Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales demonstrate many different attitudes toward and perceptions of marriage. Some of these ideas are more liberal thought such as the marriages portrayed in the Wife of Bath, the Clerk’s and Merchant’s Tales. Then there are those tales that are very traditional, such as that discussed in the Franklin's s tales. While several of these tales are rather comical, they do indeed give us the attitudes toward marriage at that time in history. Marriage in Chaucer's time meant a union between spirit and flesh and was thus part of the marriage between Christ and the Church. The Canterbury Tales show many abuses of this sacred bond and different views on how a marriage should work. The purpose of this paper is to discuss about the marriage theme in the Geoffrey Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales.
Geoffrey Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales have long been respected as a picture of popular sentiment toward love and marriage in the Middle Ages.
Whether positive or negative, nearly all of the tales express some sort of sentiment toward marriage. In both the Wife of Bath’s Tale and the Franklin’s Tale, Chaucer explores the roles and rules of love and marriage for the medievals.
One of the most blatantly expressive is that of the Wife of Bath. he Wife portrays marriage as a womanly role just as valuable as holy virginity, separated only by their “differing dignity.
The Wife of Bath is an example of what the medieval church believed a ‘wicked woman’ to be and she is proud of it. . She considerd herself that she is an independent woman who uses men to satisfy her own sexual needs whenever she wants, but also admits to using her own body as a means to gain money and power over her husbands. It soon becomes obvious that the only man she ever loved was Jankyn, the husband that treated her worst and proved least controllable. Despite their contradictions, all of these ideas about women were used by men to support a...