The Wife Of Bath And Sir Gawain And The Green Knight Essays

1277 Words Mar 8th, 2015 6 Pages
The representation of women in “The Wife of Bath’s Prologue,” “The Miller’s Tale,” and Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, shows cultural anxieties, women’s sexuality, and inferior place in society. Each of these women defies society’s expectations of them. They all have sexual desires and have no shame in expressing that, whether it is with their husband or another man. The Wife of Bath is perhaps the most rebellious female character of the three.
Medieval society was very different compared to today. Society’s structure relied heavily on religious doctrine that determined gender roles. According to the Bible, the female body was created from a man’s body. Thus, this was interpreted as women being inferior to men because they were created second and from man. Moreover, a woman is also responsible for the first sin in the world; Eve offered the forbidden fruit to Adam in the Bible. Women were supposed to be silent, obedient and submissive.
“The Wife of Bath,” from Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales, defies the medieval role of a woman. She is not anything that the Medieval Church defines as an obedient, good woman. In fact, she is considered a wicked woman in the eyes of the church. Her actions and opinions would be that of a modern-day feminist. While women were supposed to be submissive to men, she forced her five husbands into being submissive to her. Moreover, the fact that she was married more than once, much less five times, would have been frowned upon in that time period.…

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