Sunday, February 17, 2019

Chaucers Canterbury Tales - The Incredible Wife of Baths Tale :: Wife of Bath Essays

Chaucers Canterbury Tales - The Incredible Wife of Baths Tale In practice session Geoffrey Chaucers Canterbury Tales, I found that of the Wife of Bath, including her prologue, to be the most thought-provoking. The pilgrim who narrates this tale, Alison, is a gap-toothed, part deaf seamstress and widow who has been married five times. She claims to have keen experience in the ways of the heart, having a remedy for whatever capability ail it. Throughout her story, I was shocked, yet pleased to encounter enlarge which were rather uncharacteristic of the women of Chaucers time. It is these peculiarities of Alisons tale which I will examine, looking non only at the chivalric and religious influences of this chivalric stage, but similarly at how she would have been viewed in the context of this society and by Chaucer himself. During the period in which Chaucer wrote, there was a dual concept of chivalry, one facet being based in reality and the other existing mainly in the imagination only. On the one hand, there was the medieval plan we are most familiar with today in which the sawbuck cavalry was the do righteous man, willing to sacrifice self for the worthy cause of the smitten and weak on the other, we have the sad truth that the human knight rarely lived up to this ideal(Patterson 170). In a work by Muriel Bowden, have-to doe with Professor of English at Hunter College, she explains that the knights of the Middle Ages were merely attach soldiers, . . . notorious for their utter cruelty(18). The tale Baths Wife weaves exposes that Chaucer was aware of both forms of the medieval soldier. Where as his knowledge that knights were often far from perfect is evidenced in the beginning of Alisons tale where the lusty soldier rapes a young maiden King Arthur, whom the ladies of the country beseech to spare the life of the guilty horse soldier, offers us the typical conception of knighthood. In addition to acknowledging this dichotomy o f ideas intimately chivalry, Chaucer also brings into question the religious views of his time through this tale. The loquacious Alison spends a good deal of the prologue espousing her views regarding marriage and virginity, using her knowledge of the scriptures to add ability to her arguments. For instance, she

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