Femininity In The Wife Of Bath's Tale

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During the time of Geoffrey Chaucer and for thousands of years before, the society of the world was very patriarchal. Nearly every aspect of a woman's life was beneath a man's. This was especially evident in marriage. Women were expected to do their duty to their husbands and not wander beyond the boundaries of what was culturally acceptable for them. This view on women influenced many writers. The outworkings of this can be seen in many works great and small. In Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, “The Wife of Bath’s Tale” follows in this tradition by portraying women as inferior to men, unable maintain power and making it necessary for male supremacy.
At the beginning of “The Wife of Bath’s Tale” the relationship between the king and his queen shows
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His answer is that women want to be sovereign over their husbands. The queen is delighted and resonates with this answer. The problem with this answer is it suggests the hierarchy of the sexes should just be flipped upside down. Instead of having equality, a women should rule over the man. The answer suggests that in a marriage a woman should have complete authority over her husband. This answer does not solve anything and subjects a man into the same position that an oppressed women would have been in. However all the women in the court agree with his answer( Show in text).
Towards the end of “The Wife of Bath’s Tale” the old women is given the chance to be the wife that she wants to be. Instead of choosing, she decides to return the power to her husband, after he tells her to do what she wishes. This further instills the idea that women do not handle power well. She explains to the knight that while she is poor and ugly it makes her a more patient person. Ultimately she chooses to be fair and good, thus pleasing her husband. This reinforces the idea that when given power, a women cannot hold onto it. She will do everything she can to please her

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