Chaucer and Gender in the Canterbury Tales.

Essay by MccaddenSucksUniversity, Bachelor's August 2004

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Lee A. Zito

The women of the fourteenth century were expected to be beautiful, dainty creatures just as in any century. But with the religious outlooks that are presented in Chaucer's Canterbury Tales it seems as though women spent a huge part of the fourteen century apologizing for Even and original sin.

In many of the stories that deal with women, young women are punished, abused, taken advantage of, or brushed aside and assumed to be ignorant. The excuse of the males seems to underlie the whole dughters of eve persona. Women are seducers with malicious intent upon virtuous men.

Just as it states in the Nun's Priest's tale, women are man's bliss/Women are man's confusion. Chaucer does make reference to the fall of man and with these stories as proof it is likely men looked to Adam's fall as a lesson women and their ways. Chaucer's is not continuing this blame on women.

In the Canterbury Tales, Chaucer puts the blame on everyone, both the men and women characters are at fault. With his proclamation of blamelessness for ideas expressed in the Canterbury Tales, Chaucer was able to rebel against all of society and their ridiculous roles and rules.

He utilized his character's emotions to express his own emotions.

Chaucer kept his view real in the sense that he wrote his characters in the way that society viewed them, but in doing so he was able to show us our own mistakes.