Stereotypes In The Wife Of Bath

Superior Essays
The Wife of Bath
The Wife of Bath written by Geoffrey Chaucer explicates the complex portrait of medieval women. From the story, the wife of bath seems to be shameless about her sexual exploits in the society and makes use of her sexual power to attain whatever she wishes. On the other hand, her actions confirm the negative stereotypes regarding women implying that they are deceitful and manipulative. Although the majority of actions appear to be rebellious against the male-dominated society, as well as, the medieval period for women; whatever she engages in does seem to enlighten the women of her times and brings revolutionary. In the story, this female character stereotype is meant to embody the characteristics of females such as arrogance,
…show more content…
As for her, she narrates to the other pilgrims that she is experienced simply because she had been married five times to different husbands. By acknowledging this statement, she was advocating that women had the right to marry the number of partners they wished for. The Middle Ages had the belief from the Bible that women should not be married to more than one husband and that they were never allowed to have sexual relations outside their marriage (Mead). Rather than the wife of bath speaking about her sexual relationships with numerous individuals, she mentions her marriages to a variety of men that probably had the same meaning. Even though such a reason looked blatant, it was bold enough for her during her times. The wife of bath was simply speaking to the males of her time who thought that only men could marry more than one wife, and women were entitled to just a single husband. She was right to advocate for the rights of women during her time because when women were found to have more than one partner, they would be flogged or killed. Subsequently, Chaucer and other critics believe that the use of euphuisms by women in their language promotes negative stereotypes towards them. They view the style of speech that the wife of bath speaks not to be skillful or positive because women fear straight talking and therefore opts for euphemism. The …show more content…
Chaucer had pointed out some of the personality characters of the wife of bath to imply that she was wrong and needed to be criticized. Nonetheless, the empowerment of female sexuality is entirely portrayed through the wife of bath when she insists that certain negativity should not be associated with women, there should be marriage hierarchal system that considers both genders equal and the need for men to be submissive to their wives for them to avoid sexually and physically abusing women. In brief, the wife of bath presents some of the dysfunctional social issues that were never addressed and seemed to be a hindrance to women’s life. Through expressing the need for women to have the right to sexuality, independence, and safety, she can be viewed as a significant feminist during the medieval

Related Documents

  • Improved Essays

    The Wife of Bath is a counter to the antifeminist tradition. In the sense of countering something, she goes against what antifeminists would predict. Antifeminists would view women as powerless, submissive, and inferior. However, The Wife acts quite the opposite. The Wife “prompts misogynist notions: is masculinity any less and femininity any more a characteristic of females than of males?” (Oberembt 290).…

    • 1143 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • 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
  • Improved Essays

    She has no desire to treat men as equals, which is what men respect, her male mentality. Believing that her certain sex is superior is a quality that men share and understand and in turn respect. Beyoncé begins her song by saying “Make your check come at they neck, disrespect us no they wont.” Here she is taking a shot at the media’s viewpoint of women. As also stated in the media clips “Killing Us Softly” and “Women’s representation in Media” the media often degrades women who use their bodies to be successful, yet claiming in a negative way that is the only way they may gain power. As seen in the case of Caster Semanya, once male build is taken from men and given to women, the women is not given power but rather is ridiculed for not being feminine enough.…

    • 1225 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Superior Essays

    Dr. Gregory also advises women to stop expanding their knowledge if they intend to get married because men find educated women to be unattractive and abrasive. Wollstonecraft blatantly opposes this piece of advice and continues to support her belief that an educated woman makes a better wife and mother. According to Dr. Gregory’s advice a marriage is a system of slavery and as women slaves are incapable of attaining their virtue. For reason to rule the household, arbitrary power must be eliminated – both men and women are fully capable of reason as their souls are the same. Women’s tyrannical behavior is simply a response to the oppression of their husbands and these behaviors can be completely avoided if women are not seen as the “submissive charms” and given the same educational opportunities as their male…

    • 1559 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Great Essays

    Let us admit in the privacy of our own society that these things sometimes happen. Sometimes women do like women,” (Woolf, 82). Woolf makes one of the riskiest criticisms here by stating that all women are to blame. Authors, directors, and artists are also to blame. Woolf believes that women uphold the stereotype that women cannot be friends with each other because they would be too jealous in terms of physical appearances and relationships with men.…

    • 1314 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Great Essays
  • Great Essays

    To be a woman is to be simultaneously hypersexualized and shamed for the sexualization. It is to be called a “prude” if it is rejected while also being called a “whore” if it used as a source of empowerment. There is no middle ground because this sexualization does not stem from women, but from men. Patriarchal power has continually forced upon women what they believe a woman should be, which often is the opposite of man. Femininity is considered to be bipolar of the masculine, so they assume that to be a woman is to lack male desires and characteristics.…

    • 1453 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Great Essays
  • Improved Essays

    The way Shakespeare is portraying Bianca is also sympathetic, when Cassio treats her in a very unpleasant way, it's clear that Shakespeare's making a point about how women get used throughout the play. It is the perfect example of how status defines the way people treated each other in Elizabethan society. Regarding the fact that Bianca was also a woman as well as courtesan, did not make her journey any less difficult. Her expression of sexuality was seen as a threat to the men. All men assumed that Venetian women were inherently promiscuous and were not meant to be trusted, so women were also ordered not to act that way to avoid any shame upon the family.…

    • 834 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Superior Essays

    Having multiple husband and lovers while having control over them only showed what she as a woman can do, be the dominant one. Through her tale she was able to portray men as weak and unworthy to have such power in life or in a relationship, that there would always be consequences for them. “The Wife of Bath presents herself as the authority on marriage and marital life. She comments on the social and legal position of women in marriage and daily life” (Librarius). One can say that the wife could be possibly known as one of first feminist characters in early…

    • 1459 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Superior Essays

    The Country Wife Analysis

    • 1484 Words
    • 6 Pages

    This reaction to male dominance becomes further complicated when analyzing Fidget’s use of the word “our” in the phrase “our damned tyrants.” This suggests that even while being under personal sexual control, women still claim a form of possession. With Pinchwife and Margery being a prevailing example of a typical marriage, it is evident that Fidget speaks from the same perspective as Margery. She and her peers discuss the possession of husbands in social contexts, but in a very masked sense. In other words, wives cannot control their husbands just like husbands cannot control their wives, despite possessive language; it is a false possession. Thus, cuckoldry becomes a logical factor in a loveless, materialistic marriage.…

    • 1484 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Improved Essays

    We realize that we do not need to reproduce to keep our system flowing, as we are actually overpopulated. We also understand that it is possible to override these subconscious goals and have casual sex, but unfortunately, our society has created a double standard. As a society, we have taken these generalizations and pushed them into gender roles that are assigned to our children from birth. We have decided that women having casual sex is against their nature, and should be frowned upon, and that men should be praised for each girl they “get”. Women are deemed whores for having sex and men are labeled legends.…

    • 1083 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Improved Essays