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Marriage In The Wife Of Bath’s And The Knight’s Tale

1350 words - 6 pages

Throughout “The Canterbury Tales” one the things that all the tellers have in common is love. Not all of the tellers agree about what love is, however, or how it should be shared. They all contemplate about related concepts, including marriage, fidelity, and chastity, and argue about men’s and women’s roles in the context of an intimate relationship. He shows two different viewpoints on the roles in The Canterbury Tales.
The Wife of Bath’s Tale, where the tale says that one spouse, in her case the wife, must be dominant in the marriage. While, The Franklin’s tale does not condone of her philosophy by saying that equality and trust are essential in holding a marriage together expressed here:” … To enhance bliss of both of their lives. He also gave his word as a knight that he would never darken her delight by exercising his authority against her will or showing jealousy but would obey her in all with simple trust as any lover of a lady must…” (427) Chaucer
But, the real question is whether or not the readers feel as if the Wife of Bath a reliable person. David Parker, a literary critic, feels that The Wife of Bath should not be trusted. “Due to the different confusing things that she told in her story about her five different husbands in her story, when she was with her first three husbands, she admitted that she only married them because they were rich, but unfortunately, they were all much older and they were not able to fulfill her sexual needs.”
Even though, with her last two husbands she did in fact have her sexual needs fulfilled, there was still a big question about her marriages. While in the relationship with her last husband, Jankyn, hit her it should have been obvious to the reader that she was not in a blissful marriage as it says here,..” Then like a maddened lion, with a yell he started up and smote me on the head and down, I fell upon the floor for dead. And when he saw how motionless I lay he was aghast and would have flown away, but in the end, I started coming to…” (297) here, it shows that the Wife was very submissive in the marriage and that her husband is the one who is dominant in the relationship. Something that was not surprising was that everything was so nice and sweet and acted like there was nothing else wrong in the marriage, “…We had a mort of trouble and heavy weather but in the end made it up together. He gave me the bridle over to my hand. Gave me government of house and land, of tongue and fist, indeed of all he got. I made him burn the book on the spot. And when I’d mastered him, and out of deadlock and when he said, my own and truest wife, do as you please for the rest of your life, but guard your honor and my good.”
The knight from the “Wife of Bath’s Tale” is not liked at all. His actions make him look like he is just an ignorant jerk, someone who obviously doesn’t care. Raping the girl is just a single example. During his actions, he is only guided by his desires, without thinking about how respectable and...

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