The Medieval society in the Canterbury Talesâ by Geoffrey Chaucer

August 6, 2017 Communication

Medieval society was different. but non so different from what we experience today. In the 14th century people lived their life. about the same life that we live. They were born. grew up. fell in love. married. had kids and died. They ate. got rummy. went to work with katzenjammers. crush their partners. grieved for their dead…

There was alot about 14th century that we would happen familiar.

Womans had a great function in mediaeval times. You can happen adult females in different functions. Chaucer in his Canterbury Tales Tells of several adult females. Two are among the travellers on the pilgrim’s journey to Canterbury and the others are characters in legion narratives during the journey. The married woman of Bath. the old adult females in the Wife of Bath’s Tale. and Griselda. a character in the Clerk’s Tale. each exemplify the divergent function of adult females in 14th century. These adult females are true illustrations of adult females of the yesteryear. and on the contrast can besides be illustrations of adult females of nowdays because although life styles may alter. nevertheless general behaviours remain the same.

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Forceful and vibrant. The Wife of Bath is an ideal illustration of an unrestrained and obscene adult female of the 14th century. She has been widowed five times and she is traveling on the pilgrim’s journey to Canterbury to perchance happen her following hubby. The Wife is opposed to the construct of celibacy and obviously states her personal thoughts refering that topic within the prologue of her tale…

State me to what decision or in assistance of what were productive variety meats made? And for what net income were those animals wrought? Trust me. they can non hold been made for nothing.

Her garb is pretentious ; she wears graphic garments and flowery headgears. As a consequence of her showy amour propre. The Wife would hold been censured by priests and Parsonss. The Wife of Bath can practically be considered a sex symbol of her coevals.

The Wife of Bath has even been compared to Madonna by Susan K. Hagan. Hagan writes. “What I find so astonishing in these two ego styled public presentations of confession and love affair. separated as they are by 600 old ages and phenomenological being is that both express their individualism in footings of sexual liberty and control. Both The Wife of Bath and Madonna cognize how to “play the game. ” The Wife of Bath wants the free dinner every bit much as anyone else. She postures. she pronounces. she plays out the challenge of Host. Pardoner. Friar. and Clerk likewise. ” Hagan adds to the comparing by saying. “Her [ The Wife of Bath ] opening figure might be “Express Yourself. ” but her method is to vogue. to strike a airs. whether it be the depraved feminine exegete. the insatiate Venusian. the nagging married woman. the covetous married woman. or the loving wife” . The Wife of Bath besides tells a narrative of a knight and an old adult female with the moral that adult male and married woman will be happiest if the adult female is given the power in the relationship. These power battles occurred in past epochs and go on even now. What adult female today with a controlling hubby would prefer to be in charge. and frailty versa? Therefore. life styles conceivably change over clip. but the basic power battles between adult male and married woman virtually stay the same.

The Clerk. who is going on the pilgrim’s journey every bit good. tells the well-known narrative of patient Griselda. Griselda is a baronial image of a adult female full of trueness and endurance for emotional hurting. Her hubby Walter. the male monarch. tests her several times by taking away her kids and directing her dorsum to be a provincial as she was prior to coming to the palace. In the terminal Walter brings back Griselda’s kids and reveals the truth. Griselda is joyous and they all “live merrily of all time after. ” The Clerk provinces at the terminal of his narrative. “It isn’t easy to happen Griseldas round the town. you know” ( 372 ) . He fundamentally says that it would non be easy to happen adult females who exist possessing features similar to Griselda. but they are at that place. It is the equivalent in the society of today. There are few adult females who devote themselves wholly to their hubbies. but they are out at that place ; they do be. Another facet of The Clerk’s Tale. which can compare the 14th century and society of today. is the matrimony of two people. one being of the lowest societal category and one being of the highest societal category.

Griselda was a provincial and Walter was a male monarch. yet he still chose her to be his bride. That would be reasonably correspondent to person like Bill Gates choose an attractive adult female who lives on the streets of Sarajevo to be his married woman. This event is possible both so and now. yet it would be comparatively uneven for these events to really happen in both clip periods. Griselda is the precise illustration of a typical female parent in that epoch. Some wonder why Griselda was more loyal to her hubby than to her ain kids. The reply lies partially in the fact that some. if non most mediaeval adult females did non experience as near to their kids or demo as much emotion to their kids as adult females in ulterior times do. Harmonizing to Barbara W. Tuchman. “Of all the features in which mediaeval age differs from the modern. none is so dramatic as the comparative absence of involvement in children” . If Griselda was one of these adult female. she certainly loved her kids but her trueness remained with her hubby. so it was non rather as hard for her to adhere to his behavior. The narrative besides corresponds greatly with mediaeval literature of that clip because “In literature the main function of kids was to decease. normally drowned. smothered. or abandoned in a wood in the orders of some king fearing prognostication or a huffy hubby proving a wife’s endurance” .

In the Clerk’s Tale that is precisely what takes topographic point ; a hubby proving a wife’s endurance. The adult females of the yesteryear was believing of the manner she looks. they wanted to be beautiful for their hubbies. The beauty patterns of adult females of the yesteryear and the adult females of modern twenty-four hours are similar as good. “Women used cosmetics. dyed their hair. . . . and plucked their superciliums excessively. although by these patterns they committed the wickedness of vanity” . Women of today pattern these beauty wonts every bit good. without fright of being condemned. It was considered immoral to tweak superciliums and “the devils in purgatory were said to penalize the pattern by lodging ‘hot combustion awls and needles’ into every hole from which a hair had been plucked” . Womans of the 14th century had their alone qualities whether they were manner. linguistic communication. etc. . but those adult females had the same general behaviours as the adult females of today have. As person said. “For world is of all time the same and nil is lost out of nature. though everything is altered. ”


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