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canterbury tales


            Along with strong feminist messages in Chaucer's "Canterbury Tales" also come out anti-feminism ideals about keeping women in a certain role, causing a lengthy and intelligent debate upon what Chaucer really meant. Anti- Feminism is apparent in both the "Wife of Bath's Prologue" and "The Nun's Priest's Tales". .
             The Wife of Bath proves to be much more of a hypocrite and much less of a archaic feminist then originally thought. The first good example of this is that when trouble appears in the Wife of Bath's marriages she retreats: "One of us two must bow, to be at ease; And since a man's more reasonable, they say, Than woman is, you must have patience aye. What ails you that you grumble thus and groan? Is it because you'd have my cunt alone? Why take it all, lo, have it every bit;" In this quote the Wife of Bath not only concedes that men are more reasonable than women, but also that a good woman and wife will do and give up whatever is necessary for her husband. Furthermore, as she goes on to tell about her fourth husband she shows how little control she has over him: "My fourth husband, he was a reveller, That is to say, he kept a paramour;" Paramour meaning mistress shows that first of all she was not all that desirable and that the man could go out and do what and who as he pleased regardless what the Wife of Bath said or wished. Following her fourth husband's death, the Wife of Bath married a man half her age within a month. By now having been married four times and now over the age of forty, the Wife has all the money she possibly could need and is obviously losing some of her sex appeal as evident that her last husband went elsewhere for sex. However the Wife still desires to be married. This shows how badly the Wife of Bath needs to have a man and feels incomplete without one. Furthermore, despite all her supposed feministic independence, her fifth marriage truly shows what a hypocrite she is and that she will do and go through anything to have a man.


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