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Women in the Canterbury Tales: Between a Saint and a Sinner
Mihaela Juričan, 2011, undergraduate thesis

Abstract: The diploma thesis compares the life and the status of women in the late medieval society with some of the female characters from the Canterbury Tales. The author of these Tales is Geoffrey Chaucer who is often named the Father of English Poetry. Beside his life and work this diploma thesis also presents his attitude to women in his family and his view on medieval women in general. Chaucer’s view on women varied from the generally accepted opinion imposed by the ecclesiastic and didactic literature. The mentality and the values of the late medieval society were quite different from the modern society. That is why it is difficult to describe and explain the view of the world in the fourteenth century from the modern viewpoint. The diploma thesis mentions the political, religious, and social changes that occurred in the fourteenth century England. The most important events and occurrences that led England to the riots but also to the formation of national awareness are mentioned. This diploma thesis focuses on the perception of women in the late medieval society which was dominated by men. The depictions of women in the late medieval literature were often much generalized as they were presented as sinful Eves or saint Marys. Chaucer avoided this traditional perception by creating more complex female characters. The role of his female characters was more important than it was usually assigned to female characters in the late medieval literature.
Keywords: Geoffrey Chaucer, women, submission, late Middle Ages, Canterbury Tales
Published: 27.02.2012; Views: 1598; Downloads: 125
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