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Geoffrey Chaucer’s The Wife of Bath’s Tale Essay

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“The Wife of Bath’s Tale” in The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer is a story about a widow who took a pilgrimage to the town of Canterbury with an array of dynamic characters whose diverse backgrounds allowed them to share their stories with one another to make the long journey more interesting. The widow named Alison in the The Wife of Bath’s Tale told the tale of her experiences with her five past husbands and a story about a knight and a witch. She truly believed that for a woman to have a happy life she would need to gain dominion over a man; however one could assume this was programmed into her by her influential mother and her own religious doctrines. Accordingly, Alison argued that the woman must control everything in order to have a happy marriage; however, her life experience and the story she shared should tell her otherwise.
Throughout Alison’s life, she believed that women had the same rights as a man and that personal happiness did not mean for person to be celibate if not married or view sexual desires in women as a moral sin. Alison’s outlook in life enabled her freedom to marry often and not let society or her husband’s dictate weather she was a capable individual without independent value or worth because of her sex; therefore, she married five times in search of the perfect union. J. Lawrence suggested that the widow Alison used her knowledge of the bible and the teachings of God’s prophets as an excuse for her sexual appetite and multiple nuptials since she saw herself as a mans equal (Vol. 58). The first three husbands that the widow had were old, rich, and loved her dearly. She always had the upper hand in the marriages by using sex as a ploy to manipulate and take advantage of their generosity. S...


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...o provided her with the wealth and property and she wanted, she did not love or respect them; however, he next two husbands she loved most of all had dominance over her. Consequently, the only positive attention she gained by them was of her wealth and property with little regard to her needs and affections because of her old age and loss of beauty. In addition, the tale of the Knight and the witch also brought fault to widow’s theory of dominance concerning what women desire most because it was the witch who had to change her appearance in order to attain the affections of her husband. All things considered, the theory made by the widow in regard to dominance over a man to be what women desired most in order live a fulfilled marriage is flawed because it conflicted with the reality of her experiences, as well as the tale she told about the Knight and the witch.



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Geoffrey Chaucer’s The Wife of Bath’s Tale Essay - “The Wife of Bath’s Tale” in The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer is a story about a widow who took a pilgrimage to the town of Canterbury with an array of dynamic characters whose diverse backgrounds allowed them to share their stories with one another to make the long journey more interesting. The widow named Alison in the The Wife of Bath’s Tale told the tale of her experiences with her five past husbands and a story about a knight and a witch. She truly believed that for a woman to have a happy life she would need to gain dominion over a man; however one could assume this was programmed into her by her influential mother and her own religious doctrines....   [tags: The Wife of Bath Essays] 1373 words
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