Works of literature can go against the society view point at the times they were presented. Like how men would have power over women in a relationship and marriages. Plato once said, “If women are expected to do the same work as men, we must teach them the same things.” Does this mean women can learn to take power away from men and flip the society outlook on the gender views like how husbands have the authority over their wives? Works in the Middle Ages go against the hierarchy of men and women in society from the stories of Phyllis and Aristotle, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight and Chaucer’s Wife of Bath’s Prologue from the Canterbury Tales.
In Phyllis and Aristotle has a correlation to how Plato’s Republic model which explains how a person would live a balanced life like macrocosm and mesocosm. Macrocosm explains the dominance a human would have over a animal such as a horse. And mesocosm explains the relationship correspondence to a husband which would be the human and the wife which would be the animal. The story flips the concept of mesocosm in relation to macrocosm where it would be the wife dominating the husband by illustrating the concept of macrocosm.
In the story, Aristotle told Alexander he should refrain from approaching his beautiful wife frequently to impede his spirit for the general good. This made the queen upset when she caught wind of this news. She then tried to make Aristotle fall in love with her by being in bare feet and disheveled hair to entice. Aristotle become fell for her and she says to him, “This I will certainly not do, unless I see a sign of love, lest you be testing me. Therefore, come to my chamber crawling on hand and foot, in order to carry me like a horse. Then I’ll know that you are not deluding me.” By doing this the queen is showing her power over Aristotle by switching the gender roles in the concept of macrocosm and mesocosm. She would be the human ruling over the animal which in this case would be a man.
She secretly told Alexander of this and he wished to kill Aristotle. When Alexander caught this action Aristotle says, “If thus it happened to me, an old man most wise, that I was deceived by a woman, you can see that I taught you well, that it could happen to you, a young man.” This shows that women can be as dominating as men in a relationship and in society.
Much like the Aristotle and Phyllis story the same concept o women having power is in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, where another queen tricks a man in a trap to go against her husband’s wishes. Sir Gawain is a knight of King Arthurs round table and while they were feasting they were interrupted by a green knight. The green knight made a challenge a Sir Gawain accepted the challenge. The challenge was to strike the green knight and be able to find him a year and a day later to receive the same strike with the strike being equal to the one that Sir Gawain had received. Sir Gawain then strikes the green knight and his...