Menu

The Canterbury Tales by Chaucer

0 Comment

71750 At the heart of Chaucer’s most well known and well-renowned works, lies The Canterbury Tales. &nbsp.The tales are an assortment of various satires, romances, anti-romances, and crude comedies linked together by the frame-story, The Prologue. Among a total of twenty-four tales, The Canterbury Tales also contains Franklin’s Tale, The Wife of Bath’s Tale, and the Merchant’s Tale which will be further discussed in this essay.According to Andermahr, an anti-romance is “a cynical, disillusioned mode which uses a more realist paradigm of everyday commonplace language to reveal the gap between fantasy and reality”. Hence, we understand that anti-romance works as a contrast to the romantic genre by presenting a more real and practical sexual relationship. This contrast can be identified within Chaucer’s works such as The Canterbury Tales, in which The Knight’s Tale can fall under Arthurian romance, whereas keeping Andermahr’s definition in mind, the Wife of Bath’s Tale is a pronounced anti-romance.An anti-romance, further being a parody and a complete mockery of romantic conventions understandably should then be an anti-thesis of a romance and in turn the literary devices found in a romance. Hence, it can be considered a snide satire that works to undermine the romantic insignia.Keeping these descriptions in mind, conventions of an anti-romance can be found scattered throughout major Chaucerian works, including the Wife of Bath’s tale.Simply considering the storyteller herself, we are confused as to how to dub it a romance. We are told that the Wife of Bath has been married five times already. Her love has withered from pure (if we are to assume that it ever was pure, to begin with) to a vulgar, physical manifestation.The Wife is shown to us with an attitude much reminiscent of anti-feminist literature in which the woman’s gender becomes a twisted reflection of masculinity. This gender disorder presents another mockery of romantic themes. Such a woman, relating to us a story of a knight and his wife sets our expectations and presumptions accordingly. She becomes a shadow of the tales vulgarity which is to follow. &nbsp.&nbsp.