Bland 1 Leeza Bland Dan Doll ENGL 2341 March 19, 2021 Midterm Exam 1.) In medieval society, the roles of women were very different for each woman based on their social class which was a crucial part. Men were considered the be most important members of society, dominating the society and women had no power over their lifestyles. Women in medieval society were expected to get married despite not having a choice to who they would marry, run the household while men are working or fighting battles, and taught how to obey their husbands. Women in medieval literature granted more power and greater voice with participation in sexual activities with men. Canterbury Tales demonstrates the transition of women in medieval society . Chaucer portrays women in the tales as seducers because their sexual desires towards men and dominance over their husbands. For example, Alison from the Miller’s Tale and the Wife of Bath’s Prologue were described as promiscuous women who demonstrate sexual needs towards men for their own pleasures throughout the tales. Alison from the Miller’s Tale was not satisfied with her marriage and commented adultery with another man. She knew what she did was wrong but did not show any remorse for her actions which clearly shows her promiscuity. Alison aka the Wife of Bath uses her sexual power to influence her her five husbands. She sees marriage as an enjoyment of sex and maintain to control power over men. The two tales demonstrate how women can live by their own rules and do whatever they pleased to do in their lifestyles. Marie de France also portrays women in Lanval as seducers. Although it is simple about a woman tho is trying to seduce the knights, it demonstrates how they can use
Bland 2 their beauty and sexual desires to distract men’s attention. For example, Queen Gwenevere chose to seduce Lanval with her body to represent the power women are capable of over men. 2.) A hero is defined as a person or character who commits an act of bravery and idealized for great courage and noble qualities. He or she needs to have integrity, act without thinking their own benefit, obtain moral values, and values humanity in order to be called a hero. Most characters can be considered as a hero based on heroic attributes, but a few characters carried anti-hero traits because of how they lack traditional hero attributes. Gawain from Gawain and the Green Knight can be considered as a hero because of his massive courage to meet with the Green Knight’s challenge when knowing that he faces certain death. Unfortunately, he cheated by taking the green girdle to protect himself from the Knight’s challenge but regret his actions for cheating during the battle later on. Although he feels guilty about using the green girdle to cheat death, he did not portray any heroic traits. Honesty is the most important heroic trait because it shows that a person has a respectable, admired behavior when telling the truth and accept themselves who they are. Honesty also shows integrity. Dishonesty does not fit the category of what a hero is. Nicholas from the Miller’s Tale shows anti-heroic traits throughout the Canterbury Tales. Nicholas may be a young scholar, but using his cleverness to manipulate anyone for his benefit shows the lack of heroic attributes. Nicholas is devious and persistent when it comes to women, especially his lover Alison. They created a plan on how to distract Alison’s husband in order to sleep together. Nicholas has an ability to be intelligent which can be considered as a heroic trait, but he does what is need to achieve his goals for his wants and wiling to betray his own best friend. The knight from the Wife of Bath’s Tale did not make a good impression to the readers nor was a very good knight as they thought. The knight is not a
Bland 3 very likable character and carries anti-hero traits because he committed a terrible crime against a woman. In the tale, it is revealed that the knight raped a maiden and seems to be ungrateful towards the woman who saved his life to avoid legal punishment. Knights are expected to be a person of integrity and courtesy towards women. Unfortunately, the knight is the opposite from what a true knight is.