View Full Version : The Wife of Bath a Feminist?

Dark Muse
03-19-2010, 06:05 PM
I have to say thus far I do find the Wife of Bath's tale to be the most intriguing within the Canterbury collection, though I do believe one of the other stories, though I cannot recall just off the top of my head which, did make a reference to the idea of women equality the Wife of Bath was certainly most forthwith and blatant about such ideas.

The first thing which I found to be quite compelling, is in her prologue she seems almost to allude to idea of female polygamy, as she herself has had 5 husbands, though in her own case each of her previous husbands died before she remarried again, (it almost made me wonder if she was some sort of black widow, it seemed awful suspicious how many times her husbands kept dying) but as she was telling the story of her own many multiple marriage as well as her sexual prowess and seductive skill, she made direct references to stories of men who had harems, or multiple wives and polygamous relationships.

The other thing which really stood out at me as she was unwinding her tale, was when she mentioned that her last husband was 20 I think it was, while she herself was 40 years old. Even in this day age, while accepted in society for older women to marry younger men, it is still against the usual convention, and perhaps even still to a degree frowned upon or at least rises an eyebrow.

Then within the tale of which she tells, the whole moral behind her story is that what women desire most is sovereignty and the wish for equality to men and an equal partnership in marriage. That women not be restrained, or told where they can and cannot go or what to do and not do.