The Wife of Bath themes

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  • The Wife of Bath
    • Religion
      • 'If I have licence of this worthy Frere?'
        • Dominance
          • the tale~: 'he rafte hire maidenheed by verray force.'
          • the wife rules her husbands
          • Stereotypes
            • Wife subverts traditional stereotypes by being opinionated
              • Readings: Feminist - champion of women.
            • 3 husbands are weak, brought down by their need for sex
          • Readings: Feminist - champion of women.
      • The interruptions: shows corruption
      • The form: a confessio.
      • Context: only men were allowed to preach.
      • Women were despised by the church. St Jerome believed in marriage only for the needs of procreation.
        • Marriage
          • Dominance
            • the tale~: 'he rafte hire maidenheed by verray force.'
            • the wife rules her husbands
            • Stereotypes
              • Wife subverts traditional stereotypes by being opinionated
                • 3 husbands are weak, brought down by their need for sex
            • 'Experience... of the wo that is in mariage'
            • married 5 times
            • Looking for God or number 6?
            • Theophrastus: women were cold blooded and manipulative.
        • Is this Chaucers attack on religion or the wife's?
          • Deconstructionist reading?
        • Readings: New Historicism - new age of woman. Historical readings - the two popes, Richard III's reign.
      • Sexuality
        • 'bele chose' 'Chambre of venus' 'Quenyte' - all grotesque and shocking
        • Context: the wife has no children yet has 5 husbands
          • married 5 times
        • The church believed that sex was a sin
        • Readings: new historicism: new aged woman. Psychoanalytical- the three differing readins of the wife.
    • Marriage
      • 'Experience... of the wo that is in mariage'
      • Looking for God or number 6?
      • Theophrastus: women were cold blooded and manipulative.

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