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2 pages/≈550 words
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MLA
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Literature & Language
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English (U.S.)
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The Wife of Bath Compared to Todays Woman (Other (Not Listed) Sample)

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The Wife of Bath Compared to Today’s Woman
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The Wife of Bath Compared to Today’s Woman
“The Wife of Bath” prologue and tale in Geoffrey Chaucer’s the Canterbury Tales provides an insight into the position and role of women in the medieval ages. The prologue both critiques and draws from the long middle ages tradition of antifeminism text. This paper provides a critical analysis of “The Wife of Bath” compared to today’s woman.
Before the wife begins her tale, she first shares information regarding her life and experiences in a prologue. As she begins her lengthy prologue, she announces that she has always followed the rule of experience instead of authority. The author stresses that the Wife had “Housbondes at chirche dore she hadde five” (Cooper 92), meaning that she had been married five times. She has previously had five husbands and sees nothing wrong with it, and as such, she believes she has enough experience to make her an expert. Defending her position, she refers to King Solomon who had many wives and prefers the go forth and multiply biblical command. To her, sexual organs were made both for pleasure and functional purposes, and contrast to many women who are cold, she has always been disposed to engage in sexual activity with her man whenever he wanted. The Wife of Bath recounts tales regarding her previous husbands revealing how she was able to gain sovereignty/upper hand over them. Unfortunately for her, just when she gains absolute mastery over one of them, he dies.
Today’s woman compares with the Wife of Bath is different aspects. First, In the Wife of Bath, the thing that a vast majority of women desire is complete control or sovereignty over their husbands. According to the “The Wife of Bath’s Tale”, the thing that women most desire is “to have sovereinetee as wel over hir housebonde as hir love”, adding “and for to been in maistrye him above” (Cooper 139). Translated, what women want is to have sovereignty as well perceiving their husband as their love. The wife was more interested in love than anything than anything else which has to do with homemaking. Since she had five husbands, the Wife of Bath feels that she can speak authoritatively and firmly from this experience, furthermore, in the prologue, she tells the way she gained the upper hand with each of them. In contrast, today’s woman is not interested in getting control or sovereignty over her husband; rather, she is more comfortable in remaining subservient and submissive to her husband.
Secondly, the Wife of Bath was sexually unquenchable, insatiable, shrewish, lecherous, and does not value virginity. In comparison to today’s modern women, they too have this kind of behavior. Although not all, but most of today’s wives are sexually insatiable and are shrew, and virginity is not valued any more. Just like the Wife of Bath, the modern woman of today is also a mas...
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