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The Act of Feminisim Essay

  • Submitted by: vcarter2296
  • on April 1, 2014
  • Category: English
  • Length: 1,387 words

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Below is an essay on "The Act of Feminisim" from Anti Essays, your source for research papers, essays, and term paper examples.

The Act of Feminism
In Geoffrey Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales there are many themes portrayed in the each of the tales told. A specific theme, feminism, this is reoccurring within many of the tales told by the pilgrims on the way to Canterbury, but this is especially seen in The Wife of Baths tale and prologue. A feminist is a person who advocates for equal rights for women. On the surface, it seems as though she is a feminist, defending the rights and power of women over men in both her prologue and tale. But when looked at from the point of view of a man of the time, her entire image seems to shift. In her lengthy prologue, we learn her history and beliefs rather than someone else’s story like the others. The Wife of Bath seems to see herself as a feminist, but when it all comes down to it; she is the perfect example of a “failed feminist”. The wife tries to convince her feminist beliefs through her religion and beliefs, and morals/weakness, and most importantly manipulation.  
In the prologue of The Wife of Bath, talking about herself and the beliefs and history she uses her strong religion background to her advantage. “The first 170 lines of the Prologue consist of mostly direct and indirect quotation from biblical and patristic texts” Within her prologue she talks about how she has been married 5 times and manipulates her husbands and teases them to get just what she wants. This is showing that she is trying to make an excuse for the fact that she has had several husbands and cover up that she is a manipulating woman just like men actually perceive women to be like. “Of husbands at church door have I had five” she says this within the prologue, basically telling everyone that it is okay that I have been married five times because it was at the church doors even though that is looked down upon in Christianity. She considers her many marriages a sort of affirmation of her sexuality. She wants others to see her as the kind of woman who won't let the standards...

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