Essay On Women In The Thousand And Wife Of Bath's Tale

1463 Words 6 Pages
In both The Thousands and One Nights and Wife of Bath’s Tale, women become powerful by gaining an authoritarian role by being submissive to their husband, but it is done by sacrificing themselves for others, and giving into men’s desires. Ultimately their submissiveness to their husband is important because it can be used as a leverage for protection and higher social status that may have not been available otherwise. Women’s effects on men are portrayed as positive in both texts due to the characters changing the lives of men in a positive way. Shahrazad and Alysoun are both similarly, for a varied amount of reasons, able to engage with men above their social status, and the working class because of the way they present themselves. The way they present themselves has a positive impact on how men react to them. Ironically, it is the women who is submissive to men in order to get into their circle, but is also the men in the end who becomes submissive to what women ultimately want in these stories.

Both novels, however, examine the role of women and their authority over men in society; eventually, Shahrazad and Alysoun differ from each other, Shahrazad uses her ability of storytelling to save herself and other women from Shahriyar’s deranged murders, whereas Alysoun uses her helplessness in order to achieve supreme authority over her fifth husband.

In The Thousand
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From Alysoun’s perspective we see limitations in the amount of friends she can have and the husband not being pleased with her visiting a friend’s house. “Why, if I have a friend or acquaintance in all innocence, you chide like a fiend if I walk to his house and visit!” (page 193, lines 243-245). Jankyn expects her to stay home and obey him because that’s what was expected of women in the past. Women didn’t have a voice or a say in the matter and Jankyn confirms

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