The wife-of-bath-powerpoint

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The wife-of-bath-powerpoint

  1. 1. For take my word for it, there is no libel On women that the clergy will not paint, Except when writing of a woman –saint But never good of other women, though. Who called the lion savage? Do you know? By God, if women had but written stories Like those the clergy keep in oratories,More had been written of man‟s wickedness Than all the sons of Adam could redress.
  2. 2.  Ithas been said, “Not everything that is learned is contained in books.” Compare and contrast knowledge gained from experience with knowledge gained from books. In your estimation, which source is more important? Why?
  3. 3.  What do her prologue and tale argue, and how successfully? Does she support or challenge medieval and modern stereotypes of women? What views of sex and marriage does she hold, and how do the patterns of imagery help us understand them?
  4. 4.  Deaf, gap-toothed, mature, ruddy complexion, flamboyant taste in clothes Portrait focuses on her personal life as a wife five times over, whilst the others are described in terms of their professional lives. What might this imply? What about her journey shows that she is bold and adventurous?
  5. 5.  In Part 1, the Wife defends marriage (as opposed to virginity) In Part 2, the Wife describes her married life In Part 3, the Wife describes her final husband Jankin and their arguments over the “Book of Wicked Wives” In the Tale itself, the Wife tells us of a rapist knight who must answer a riddle to save his life: What is it that women most desire?
  6. 6.  What are the Wife of Bath‟s views on marriage? How does she try to gain power over her husbands? Explain with evidence from her prologue.
  7. 7. • Misogyny was common and accepted in medieval times• The idea of women as a source of evil and trouble to men originated with the introduction of Christianity• Eve: wicked and stupid, and caused all humanity to be expelled from Paradise• Women were considered to be full of vices and inferior to men• St. Jerome (342 – 420) and Theophrastus were leading misogynistic writers.
  8. 8.  Virgins Widows who don‟t remarry Married women“It was felt that God must love virgins most and that married people came a very poor third in his affections.”----------------------------------------------------------GodMenWomenAnimals
  9. 9.  Learned and influential anti-feminist Spent 30 years translating the Bible into Latin Held extreme views about the human body In particular viewed women as evil temptresses Called the idea that people did not have to be virgins to be loved by God „nauseating trash‟
  10. 10. “Married women want many things, costly dresses, gold, jewels, expensive items, maidservants, all kinds of furniture. Then come prattling complaints all the night: that one lady goes out better dressed than she; that another is looked up to by all. „Why did you ogle that creature next door?‟ „Why were you talking to the maid?‟ „What did you bring from the market?‟ we are not allowed to have a single friend or companion. There may be in some neighbouring city the wisest of teachers; but if we have a wife we can neither leave her behind, nor take the burden with us.”
  11. 11. The Wife of Bath uses her introduction and tale to support her points that:1. Women should be allowed to marry as many times as they wish, and…2. That once they are married everyone will be happier if the woman is in charge.How does she do this?
  12. 12.  The Wife often describes the views that are opposite to her own then demolishes them: a classic persuasive technique. Example 1: pg 291, the stories of Cana and the Samaritan are refuted with those of King Solomon, and God‟s words on marriage. Can you find more examples?
  13. 13.  Humor is a classic persuasive techniques, since it gets the audience on your side in a positive, friendly manner. Why do so many speeches start with or include jokes? The Wife‟s bawdy, jolly humour is designed to entertain and disarm her audience. She parodies and satirises popular misogynistic texts She makes humorous analogies between sex and other things By being funny, she can make her points without sounding preachy or overbearing. She tells stories which show her in a bad light but her complete honesty is both shocking and funny
  14. 14.  The Wife knows the texts of the Bible, St. Jerome etc. and uses them to her advantage. Pg 260 – Abraham and Jacob Pg 263 – reference to the astrologer Ptolemy Pg 265 – parodies Theophrastus Pg 276/7 – references to various Bible stories and misogynistic texts Do bear in mind, though, that the Wife chooses quotes to suit herself and sometimes takes them out of context – another classic techniques but not a very admirable one!
  15. 15.  The Wife cleverly builds her argument using a series of well supported points. She starts with the Bible Secondly she discusses the need to continue the human race: „And certainly if seed were never sown,/ How ever could virginity be grown?‟ pg 260 She then moves on to basic biology.
  16. 16.  The Wife cleverly builds her argument using a series of well supported points. She starts with the Bible Secondly she discusses the need to continue the human race: „And certainly if seed were never sown,/ How ever could virginity be grown?‟ pg 260 She then moves on to basic biology.
  17. 17.  Someone has to be and it may as well be women since men have the natural advantage of patience and wisdom Men want sex and women want money so it‟s the perfect arrangement Marriages are only happy once the wife is in charge – both in the prologue and the tale. But happy for whom? Her logic is more flawed here.
  18. 18.  The Wife does not try to set herself up as an ideal for others to follow, “I‟ll make no boast about my own estate” pg 261 She compares herself to a wooden bowl (not a gold one), a barley bread (not a pure wheat loaf) „God calls his folk to him in many ways‟ pg 261
  19. 19.  „Oneof us must be master, man or wife, And since a man‟s more reasonable, he should be the patient one, you must agree‟
  20. 20.  On pg 266 the Wife is berating her husband and mentions many of the common complaints against women: they scold, they want to be praised all the time, they want to be called pretty names in public, they want dinner out on their birthday and presents, etc Her response? „That‟s what you say, old barrelful of lies!‟ The fact that this section satirises Theophrates strengthens the challenge to stereotypes here.
  21. 21.  She is clever and articulate and knowledgeable; not the ignorant, stupid woman that the clerks described
  22. 22.  Her account of her treatment of her first three husbands glories in how she scolded them, took their money, and made their lives a misery: „O Lord, I wrecked their peace,/ Innocent as they were, without remorse!‟ pg 268 – she is a troublemaker who made her husbands suffer. She seems to value relationships for what she can get out of them – comes across as a medieval gold digger She seems to argue that drunk women get what they deserve – your classic anti-woman rape defence even today (pg 271) She loves her fifth husband best even though he beats her, supporting the stereotypical idea that women only love the bad or hard to get guys. (pg 272) She is bossy and lustful.
  23. 23. “Without the stereotypes there would be nocharacter of The Wife of Bath. But she is notherself a stereotype. Instead, Chaucerexploits all the traditional things men wroteabout women and creates a woman who isbigger than all of them. She is a verycomplex character, new and original butcreated out of traditions which are veryancient.”
  24. 24.  „A man must yield his wife her debt‟ pg 262 „You shan‟t have both, you can‟t be such a noddy/ As think to keep my goods and have my body/ One you must do without, whatever you say.‟ pg 267 Pg 269 she would not let her husbands near her until they „paid a fee‟ and tells every man „It‟s all for sale and let him win who can‟ Pg 275 she recounts how she gave her money to Jankyn as an act of love, only to regret it later; the tables have been turned!
  25. 25.  Medieval church did not approve of sex; some claimed only happened after Eve‟s fall. Should only happen in marriage, for procreation; not pleasure Women = dangerous sexual creatures with cold bodies needing warming by men WOB glories in this: constant references to sex and her vagina are enthusiastic and unapologetic She presents a view of sex as natural, unsinful, and pleasurable.
  26. 26.  Much of the sex is to do with power The knight rapes the maiden instead of wooing her (anti-romantic?) Women most desire power over men Alison describes using men‟s desires for sex to dominate her first 3 husbands Her description of dominating men is fantastical in medieval society; it showshow much the Wife challenges the norm.
  27. 27. A great deal of animal imagery is used (sheep, spaniel, goose, ox, ass, hound, cat, h awk, magpie, nightingale etc) and it almost entirely refers to women Women were considered closer to animals than men were and were often compared to them, unflatteringly Animals are considered to lack reason: men are only compared to them when out of control, e.g. drunken as a mouse

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