Comparision Of The Wife Of Bath And The Fairy Queen

1731 words - 7 pages

Comparing two women indeed gives you, as an individual, a peek into each woman’s life. At times you may discover that they are very similar, while other times you may discover shocking differences. When comparing the Wife of Bath, an older pilgrim traveling to Canterbury, and the Fairy Queen, a beautiful and supernatural woman, we uncover distinct similarities and differences in their lives. We notice similarities in the way they view a relationship and their manipulative behaviors. Yet we notice differences in their actions, previous relationships and the necessity for their relationships, and their general appearance. Both women desire control in their relationship yet handle their relationship differently than the other. Each woman shows a unique way of handling situations and possess differing qualities.
The Wife of Bath and the Fairy Queen are controlling in their relationships with men. The Wife believes a happy match is one in which the woman has control and sovereignty over the man. In her prologue she tells of her husbands and how she always had control over them, it was a necessity for her to enjoy life. The norm in society was for the wife to submit to her husband, as clearly stated in the Bible; the wife denied this and ran her life apart from the norm. The Wife’s tale clarifies her belief that women should control the man in a marriage. In her tale, a knight is given one year in which to figure out what women want most in a marriage. Toward the end of the year, the knight talks to an old woman who says she will give him the answer if he will grant her one request. The old woman gives the knight his answer “Wommen desire to have sovereinetee as wel over hir housbonde as hir love, and for to been in maistrye him above.” (Chaucer, 1044-1046). Because the old woman gave the knight the answer he has been searching for, the knight now needs to grant her wish, marriage. In the end of the story the knight gives the old woman the control and discovers happiness. Therefore, the Wife contends that a happy marriage is one in which the woman is in control over the husband.
Similarly, we find instances when the Fairy Queen controls Lanval in their relationship. The Fairy demanded “You must never tell anyone about the love that you have won” (France, 141-142). Here we see the Fairy demanding her secrecy; he will never see her again if he speaks of her. We also see the Fairy telling Lanval what to do, she speaks “Rise up, Ami. You may no longer stay with me. Get on you way; I shall remain.” (France, 155-157). This seems peculiar that she tells him what to do in these two instances; it shows the Fairy controls Lanval. We also see the Fairy rescuing Lanval; this seems odd because rescuing is the typical ‘male responsibility’. At the end of the story the Fairy tells the King that Lanval is innocent, consequently Lanval is set free and “swiftly sprang the horse to straddle and sat behind her on the saddle” (France, 637-638)....

Find Another Essay On Comparision of the Wife of Bath and the Fairy Queen

The Wife of Bath Essay

764 words - 3 pages Running head: the wife of bath essay 1the wife of bath essay 6The Wife of Bath, Women's Liberation in BusinessUniversity of Texas at ArlingtonIn partial fulfillment of the requirements ofBritish LiteratureAbstractThe Wife of Bath was a woman out of her time. She was overly dressed and used her beauty and experience with sex and men to make a name for herself. She was also a shrewd business womanThe Wife of Bath, Women's Liberation in BusinessIn

The Wife of Bath Essay

1349 words - 5 pages The Wife of Bath The Wife of Bath, one of the many characters in Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales, is a feminist of the fourteenth century. Chaucer, in the "General Prologue," describes her as promiscuous. The Wyf confirms this claim in the prologue to her tale, the longest in the book. An analysis of the "General Prologue" and the "Wyf's Prologue" reveals a direct relationship between the Wyf of Bathe and the characters in her tale, such

The Wife of Bath

1017 words - 4 pages Pardoner, hearing this, interrupts her in disgust and tells her how he has been thinking about marriage but now is glad that he is a single guy. The Wife of Bath then tells the other pilgrims what has happened to her five husbands. She says, “Tho housbonds that I hadde, As three of hem were goode, and two were badde. The three men were goode, and riche, and olde”[Norton,121]. In other words, the first three husbands were good to her; they were

The Wife of Bath

1057 words - 5 pages . These were unfortunate circumstances for Chaucer as his ideas were not particularly welcome with the people of power in his country. To express his opinions and stay away from the gallows Chaucer wrote stories in which he used the characters to express his philosophy. One such character in the Wife of Bath who Chaucer uses to express his egalitarian views and critique patriarchy. The Wife is an older woman who has had five husbands over the

The One and Only Wife of Bath

3619 words - 15 pages The One and Only Wife of Bath In The Canterbury tales, Chaucer uses The Wife of Bath as a representation of what it was like for Women in the Middle Ages to be striped of equality and bow to the otherwise male dominated society. For the representation of women Chaucer uses the Tales of “The Scholar”, “The Second Nun “The Reeve’s”, and “The Franklin” and many others in a very dry, pretentious manner to steer readers into the view of how a women

The Impressive Wife of Bath

1002 words - 4 pages , her sinuous marital experience and her overseas adventures. The tale gave an exhaustive portrayal on the dressing of the wife of Bath: Her kerchiefs were elaborately woven; her hose was in vibrant red; her shoes was polished new. All of these traits in her dressing led us readers to the image that how fashionable this women should be! I can hardly imagine how such a Medieval women could be so stylish! As far as I know, women at that time

The Wife of Bath, The Wife of Bath Prologue, and The General Prologue

1415 words - 6 pages chastisement. She uses this is great effect to attain what she wants. The subjects of this selection goes further than the previous' mere observations, by displaying them in an uncouth manner. The reader sees the terrible consequences of multiple marriages and the insane women that populate them. The actual Tale, The Wife of Bath, displays a fairy tale transformation from ugliness to beauty. The reader meets a lusty knight

The Character Of The Wife Of Bath

1521 words - 6 pages The Character of the Wife of Bath The Wife in the Wife Of Bath's Prologue, written by Geoffrey Chaucer, is a paradoxical character. The descriptions of this Wife in the General Prologue, and also in her own prologue and tale, paint a predicament for Chaucer's audience. It is not clear what Chaucer's aim is when he invents the character of the Wife. His use of humor, and irony in the story makes it hard to condemn the Wife for her

Sovereignty, Supremacy, and Dominance in The Wife of Bath

1296 words - 5 pages Sovereignty, Supremacy, and Dominance in The Wife of Bath When reading the wife of Baths prologue and then her tale one can not help but to see the parallels present. The major parallel that exists is the subject of sovereignty. Who has it, which wants it, which deserves it and what will you do to get it? First we see that the Wife claims to have sovereignty over each of her husbands even though some were harder to gain dominance over than

Common Sense, Ethics, and Dogma in The Wife of Bath

3262 words - 13 pages Common Sense, Ethics, and Dogma in The Wife of Bath In his Canterbury Tales, Geoffrey Chaucer assembles a band of pilgrims who, at the behest of their host, engage in a story-telling contest along their route. The stories told along the way serve a number of purposes, among them to entertain, to instruct, and to enlighten. In addition to the intrinsic value of the tales taken individually, the tales in their telling reveal much about the

Chaucer's Wife of Bath: How does the introduction of the Wife of Bath compare to her self description and tale?

961 words - 4 pages as those waiting in the story.The knight returns to King Arthur and his queen ready to announce what he has discovered. The old wife told him not to be afraid so he proclaims in a loud voice to the entire court that women desire to have power as well as love in their relationships. No woman in the court could deny what he announced, so the knight is spared his life.The Wife of Bath could have chosen many things for women to most desire, but she

Similar Essays

The Wife Of Bath Essay 879 Words

879 words - 4 pages marriage. The major characters of the Tale of the Wife of Bath are the old crone and Jankin (one of King Arthur's knights). Her Tale begins with a knight, Jankin, who when riding home one day found a maiden walking alone and raped her. This crime usually held the penalty of death, but the queen intervened and begged her husband to spare the knight. She told the knight that she would grant his life if he could answer the question "what do women

The Wife Of Bath Essay 1455 Words

1455 words - 6 pages , the wife uses her prologue and tale. The Wife of Bath shows such control in her prologue which summarizes her own life, the Queen in her tale who controls the knight, and the old hag in the tale who is able to manipulate the knight to achieve her desires. The women in the relationships exercise control over their husbands through sexual manipulation and guilt. Therefore, the Wife of Bath from Geoffrey Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales is a strong advocator of female maistrie within a marriage. The wife not only shares her opinions about maistrie with fellow travellers through her tale, but also proves her beliefs through her introduction.

The Wife Of Bath Essay

2334 words - 9 pages , she is showing compassion towards someone who has sinned; one the other hand, it is disturbing that the queen wants the knight to be forgiven for raping a woman. The Wife if Bath paints an image of a world that turns a blind eye to forcefulness to gain sexual pleasure because she finds it normal practice. King Arthur obeys the queen and challenges the knight: if he can find out what women want most his life will be saved, but if he cannot, he

The Wife Of Bath Essay

1421 words - 6 pages , the pilgrims agree to tell the stories: two on the way to Canterbury and two on the way back. Such a development of the plot gives Chaucer a chance to portray each of the pilgrims through his or her own lips. Chaucer's pilgrims represent all the social levels of the hierarchical order of medieval society. Most of the pilgrims are men. There are only a few women, and one of them is the Wife of Bath. She is depicted by