The Wife of Bath: The Medieval Desperate Housewife.

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Medieval women are typically considered to be young beautiful ladies who are damsels in distress, awaiting their knight to come rescue them. “The Canterbury Tales” reveals that this notion is far from the truth. Refuting this idea in the novel is The Wife of Bath. She is overtly manipulative by using her exuding sexuality. Her husbands, all five of them were teased with sex, but they had to provide luxuries that she desperately craved for. The underlying theme of The Wife of Bath relates to power struggles rather than spousal equality in marriage. The Wife of Bath gives an insight into a hard working semi-independent woman of the Middle Ages. She is semi- independent because she is dependent upon her husbands for material goods. "In the words of the Wife of Bath, God has given women three talents- deceit, weeping, and spinning" (Power 118). The institution of marriage is revealed to have little to do with love, but a lot to do with getting what you want or sexual gratification. She showed us a rare glimpse of a woman with a position of authority in medieval society. She used sex to get what she wanted from her husbands, making her well practiced in the art of sexual manipulation. She presents herself as someone who craves sex, sees marriage as a way to experience the finer things in life and loves to be an instigator. In the middle ages, the power belonged to men. Women provided their male counterparts with their body, for sex and for providing children. Women were given no rights. Their main purpose was to take care of household duties and their children. Marriages were an institution that forested relationships of hierarchy and obedience rather than love and sentiment. Marriages were more made from the head rather than the heart. During the time of Wife of bath the women’s right was just to be married and manage the household and the children. The wife of

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