The Wife of Bath
The Wife of Bath is acclaimed to be one of Chaucer's most intriguing characters. She achieved much of her reputation from the depth of her area under discussion, luring curious minds into her story and the greater meaning of it all. Chaucer, even as a man, was successful in representing a relatively fair feminist view of the medieval female's plight by employing humor, historical perspective, and individual expression. The text of the Wife of Bath's Prologue is based in the medieval genre of allegorical "confession". This genre of writing, expresses morals or sins in a story, to the reader, through a life story such as the Wife of Bath's, which she proclaims to be an expert on marriage, because of her extensive experiences with her previous five husbands. Explaining all that she has done to her previous five husbands, using her beauty and eloquence to dominate them. The wife utilizes her experiential knowledge of the duality of women's roles, as well as her objections to anti-feminist writings in a satirical way, in order to reverse the roles of man and wife, and to emphasize her total dismissal of male invective and misogynist theories and practices of her time. In doing so, the Wife of Bath's main point is further reinforced, which is that the church breeds hostility towards wives because only men are involved in the writings of the medieval church, and if women were to be involved more in the church that perhaps these writings would be much positive towards the image of women.
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