Power in Tis Pity and Wife of Bath

A comparison of both Tis Pity and The Wife of Bath in the context of Power

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  • Power
    • Vasques
      • His great knowledge allows for a great power, done through the manipulation of people
        • Maintains this by having a great control over the many roles he plays - goffman
          • His multiple roles are shown to the audience by the use of 'asides'
        • The Wife was controlling in her marriages but overtly
          • "I governed hem so wel, after my lawe"
      • A servant and therefore lacking political/societal power
        • He does however both criticise and give instructions to Soranzo
          • "Sir you must be ruled by your reason. and not by your fury"
    • Soranzo
      • a noble therefore has political/societal power
      • Once married to Annabella he has the power
        • "Come, strumpet, famous whore!"
        • "dragging in Annabella"
        • The Wife was the powerful one in her relationships
          • "Myself have been the whippe"
          • She was also cruel
            • "I chidde hem spitously"
          • Her 5th husband beat her
            • "he hadde me bete on every bon"
    • Cardinal
      • Has both political and religious power
        • Abuses his power: protects Grimaldi despite the murder he committed
          • Act 3, Scene 9: "I here receive Grimaldi into Holiness' protection
        • He is able to sentence people due to his status
          • Condemns Putana to death
            • Act 5, Scene 6: "burnt to ashes"
          • Banishes Vasques
            • "Being no Italian, We banish thee for ever"
          • Confiscates the lover's property 'in the name of the church'
            • "all the gold and jewels, and whatsoever, Confiscate by the cannons of the church"
        • He is given the final word in the play: his word is final
          • "Who could not say, 'Tis pity she's a whore?"
            • Also the title of the play
        • He is aware of his status, he uses an inferior insult
          • "Saucy mates"
    • Giovanni
      • Giovanni has the power the relationship between himself and his sister
        • Use of the blazon - objectifying her
          • "Such a pair of stars As are thine eyes"
        • Lies to her about the church approving the relationship
        • Blackmail
          • "Love me or kill me sister"
          • The wife manipulates her husbands to get her way
            • "Ther I would chide and do hem no plesaunce"
      • Has a powerful mind making him stubborn
        • "It were more ease to stop the ocean"
    • Friar
      • Has a strong religious power
        • Giovanni does not completely trust the Friar's judgement
          • Act 3, Scene 6 "I fear this Friar's falsehood"
        • This causes him to be influential in moral areas
          • Encourages Annabella to repent for her sins
            • Act 5, Scene 1: "Live to die more blessed"
    • Grimaldi
      • A man of notable social status giving him great political and societal power
        • The wife's tale argued that nobility should be determined by actions, not by birth
          • "Thanne comth oure verray gentillesse of grace"
      • He has little physical power, demonstrated by being worse off in a fight with a servant
    • The Wife
      • Has a strong belief in the role of maistry in a relationship
        • Women should be in control
          • The knight in the tale benefits from giving over the control
            • 'bothe fair and good"
          • "I praye Jhesushorte hir liyves That noght wol be governed by hir wyves"
      • Mentions the book of Wicked Wives which depicts wives as evil and stealing their husbands power
        • "somme han dryve nayles in hir brayn"

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