A Pardoner Who Needs A Bath Essay

1573 Words 7 Pages
The dominance of men in the Middle Ages is unethical, irrational, and dangerous; women are given few rights and the opportunity to earn rights is non-existent. The dictates to the dominance is formed by the internal combination of man’s personal desire and religious interference. In Geoffrey Chaucer’s, The Canterbury Tales, the combined perspectives’ on a haughty Pardoner and non-subservient wife is the stronghold of separation in moral roles. The moral roles between men and women are exemplified in the rankings of religious hierarchy for men are at the top and women towards the bottom. Even prestigious women, ones with noble connections, are subservient to men, but contradictorily have religious affiliations. The “Wife of Bath’s Tale” is …show more content…
I’m not fastidious” (Chaucer 1711). The separation from society’s strongest morals becomes apparent after the Wife defends who she has become: an organized temptress.
As an organized temptress, The Wife of Bath is an aged woman, and thoroughly knows the experiences that occur over time from mostly every aspect and scenarios of love in literature. Chaucer compares the wife using examples such as Samson and his mistress’ betrayal, Clytemnestra and her assassination of Agamemnon, and also Eve’s downfall of mankind. Together the examples represent the difference between the woman represented in the prologue and the tale. A theme found in both the tale and the prologue connecting the two images of the Wife of Bath is the “Wife’s search for sovereignty in marriage” leading to the cross-examination of the Wife’s previous marital fails (Ireland). Colin A. Ireland argues “the Wife's own personal preoccupations, its courtly setting and sermon-like style are a bit incongruous for her less-than-idealistic approach to life,” meaning the wife is defying the religious hierarchy and reasoning by not following the standards rules of courtly love (Ireland). Instead, the wife will justify her actions by providing false hope in denying the scriptures of the Bible, causing a greater separation from society’s morals. The Wife never intends to ruin lives, but by not following the rules of her frail religious society and in

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