Is the Wife of Bath a bad woman or a good woman? (1st essay)

The Wife of Bath's accomplishment of having complete control over her life shows a woman of courage and strength. She relies solely on the life lessons she has learned, not on written rules, to direct her. She makes revelations about marriage, sexuality, and virginity, and she contends that other women must acquire authority. (Bremmer et al. 362). The Wife of Bath can acquire whatever she wants whenever she wants because she is a strong and active person. This is not a bad thing; however, she goes against the Biblical sayings that a woman should be submissive to her husband. She is bold enough not to accept any defeat in the fight against men’s sovereignty over women. To do this, she pursued power over her husband and did not in any situation bow to him. This does not portray her as a real woman since it went against Gods will.

In her display of thirstiness for power over men, she stresses that “In my wifehood I will use my instrument as God gave me” (Bremmer et al. 362). This statement depicts her desire and willingness to use her body as an armament against her husband so as to make him her property. In her own reasoning, she thinks that a man should bow before her since she is his wife and even suggests that he should act as a slave. This assertion and argument is against the society’s belief about women and their role in the family, and they are seen as subjects to their men and should obey and respect them.

Body as an “instrument”

In other extremities, she uses her sexuality as a tool to make her husband jealous since she found out that he was not faithful to her. The indicated is not a good trait as it leads to divorce, domestic violence and other evils that could result from a broken marriage. It is a good thing to set limits on one’s life, and not let men mistreat or allow cheating to pass. Having a brave heart and spirit that is willing to stand for one's beliefs and opinions makes the Wife of Bath a good woman. It shows her lack of fear even in the worst situations. However, it was not a good thing to cheat death when her fifth husband beats her. She manages to gain authority over him by playing dead so as to make him feel guilty. Her husband’s justification for hitting her is not valid and acceptable; however, she should have tried to find a solution and not manipulate him.

Feministic belief

The Wife of Bath has been married five times, and this gives her more experience regarding sex and marriage. She does not use her sexuality to fight for women’s rights and does not care about submissive women in the society. She uses sex to manipulate men; she says, “I control them using my laws”. (Bremmer et al. 362). She is a bad woman because she portrays a non-feminist perspective. Such is because she gives-in to a man’s’ desire for pleasure which contradicts with the feministic belief. Her desires at first might seem to gear towards achieving liberation for women through control, but her beliefs later conflict. Her actions to win men through sexual pleasures are not justifiable and make her a wicked person given that she is selfish and greedy for power.

"The Wife of Bath's Tale" and Sir Gawain and the Green Knight (2nd essay)

Similarity based on the characteristics of women

These stories show women as powerful, and deceitful beings. In the modern society, women are more vocal are increasingly advocating for gender equality. Chaucer’s story, on The Wife of Bath Tale and Prologue depicts women as hungry for power and control over the lives of their husbands. Similarly, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight reveal women and precisely, Lady Bertilak, as bold and in possession of irresistible seduction power over her husband, Sir Bertilak. The female casts are candid about their desires, and it is evident that the Gawain story gives Morgan the Fay a role that enriches her with supernatural powers. Similarly, in The Wife of Bath Prologue, Alison represents the voice of women and provides a clear understanding of their role in marriage. She discusses how women can take control of their unions and guarantee success. Her experience is her primary basis for her perception of the inferiority between marriage and chastity.

Similarities in Plot

The plots of these stories seem to trail a common thread. The male characters seem to be in a predicament which requires retribution. They are portrayed as being in search of the answer to the women’s need in society. Despite various responses, they finally get the main reason which is, they seek power over their husbands. Lady Bertilak uses lies to favor her. In her words, “that statement,” she says, “is the worst to ever hear, / I am greatly affected. / Kiss me now tenderly, / I shall spend my life hurt because I am in love” (Bremmer et al. 362).

Difference in the characterization of the protagonists

Sir Gawain’s role in “The Wedding of Sir Gawain and Dame Ragnell” depicts an honest, respectful, and very kind knight. As a protagonist Sir Gawain can account for any of the drama in the story. In his pursuit of answers about women’s desires, he finds himself helping King Arthur in the search. When the old hag proclaims her desire to marry him, and he agrees. He says, “wolle wed her at whate time ye wolle set… for your love I will not spare” (Bremmer et al. 362). His good heart and show of thoughtfulness made his character very admirable.

In “The Wife of Bath Tale,” the main protagonist is only known as a knight. His character conflicts with that of King Arthur’s. The Knight once saw a beautiful maiden by a stream. He, “by verray force he rafte hir maidenheed” (Bremmer et al. 362). Since the knights believe in a code of chivalry, they were supposed to treat women well and respect them. An act of rape by a knight was despicable. The knight refused to heed the old hags promise to marry her and goes against their code. In the end, he admits to his unacceptable behavior, and his character in the story gives a picture of immorality.

The difference in the themes of the poems is also one to investigate. The Wife of Bath Tale shows Chaucer’s discussion geared towards people in society that still understood male supremacy. The church at the time stresses the dominance of men over their counterparts. The wife of Bath exposed the triviality of the labels that most women faced regarding male superiority in the society. On the other hand, the lesson of Sir Gawain’s story was not intended to be moral. The tone used composed of comical sense, and one could laugh about Sir Gawain and King Arthur’s search for answers and how ironically, the old hag turned out to be Sir Gromer Somer Jour’s sister.

How does the idea of "evil" change from Beowulf and Chaucer? (3rd essay)

There are various ways in which evil manifests in the society. For instance, it could be in the form of interpretations or functions. In distinguishing the kind of sin even in literature, the law of relativity applies. Literature such as in the case of Chaucer’s “The Pardoner Tale” and that of Beowulf, reveals the different expressions of evil. That is, it showed harm as a wickedness of avarice and the other a supernatural being. The degree of the externality of the atrocity shown in the two stories demonstrations how they differ.

Manifestations of Evil

In the case of Beowulf, the story bases its antagonist characters on supernatural aspects. Its reference to Cain immensely contributed to such an extreme degree of externality. The idea here was to reveal a high level of the clans’ immorality. So, the author decided to incorporate outrageous features of the characters. He wrote, “He walked faster on the rough floor/ his eyes glowing with fierce in the darkness” (Alfred 234). However, “The Pardoner’s Tale” does not replicate what the Beowulf talked about evil. The story indications a small level of externality regarding wickedness since the poem’s way of revealing evil is an internal lure among the three rioters. It was not, as shown in Beowulf a being or object.

Cultural connection

Writing the two stories in different cultural period is another change in the illustration pattern of evil. In the medieval era, the huge influence of Christianity marked the inscription of “The Pardoner’s Tale”. Christianity through spiritual control and the belief of doing a good and avoiding evil overpowered the temptation of such viciousness. .

Therefore, the inspiration behind “The Pardoner’s Tale,” was the contribution of money as a root of evil in the society. Religion influenced the theme of this story in that, “That thou, to thy Creator, / That sacrificed Himself for my sins, / I am a sinner / God forgive my wickedness / And keep me from evil!” (Alfred 234). It explains the need to resist such an evil embedded on greed and emphasizes to the people to gift the pardoner so as to relieve them of their sin of avarice. The Anglo- Saxon era marked the writing of the Beowulf. The Pagan values and beliefs embedded in the society inspired the theme of the story. Christianity was still in its introduction phase. The supernatural beings described in the story were purported to be conquered by natural methods.

Although the two tales stated different evil expressions, each one of them inspired the drama in the plots. Also, the evil seen had a connection to the era of each writing settings. A wrong, in certainty, is an idea or opinions, and, therefore, makes it a metaphysical component engraved in the physical realm or even literature.

Work Cited

Bremmer, Rolf H, Thiis Porck, Frans Ruiter, and Usha Wilbers. Tracing Paradigms: One Hundred Years of Neophilologus. , 2016. Print

Thomas, Alfred. Reading Women in Late Medieval Europe: Anne of Bohemia and Chaucer's Female Audience. , 2015. Print

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