Chaucer' s Women

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Chaucerís masterpiece, The Canterbury Tales, reflects a very opinionated view of manners and the behaviors of medieval women. Chaucer portrays two extremes of female conduct during this period through the characters of the Prioress and the Wife of Bath. Through the images and descriptions in the poem, the Wife of Bath is representative of a female liberal extremist. On the other end of the spectrum, we have the Prioress, who is a better example …

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…we can see that none of the characters are perfectly bad or good, we can mostly tell that Chaucer identifies more with the moral and pleasant characters, while leaving the other side to look corrupt and as unpleasant as possible. By comparing their two extremes of every level of society, nobility, aristocracy, clergy, men and women, Chaucer completes a sort of Good vs. Bas doctrine on which his audience should base their life styles upon.