Women and Women's Writings from Antiquity Through the Middle Ages - Research Article from Feminism in Literature

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Women and Women's Writings from Antiquity Through the Middle Ages: Women in Medieval Art and Literature

Susan Carter (Essay Date 2003)

SOURCE: Carter, Susan. "Coupling the Beastly Bride and the Hunter Hunted: What Lies behind Chaucer's Wife of Bath's Tale?" Chaucer Review 37, no. 4 (2003): 329-45.

In the following excerpt, Carter elucidates the critical feminine subjectivity of Chaucer's "loathly lady," the Wife of Bath, as seen in her tale of King Arthur's court in The Canterbury Tales.

We do not know where Chaucer found the loathly lady motif. Whatever source he encountered, whatever transmutation to it had occurred, he evidently appreciated the more immediate destabilization of gender roles that springs from the loathly lady seen as a personification of the kingdom. Jill Mann pinpoints exactly what is so powerful in the Wife of Bath's Tale when she notes that "[t]he 'anti-feminist' elements … constitute the force...

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This section contains 2,736 words
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Buy the Women and Women's Writings from Antiquity Through the Middle Ages Encyclopedia Article
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Feminism in Literature
Women and Women's Writings from Antiquity Through the Middle Ages from Feminism in Literature. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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