals. Chaucer puts these feelings on display in the prologue as he mocks and satirizes the clergy members, which include the Nun, the Monk, and the Friar. The first character that Chaucer satirizes is the Nun. The Nun is described as a tender-hearted, pleasant woman, who is well-mannered. At the dinner table, she refuses to let a morsel fall off her lip and often weeps if she sees a mouse caught in a trap. On top of ridiculing these extreme actions, Chaucer states that the Nun wears â€Å"a set of beads, the gaudies tricked in green,† thus showing her fashionable ways. However, the Nun proves to be the anti-thesis of what a nun should be since being both fashionable and a nun is incongruous. The Monk, on the other hand, is described as a â€Å"manly man† as well as a â€Å"fat and personable priest.† The Monk enjoys the sports of hunting and riding horses, thus showing his masculine and fancy side. However, a typical monk in the middle ages dedicated his time to copying manuscripts in the monastery and rarely spent time doing outdoor activities. Unlike a traditional monk, this one is robust and ignores the vows that he has taken. The Friar also defies the traditional clergymen expectations as he proves to be resolutely immoral. At first, the Friar is described as â€Å"a wanton one and merry,† who is â€Å"glib with gallant phrase and well-turned speech.† However, the Friar, who is supposed to hear confessions, sells pardons for sin for a price, seduces women who ask for forgiveness and spends more time in the bar than helping the poor. Instead of being holy and trustworthy, he is portrayed by Chaucer as a greedy and flirtat...

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