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Comparision of the Wife of Bath and the Fairy Queen Essay

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Comparing two women indeed gives you, as an individual, a peek into each woman’s life. At times you may discover that they are very similar, while other times you may discover shocking differences. When comparing the Wife of Bath, an older pilgrim traveling to Canterbury, and the Fairy Queen, a beautiful and supernatural woman, we uncover distinct similarities and differences in their lives. We notice similarities in the way they view a relationship and their manipulative behaviors. Yet we notice differences in their actions, previous relationships and the necessity for their relationships, and their general appearance. Both women desire control in their relationship yet handle their relationship differently than the other. Each woman shows a unique way of handling situations and possess differing qualities.
The Wife of Bath and the Fairy Queen are controlling in their relationships with men. The Wife believes a happy match is one in which the woman has control and sovereignty over the man. In her prologue she tells of her husbands and how she always had control over them, it was a necessity for her to enjoy life. The norm in society was for the wife to submit to her husband, as clearly stated in the Bible; the wife denied this and ran her life apart from the norm. The Wife’s tale clarifies her belief that women should control the man in a marriage. In her tale, a knight is given one year in which to figure out what women want most in a marriage. Toward the end of the year, the knight talks to an old woman who says she will give him the answer if he will grant her one request. The old woman gives the knight his answer “Wommen desire to have sovereinetee as wel over hir housbonde as hir love, and for to been in mais...


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...r drawn, a cloak of deep-dyed purple lawn” (France, 557-570).

It’s amazing that she was a woman so beautiful that she captured the attention of everyone in the town. As we see, the two women differed widely in their appearances. The Fairy was a figure of beauty, everyone received pleasure while gazing at her, whereas the Wife was an older woman who is not nearly as attractive.
The Wife of Bath and the Fairy Queen have similar qualities in that they both desire control in a relationship, and behave manipulatively to get what they want. Yet, the two women are dissimilar in their actions, the reason they desire a relationship, and their general appearance. By comparing these two women, we can conclude that although each individual handles situations in different ways and each acquire different qualities, these make a person unique; uniqueness should be valued.


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