Wife Of Baths Tale By Chaucer English Literature Essay

Analyzing the verse form “ The Lady of Shalott ” the factors to see are the representation of adult female, the attitudes towards gender every bit good as the “ ideal ” behavior of a adult female. First to look at the representation of adult female, the mirror comes into drama. The mirror is an of import facet of the verse form ; it is the lone manner that Lady Shalott can see the outside universe because of the expletive. Looking into the representation of adult female during the Victorian Era, adult females were non seen as peers to work forces. After matrimony the jurisprudence saw the married twosome as one individual which took all the rights of the adult female off. Their intent was to hold kids, and take attention of the house while the adult male of the house worked and paid the measures. Lady Shalott was ne’er given the opportunity to see life with a adult male, to hold the duties of caring for a kid or the duties of taking attention of a place. Lady Shalott understands life through a mirror. She sees the universe through semblances and shadows of the outside universe. The representation of adult female is a complete contention of the cultural norm. Lady Shalott does non hold a hubby, does non hold kids, she must fend for herself, and does non hold a adult male to look after her. Lady Shalott is so unachievable to work forces that her beauty and virtuousness is non even known to them. “ Or at the saement seen her base? Or is she known in all the land, The Lady of Shalott? ” ( Line 25- 27, page 622 ) This representation is non something you would probably see in the Victorian epoch since it was unheard of for a adult female to populate by herself and non hold a proper suer. The Attitudes towards gender are frequently about a adult female being unachievable and a adult male trailing the adult female. In the “ Lady of Shalott ” the function is dramatically switched. The Lady Shalott is unachievable because of her expletive which does non allow her go forth the tower, every bit good as she must merely see the outside universe through a mirror. While looking into the mirror she sees Sir Lancelot “ He flashed into the crystal mirror, “ Tirra lira, ” by the river American ginseng Sir Lancelot ” ( Line 106-108, page 623 ) After seeing such a fine-looking adult male, Lady Shallots realizes that he is unachievable but she has fallen in love with the semblance of him. Having the attitudes of gender switched it is now clear to see that the adult female is now trailing an unachievable adult male. Lady Shallots lays everything down on the line to acquire closer to Sir Lancelot by disobeying the expletive that was placed on her ; she looked out the window for the first clip to see the gentleman that has stolen her bosom. “ She left the web, she left the loom, She made three gaits through the room. ” ( Line 109-110, page 624 ) With straight disobeying the expletive, Lady Shallots confirms that she is now traveling to trail after Sir Lancelot and hazard her life to be closer to him. Detecting the “ ideal ” behavior of adult female we can see that Lady Shallot possess some of them but non many. From the verse form it is apparent that Lady Shallot is of virtuous beauty, she sings each forenoon from her room and so passes the twenty-four hours by weaving on the loom. She possesses the accomplishments of vocal and the trade of weaving but she does non possess the love of a adult male or the love of kids. In the Victorian Era it was a wickedness if person committed self-destruction. Lady Shallots does non possess the ideal behavior of a adult female because she unwittingly commits self-destruction. Knowing that she is cursed and that she is non to go forth the tower or look out the window except through the mirror, Lady Shallots climbs down the tower, finds a boat and travels toward Camelot. Writing her name on the bow of the boat so that the universe will eventually cognize who she is even though she knows that by the clip she is to make Camelot she will hold passed off “ Singing in her vocal she died, The Lady of Shalott. ” ( Line 152-153, page 624 ) In the terminal her program did non neglect, she was released from the prison of the tower even though it cost her life, but she still attained the love of Sir Lancelot “ But Lancelot mused a small infinite ; He said ” She has a lovely face ; God in his clemency lend her grace, The Lady of Shalott. ” ( Line 169-172, page 625 ) Chivalry is seen in many different signifiers but when Sir Lancelot accepted Lady Shallot into his bosom by stating “ she had a lovely face ” and praying for a adult female he did n’t cognize, the finest signifier of gallantry radiances through.

After looking into the representation of adult female, the attitudes towards gender every bit good as the “ ideal ” behavior of a adult female in “ The Lady of Shallot ” there are some similarities and differences in “ Wife of Bath. ” Taking a deeper expression into the “ Wife of Bath ” the representation of adult females is really similar to that of “ The Lady of Shallot. ” Women were to be submissive to work forces, to allow them keep all the power. The married woman of bath challenged this power and was a women’s rightist. During the prologue the married woman of bath is stating the narrative about herself and utilizing the women’s rightist tone by looking to be a strong, independent, powerful adult female but when speaking about her many hubbies it is evident that she has a different position on life and matrimony. The married woman of bath believes her many hubbies is a manner of confirming her gender. “ For lordinges, sith I twelf yeer was of age – Thanked be God that is eterne on unrecorded – Housbondes at chirche dore I have had five ( If I so ofte mighte Han weedded be ) ” ( Line 4-7, page 35 ) Part of being a women’s rightist is non depending on a adult male but as we have seen the married woman of bath has had many hubbies and the matrimonies she has are a reminder to her that she is beautiful. The attitudes toward gender are negative within the verse form. The married woman of bath believes herself to be a women’s rightist as were the males of the verse form believe her to be a failed women’s rightist since she portrays herself in a manner that work forces see as all of the incorrect ways of being a adult female. The attitudes toward gender go manus in manus with the “ ideal ” behaviors of adult females. The married woman of bath has bragged about her hubbies in a manner that negotiations about her promiscuousness. Bing a adult female, it is irregular to speak about such things and it is merely acceptable for work forces. When adult females talk about such things it gives them the image of being despicable and disgraceful animals. The married woman of bath besides fails to be the ideal adult female for she brags. To speak extremely of one ‘s ego is non frequently accepted in the medieval epoch. She brags about being affluent after holding married many hubbies and taking their money “ Blessed be God that I have wedded five, Of whiche I have piked out the beste, both of hir nether purs and of hir cheste. ” ( Line 44-46, page36 ) During the medieval epoch a women’s rightist was non something to take pride in. It was non the cultural norm. Womans were meant to get married one adult male and have many kids with that one adult male. Researching the attitudes toward gender the married woman of bath interruptions all of the cultural norms by get marrieding many different work forces and holding many different kids with these different work forces. The image of an “ ideal ” adult female is lost within the married woman of bath since she represents everything a adult female of this clip period did n’t desire to be. The married woman of bath is non submissive to work forces and she holds power over them alternatively.

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After researching both verse forms in deepness and looking into the three different facets of the representation of adult female, the attitudes towards gender and the “ ideal ” behaviour both verse forms had their similarities. Both verse forms did non follow the cultural norms of their clip periods. “ The Lady of Shallots ” chased the adult male alternatively of holding the adult male chase her and in the possess commits suicide by disobeying the expletive. The “ Wife of bath ” introduces a feminist motion by being a powerful adult female who has married many work forces but in the procedure has damaged the position work forces have on adult females and the positions they have on her. It was seen that gallantry is seen in many different signifiers and can be shown in many different signifiers as good. Womans were frequently written about in early poesy and are still written about today in modern poesy. Both writers explored new ways in how to stand for adult female but besides show that gallantry is non dead.

Womans in the Medieval and Victorian epoch ‘s

Name: Caitlin Speed

Student Number: 100660290

Class: EN 120

Date: March 30, 2011

Professor: Dr. Cindy McMann

Work Cited

Ferguson, Margaret W. , Mary Jo. Salter, and Jon Stallworthy. The Norton Anthology of Poetry. New York: Norton, 2005. Print

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