Essay Comparing Wife Of Bath And Eve's Apology

Improved Essays
In both Chaucer’s Wife of Bath’s prologue and tale and Lanyer’s Eve’s Apology, there is an importance placed upon religion and the need to refute those religious-based claims that seek and have harnessed the biblical text to harm the image of women. Although Lanyer’s entire poem is hinging on this and Chaucer uses it more sparingly in just one specific section, the importance is not so far between them. Chaucer’s characterization of Alyson is multi-layered and one must remain careful as there are so many twists in her personality if you focus too much on one feature, the whole image can be lost. She is strong-willed almost to a fault, uses her body to control her marital relationship, not afraid of argument against her or of confrontation. …show more content…
There is no radical, over-glorifying of women nor is there particularly negative misogynistic ranting, instead The Wife of Bath and Eve’s Apology in Defense of Women find an interesting middle-ground. Though they are written by different sexes in different times, the voice of femininity within these particular works of Chaucer and Lanyer’s comes from a place of realism. The differences one would expect to see instead come from the characterization of the subjects of the poem and still those are not so far apart. Women are portrayed here as having both faults and positive qualities like all people do. This goes to show we must look much deeper at the complex issue of gender and women as it relates to literature in a historical context. Too many young modern academics expect to see clear-cut, black and white difference when looking back into works such as The Canterbury Tales. The assumption they are shallow and that there was no discussion of gender and gender equality is pure folly. That mindset is far off base and almost insulting to these great authors and to the people of the Medieval and Renaissance

Related Documents

  • Superior Essays

    Slade thinks that this trait makes her tell a typical medieval anti- woman story in a very personalized way. For this reason her story has nothing in common with fairy-tales. Her tone is more prevailing, aggressive and sexually oriented because she is trying to prove her point thinking that it is relevant to the world (242). Throughout the review, Slade touches upon the tale by emphasizing the ambiguity of The Wife of Bath’s character. At the beginning of the tale, she mentions friars and how often they are involved in relationships with women that at some point it has become surrealistic.…

    • 2458 Words
    • 10 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Great Essays

    A new woman herself, she condemns male authors who believe that women are art instead of people. This will also become an apparent theme throughout this poem. She uses many of the defining factors of a new woman to explain how the gender hierarchy is unfair to women. We can see that Rossetti wove in her values as a feminist in order to reveal to the reader that women should be of their own person. Considered to be a fairly simple and obvious poem, “No, Thank You, John” should also be thought of as an advocate of the new woman concept.…

    • 1733 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Great Essays
  • Improved Essays

    During the romantic period, society judged women on their beauty, something that they have no control over. This idea of beauty being pushed on to young girls and this made them feel as if beauty was the only thing that’s important, but the romantic period literature was going to change that. As shown in Northanger Abbey and A Vindication of the Rights of Women beauty is displayed as the single most important thing for women and the following of these set beauty standards, which is wrong and degrading to women, this then affects how women are depicted in literature, changing the work’s tone to be satirical, making fun of this idea, or rebellious, in going away from these beauty standards. Instead of degrading women based on their beauty, women…

    • 1054 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Regardless, the rising notion that women should be held equal to men has always been a prevalent issue, not often touched upon in early literature. While the issue presented itself in the works of Chaucer and Bronte, neither adequately captured the problem concerning the marginalization of women and ironically, fed into it. Both Jane Eyre and the Wife of Bath possesses traits atypical to other women of their respective eras, neither fully break the mould to be considered a feminist. Characters in conflict with themselves, they unintentionally portray the stereotypes associated with their time periods, consciously or unconsciously endorsing the inequality they’re fighting against. The Wife preaches feminist ideals and encourages sovereignty over a woman’s self as does Jane, desiring the independence of equal treatment of women yet neither characters fully adhere from societal norms.…

    • 1538 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Coy Mistress Poem Analysis

    • 1238 Words
    • 5 Pages

    The narrator of Hope’s poem addresses herself as a lady like the other poem by Annie Finch, but instead, Hope has her character go more into depth about the behavior of the gentlemen she is addressing. Hope’s character believes that no woman is won over with just words and comparisons to graves, but that women are won over by…

    • 1238 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    On the other hand, Adams maintains a cool, reasonable tone throughout her letters. She apologizes for her ideas by saying her "pen has run away" with her thoughts. Instead of pushing equality for men and being passionate about the subject, she maintains a distant relationship with the topic at hand; she does not want her writings to seem offensive or intense. She also pleads for rights of women in a muted manner by asking John Adams to "remember the Ladies" (Adams). Instead of demanding that John Adams include the rights of women when drafting new laws, she quietly pleads him to have mercy upon the women by incorporating rights for them inside of his new decrees.…

    • 723 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Moi and hooks point out that the need for easy to understand literature needs to be developed, hooks has even attempted this by writing Feminism is for Everybody. However, the issue that arises is that people simply don’t want to read or talk about feminism outside of academia, even if it’s easy to understand. The demonization of feminism is a huge hurtle to o overcome. With that in mind, putting forward a new idea of feminist theory is the only action that can be taken. Moi states that feminism must be updated for modern culture and ideas, however she doesn’t provide an answer.…

    • 713 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    A Scathing Review Some novels are passed down through history because they offer great entertainment, while others have great historical significance, yet at first glance Mrs. Dalloway seems to have little to no significance at all. In reality Mrs. Dalloway actually is an attempt to scrutinize the social injustices of the time from a real person’s point of view, without compromising true life and thought in any aspect. Through one particularly poignant scene of Clarissa Dalloway’s inner monologue, Woolf is attempting to give society a scathing review regarding its injustice towards woman, as well as the division it creates between people of different backgrounds. Throughout the novel Clarissa is scrutinized for a variety of reasons, by almost…

    • 1354 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Great Essays

    Psyche And Cupid Analysis

    • 1855 Words
    • 8 Pages

    During ancient Rome women were to be good wives. Being a good wife includes loving one’s husband, being loyal and obedient, doing duties, and being chaste, while not desiring freedom or being critical. Apuleius presents female characters in his novel The Golden Ass that both contradict and coincide with the positive and negative models of women found in ancient sources. The story of Psyche and Cupid within the larger novel reinforces the positive traits such as obedience and loyalty. Within the historical sources, several different models of women are presented in both positive and negative lights.…

    • 1855 Words
    • 8 Pages
    Great Essays
  • Great Essays

    Steinbeck and Ibsen chose to have these ending be rather controversial because they wanted the readers and viewers to take their message into deep consideration and think about the idea that maybe not all women are happy in the roles that society has forced upon them. Both The Chrysanthemums and A Doll’s House are written in vastly different ways using different techniques but still end up coming to a common theme. Where Steinbeck uses a subtle method of discussing women 's rights through setting and symbolism, Ibsen uses an upfront method through his characters dialog. Both techniques are effective and both showed the inequality between women and…

    • 1282 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Great Essays