Widows and Maids

The Ability of Peasants to Resist and Lead

The ability of the peasants to resist, organize, and lead a strong resistance against the ruling elite, as well as King Richard's skills and bravado to contain and suppress the opposition despite his youth, are two aspects of the Peasant Revolt that I find fascinating. Admittedly, the common perception of peasants is that of a collection of poor people who lack the motivation and resources to mount a successful uprising. This perception includes my own.

Most of the time, the general public views peasants as socioeconomically underprivileged individuals who have little to no impact over the status quo between the impoverished and the wealthy. However, the Peasant Revolt challenged such notions by presenting peasants as a group of people capable of uniting, planning, and setting up a substantial resistant. Personally, I am thrilled by how the peasants unanimously decided to revolt and the broad geographical locations that the uprising covered. The resistance started in Essex and spread to London and other parts of eastern, western, and northern England. King Richard, then 14-year-old, was able to establish and manage an army of 4,000 people and later led a troop that killed Wat Tyler, who organized the revolt.

A Resemblance in the Lives of Peasant Women

There is a close resemblance to the elderly woman's life with that of other peasants described in readings and videos of this module. Typical of peasant women's lives in medieval times, the old woman wakes up early every day. Her entire life seems to be devoted to the wellbeing of family members, lords, and other people in society. In the Nun's Tale, the peasant woman has a close relationship with her two daughters whom she loves very much.

Similar to other peasant women depicted in this module's readings and videos, the poor widow's most crucial possession is a rooster called Chaunticleer. She has no worldly possessions, and the only thing she has to give is wisdom, love, and care.

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