The Wife of Bath – Early Feminist?
The Tale of the Wyf of Bathe – written in 14th century England – remains to be one of the most widely known tales from Geoffrey Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales. Chaucer gives voice to this pilgrim woman at a time when Richard II’s England was wrought with imbalance of power in the male dominated society. The purpose of this essay is to discern whether the Wife of Bath was an early feminist or not. She is commonly referred to as “the wife” and not her name - this is precisely the notion that she sets out to defy - that a woman, in a society, can only be identified by relation to a man, be it as a wife, mother, sister or a daughter.
Longsworth, Robert. "The Wife of Bath and the Samaritan Woman." The Chaucer Review 34.4 (2000): 372-387.
Malone, Kemp. "The Wife of Bath's Tale." The Modern Language Review (1962): 481-491.
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