The Evil Rooted In Women Essay Research — страница 2

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Ages. Her actions and thinking not only differ from the Prioress but almost from everyone else!!! The Wife of Bath is radical especially when it comes to relationship with men. She is characterized as knowing much about love which is illustrated by her physical defect-being gap-toothed symbolizing “sexual accomplishment”. The Wife of Bath cannot resist telling her companions about all of her sexual experiences. She also had five husbands and countless affairs, thus breaking innocent men’s hearts. Her husbands fell into two categories. The first category of husbands was rich but also old and unable to fulfill her “sexual” demands. The other husbands were sexually vigorous, but harder to control. None of her five marriage was successful because the Wife of Bath was

constantly seeking to have power and control over them. For instance, her fifth but not the last (it was said that she on her way of marrying the sixth before she told her tale) marriage was unhappy because her husband who is half of her age beats her. To anger him, she tore three pages from his book. After this he beats her again. She pretended to be dead and he felt so guilty that he threw his whole book in the fire. This gave her the upper hand for the rest of his life. What a contrast between the Wife of Bath and the Prioress. First, the violent and deceitful act of tearing books then malingering will never be done by the Prioress. Remember, the Prioress is pious, well-mannered, educated, “powerful” and above all, is LOVING. Second, this issue of marriage and “sexual

demand” will never have its roots in the Prioress’s life. She has taken the vow of chastity. The Prioress is pure in heart and thinks of men and women alike. She does not think sexually about anyone. (I guessed even if she did, it was only a thought, no actions ever accompanied her thoughts.) It’s interesting how the Wife of Bath was always striving to have sovereignty and the Prioress was granted sovereignty even though she didn’t seek for it intentionally. The Wife of Bath and the Prioress alike have power over men. It is rare that women are given such high stature during the Medieval period. (medjugorje, 17) The Prioress as her name suggests “a superioress in a monastic community for women” is so important that three priests were in her company; she essentially was

their boss. (Catholic, 9) The hag whom the Wife of Bath identifies with, initially was granted sovereignty and power over man. This is proven when the hag offers her husband the choice: he can have her old and ugly and faithful or young, beautiful, and possible unchaste. He tells her to choose; he grants her the sovereignty. As mentioned above, the Wife of Bath desires what most women want and that is power over men. Chaucer portrays the Wife of Bath as a feminist. Early in the tale, there is a quotation said by the Wife of Bath supporting the idea that she is feministic. “I don’t deny that I will have my husbands both my debtor and my slave, and as long as I am his wife he shall suffer in the flesh. I will have command over his body during all his life, not he.” In other

words, she is saying that she will have total control over herself, her husband, and their household and very specifically, not just the husband. However, there are also situations where she seems to submit to her husband. “Nevertheless, since I know your pleasure I will satisfy your physical pleasure.” This was said by the Wife of Bath and supports the non-feministic view. It is considered non-feministic because the woman is giving in to the man’s desire which goes against feministic beliefs. The Wife of Bath has a choice of not giving in to the man, but she decides to let the man have pleasure for his desire not hers, because from her past experience she knew how much men enjoy it when women are submissive. This quotation obviously goes against feministic beliefs, leaving

an unanswered contradiction about the Wife of Bath. The character of the Prioress in the same light, certainly keeps one guessing. Is her tale the product of the simple mind, or of one poisoned by anti-Semitism?(theater, 11) The Prioress supposedly is pious, well-mannered, educated, powerful, and all loving. Ironically, her prologue and tale contain strong elements of anti-Semitism. This is shown through her use of the Jew as the villain of her tale. However, there is no historical evidence of ritual murder of Christian children by Jews, but that would not have mattered to the pilgrims.(fordham, 3) Anti-Semitism, directed at a people thought to have both rejected and murdered Christ, was distressingly deep-seated. (icg, 2) This bigotry unfortunately was rampant at the time, and