Relationships In Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales

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The magnitude of characters in Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales creates some very interesting relationships. An example of one of these relationships would be the connection between Alisoun of Oxenford and Alisoun of Bath and how these characters fit into the natural sex ideology. In some aspects, these women are very similar, but they also have significant differences. The natural ideology of sex is defined by Alfred David as, “being neither too obsessed with physical gratification and domination, nor too fixated on some goal apart from the pleasure of sex itself” (Zumdahl 2). Janet Zumdahl argues that the Wife of Bath’s Tale can be interpreted according to this ideology. Many argue that the Wife of Bath is a feminist, stating that her independence and sexual freedom is due to her belief that men and women should be treated equally. However, the Wife …show more content…
Alisoun craves control over the men in her life instead of trying to make women equal. She goes against the church and society’s patriarchal teachings, but not because she wants a better life of women. The Wife of Bath simply does not care what people think of her, her motives are purely for self-gain. Because she possesses independance and dominating characteristics, she has liberated herself, but not in the feminist sense of the word. By acknowledging and embracing her promiscuity she has freed herself from the misogynistic stigmas surrounding sex. This is what differentiates her from Alisoun of Oxenford, the Wife of Bath accepts who she is and acts on it, whereas Alisoun of Oxenford has a much more passive role when it comes to sexual relationships. While the Wife of Bath may have liberated herself, she didn’t necessarily do it because she believes in anti-misogyny. She is not trying to change the way society operates or make women equal to men, but maybe her intention wasn’t to change these

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