The Tale Of The Wife Of Baths, By Geoffrey Chaucer Essay

1024 Words Dec 13th, 2015 5 Pages
For many years, women were married off as trophy wives for men to parade around. What those men might not have realized however is that the marriage was advantageous for the women as well. While the women in these marriages were perhaps considered less than human at times, their marriages helped advancement in their social status. Also, if the wife was considerably younger than her husband (like many were), there was always the possibility to be left everything in the event of the husband’s death. In The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer, the women show strong feminine qualities (or a lack of), yet have an ability to think for themselves. In the instances of “The Millers Tale” and “The Wife of Baths Tale”, women use marriage to their advantage, however the seemingly perfect wife has her flaws exposed, while the imperfect wife becomes the embodiment of an ideal woman.
In “The Millers Tale” the wife, Alison, appears as what seems to be physically perfect. “This young wife was lovely; her body was as graceful and slim as a weasels.” (Page 153) Not only that, but she is talented and jovial as well. With her beautiful appearance the miller is supremely jealous and constantly on the watch, however, in his old age, he lacks the brainpower to see the signs of her wantonness and sexuality. The advantage of her marrying a wealthy, old miller is somewhat obvious, in that if he dies more than likely the inheritance goes to her. Chaucer hints that she might have married him for that…

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