The Feminist Point Of View In The Wife Of Bath 

In the Prologue of “The Canterbury Tales” by Geoffrey Chaucer, The Wife of Bath gives a complicated picture of a medieval woman to the readers. As it explains how the Wife of Bath is shameless about her sexual exploits since she makes use of her sexual power to get what she wishes. In other words, it is a way of doing exactly these matters as she is confirming the horrible stereotypes about ladies by proving that ladies are both deceitful and manipulative. Even though, her movements may have first appeared to be a rebellion against the male-dominated side of society in “The Canterbury Tales”, there is very little that she does that is besides a doubt of revolutionary or empowering for the female society of her time.

Based on her introduction in “The Canterbury Tales', it appears from the onset that the Wife of Bath truly makes use of her sexual attributes for non-public reap alternatively of trying to exhibit her equal status in society. In general, this lady stereotype is supposed to be considered as a parody of sorts on account that she embodies a range of terrible girl features together with arrogance, deceitfulness, and lewdness. Although, she places once more at men, it is in fact, no longer for any deeper motive other than for non-public profit. As it appears that in the prologue to the Wife of Bath’s tale, Chaucer desires his readers to chortle at this persona as a choice rather than to admire her for her pro-feminist stances on existence and marriage. Even if the Wife of Bath is a persona that is intended to shatter a misogynistic stereotype of women in their society, one might think about what would have happened if an interaction of an enlightenment conversation with some of the members of her party would have done. However, the closest she came to this is by providing her alternate perception of the Bible. As she states in The Canterbury Tales: The Wife of Bath, “Tell me, also, why do we have organs of reproduction, and why were we created as we are… I say that these organs are for business and for pleasure of conception… ”. While it can be placed in the Bible that people want to procreate, it is well worth noting that she prefaces this declaration with a few phrases about how she interprets the Bible.

Moreover, she compares herself to guys who are viewed as most splendid in society. While defending herself, she appears to be living on occasions an antifeministic life-style as she has all the characteristics that a lady now in today’s society has and not by the accordance of a lady in her society. On the other hand though, the outspoken female tries to justify her existence with her open and ahead speeches as she questions the frequently happening instructing of the church and the society. While the Wife of Bath ignores the authority, she defends her rights and she even deconstructs the Christian doctrine as well. In her prologue and tale, she is shown as being successful to triumph over discourses and portrays herself as a dominant figure. With the major intention to analyse from the feminist standpoint, the personality questions and deconstructs the grand narratives of the medieval times.

The Wife of Bath is claiming that she is successful in doing things her way and that the text is no longer beyond her reach. Still, the hassle with this is that she is not proving anything about her intelligence, she is merely trying to verify or justify her free behavior with the phrase of God. More important than this, in her prologue, the Wife of Bath uses Chaucer by trying to exist herself as a female capable of independent ideas and action because she is simply using the Bible, as text related to the male authority, to back up her assertions. In other words, to express in the Wife of Bath’s Prologue inside the “Canterbury Tales”, she is clearly working within the patriarchy in an alternate way instead of outside of it, which only confirms the poor stereotypes about women, especially since the insights she gives are twisted, misunderstood, or honestly wrong. For instance, at one point she talks about the Bible again, saying, “Apostle said that he had no rules for it. People may advise a woman to be a Virgin, but advise is not a commandment”, he is absolutely justifying bad conduct with the Bible and her botched misinterpretations of it and this makes her appear silly alternatively than educated. It confirms the stereotype of women in medieval instances that women are not as capable at grasp the deep meanings and mysteries of the Bible and that if they are given some schooling about it, they would solely use it to justify the lewd or sinful conduct.

Overall, the Wife of Bath stood for women in a way where they took control of their body on whether or not they decide to give up their special gift of virginity. As she clearly believed that she was in charge of her body and mind from any of the men that have crossed her way. She didn’t have to prove anything to anyone since all she had to prove something to us to herself. The Wife of Bath stood up for women during her time in ways that they probably didn’t even notice it they had thought was strange and not following the rules. Even though some of her ideas were always right, she still tried her best in being her own periods even if it defied the societal standards of a lady. Wife of Bath can therefore be considered as a small version of a feminist. 

16 August 2021
Your Email

By clicking “Send”, you agree to our Terms of service and  Privacy statement. We will occasionally send you account related emails.

close thanks-icon

Your essay sample has been sent.

Order now
Still can’t find what you need?

Order custom paper and save your time
for priority classes!

Order paper now