The overall theme of The Wife of Bath Tale of an independent and headstrong woman. The women strongly believed in the worth of every woman and that women should be in control of their marriages and making their own decisions. The Wife of Bath also talks about in the story about how she is against strict religious rules for monogamy, using Biblical examples.
The Wife of Bath is in my opinion, the most interesting character a part of the Canterbury Tales. The girl is very headstrong, boisterous and opinionated. She starts a struggle against the unfair advantages of women and the taboos against female sexuality. She really made me think how true that society today is really only focused on the outside exterior of someone’s looks, instead of focusing on the beauty on the inside. In the story use religious texts to argue that women are the targets of scorn for the Wife of Bath. She claims that the reason for the bias against women in these texts is due to the lack of experience and contact with women of those who write the text.
“A woman wants the self-same sovereignty Over her husband as over her lover, And master him; he must not be above her.” I think this is a major part of what women want today in some areas. I think Geoffrey Chaucer really portrayed a struggle that not just women face, but men as well. That struggle is how everyone cares about how they look like and how who their with looks like, and how people will change just to give others pleasure based on their looks. A perfect example is when the old lady saved the knights life just so that she can blackmail him into marrying her. Then the knight started to make the old lady feel miserable about herself because he wanted a young women who was beautiful. I kinda feel like the story was hypocritical because its about women being treated the same as men, but at the end the old lady changed how she looked for the knight. Just to please him, which kinda contradicts the whole story.
In the Wife of Bath, the views towards the end start to soften. Her views of kindness and love start to be more noticable, but continues the theme of autonomy and power. The author puts the hag in a position of control and demoting the Knight to a position of submissiveness. Throughout the Tale, the Knight’s fate is decided by women, first by Guenevere, then by the crone. The author suggests that a man’s true happiness can be realized when he allows his spouse to have some level of autonomy.
The Canterbury Tales presents a picture of the society in which the author lived. The pilgrim’s tales reflect the changing views held by society at that time. The pilgrims must tell their tales to and from the shrine. The criteria to choose the winner are that the tale be instructive and amusing. Written by Geoffrey Chaucer during the Middle Ages, these tales are told in a light-hearted tone and each contain a moral. The speakers of these tales are fascinating and diverse in their appearances, mannerisms, social statuses, and life experiences. They each represent a different aspect of medieval life. None two are more diverse in their characteristics. Which goes along with the wife of bath, because during that time women were considered inferior to men. Women were expected to take care of the house and the kids, while the men went out to get the money to support the family on that end. Which makes this story very interesting, because of the time it was set in. Also how progressive it was, because majority of the main characters were women. They were making the men follow their intentions, which was a switch up going off the time period that the author set the story in.