Gender in Tis Pity and The Wife of Bath

I comparision of the representation of gender within Tis pity and The Wife of Bath

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  • Gender
    • Putana
      • No one questions her torture or sentence
        • 'burnt to ashes' for her knowledge and as a warning
          • Vasques was just as aware, if not more so, tortured Putana and killed Giovanni and he was only banished
      • Values wealth in men
        • "He is wise, and what is more, rich"
        • The wife also values this in her husbands
          • "The thre were goode men, and riche, and olde"
    • Soranzo
      • Double standards
        • He is a known adulterer yet when he finds out Annabella is pregnant, he is outraged
          • "strumpet" "famous whore"
      • Dominant in his relationship
        • "dragging in Annabella"
        • The wife was beaten by Jankyn
          • "he hadde me bet on every bon"
          • The wife was extremely dominant in her first 3 marriages
            • "I governed hem so wel, after my lawe"
    • Annabella
      • Owned and objetified
        • "Renaissance daughters need to become wives because their father's needed to transfer patriarchal responsibilities to husbands"
        • In the second scene she is up on the balcony like a prize
          • Laura Mulvey - Male gaze
      • Annabella is blamed for all the events in the play despite Giovanni being the perpetrator and often manipulating Annabella
        • "Who could not say, tis pity she's a whore?"
      • Thomas Edgar stated there are 3 stages of a woman's life cycle; "unmarried virgin"; "married" and the "widow"
        • Annabella does not fit into these categories as she was unmarried but pregnant
    • Giovanni
      • Strong use of blazon - objectification
      • He is not blamed for all anything that happened
        • "Who could not say, tis pity she's a whore?"
    • Hippolita
      • Wanting to remarry because she is a widdow
        • The Wife of Bath does remarry multiple times
        • Soranzo rejects her because he is interested in Annabella
      • Breaks from Edgar's stage of "married" as she is an adulterer
    • Florio
      • Patriarchal Father
        • Says he wants his daughter to marry for love yet encourages the marriage with Soranzo
          • This is further encouraged when Annabella falls ill - possibly as a sickly bride will be worth less
          • "having my word engaged: Owing her heart"
        • Gets a doctor for Annabella when she appears ill despite earlier mentioning Giovanni looks ill and giving him no provision
          • Annabella is female and weaker, therefore needs to be given a doctor?
          • Florio prefers his daughter?
          • Because Giovanni already left for university, Florio felt he was capable of looking after himself?
          • Annabella is Florio's last chance to have grandchildren so he is putting all of his resources into her?
            • "he [Giovanni] is so devoted to his book, As I must tell you true, I doubt his health"
          • "I see you have of late been sickly"
      • "Renaissance daughters need to become wives because their father's needed to transfer patriarchal responsibilities to husbands"
    • The Wife
      • Proto-feminist?
        • Yes
          • Wants to empower women
          • Wants to break stereotypes
          • Nazan Yildiz: "her prologue is taken as a revolutionary document for the age in which it was written" - begining of protofeminism
        • No
          • Wanted to dominate men, not have equality
          • Her tale gives men what they want
          • Many conflicting ideas including the objectification of females and the animalistic references
          • Elaine Hansen: "reinforcing anti-feminist views by stereotyping medieval ideas about women as cruel, emotional and sexually voracious"
      • Multiple marriages
        • Her justification is god saying "God bad us for to wexe and multiplie"
          • Yet she has no children
      • Book of wicked wives
        • The book that Jankyn read continuously
        • Tells the story of many wives through history and implies all wives are like them
      • Tale
        • Begins with the knight raping a woman - male domination
        • Queen has to ask the King's permission to deal with the Knight - Patriarchy
        • Old woman gives the naswer to the knight and he is bound to her - matriarchy
        • The knight's life was in the control of the Queen- matriarchy
        • Knight gives the old woman 'maistrie' - Matriarchy
        • The old woman gives him both loyalty an beauty - patriarchy?
          • Elaine Hansen finds it distressing that "Chaucer allows the Wife of Bath, who seems to want to challenge the medieval antifeminist rejection of women, in the end to accept it"
            • She believes that the knight is "rewarded"
    • Richardetto and Philottis
      • Philottis does whatever her uncle wishes of her
        • She agrees to spy on Annabella, yet does not wish harm upon anyone
          • "Alas, I fear You mean some strange revenge"
        • Richardetto tells her to join a nunnery
          • "Uncle, shall I resolve to be a nun?"
          • Most likely as she no longer has a purpose
    • Gilbert and Gubar
      • Women are repressed in literature as they are written as either a 'monster' or an 'angel'
        • Annabella - Angel at the begining of the play, monster at the end
          • Putana - monster
            • Philotis - angel
              • Wife of bath tale - old woman is a monster but her transformation makes her an angel

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