After choice on whether to be ugly and

After a long conquest, the knight finally finds an answer. He comes across an ugly, old woman who promises to present him with the answer if he swears himself to her. Being left with no other choice, he agrees. The answer was sovereignty. What a woman desires most is to have control of her husband and lovers. Despite these expressions of male superiority, the expedition he was put on promotes a matriarchal society.

The king allowed his wife to choose the man’s fate and the women in this tale have authority. Although this tale holds the basic ideals of femininity representing subservience, they also promote heroines. The old woman assumes the role of her oppressors and exercises her control by dictating the knight’s freedom and forcing him to marry her.

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 The knight is ultimately left with a slap on the wrist for his misconduct. The conclusion circles back around the idea that a man’s innate nature of sexuality justifies rape. In the end— because the knight allows the crone to make her own choice on whether to be ugly and faithful or beautiful and disloyal, he’s rewarded with a beautiful, loyal wife.  Its played an integral part in their values, culture, and society. The Wife of Bath turns this sanctity of marriage into a mechanism for her own personal gain. She not only refuses to assume the same position as every other woman of the time, but she doesn’t have the same morals either.

She doesn’t see marriage as a holy thing, she sees it as a means of security. The Wife of Bath contradicted a variety of social norms in Anglo-Saxon society. She refused to let her environment influence her belief system.

She is the epitome of rebellion and a man’s greatest fear. A powerful woman, taking advantage of men, reversing gender roles. In the tale, the “old hag” held the power, making the man marry her instead of the other way around. Both stories swapped authority roles, rebelling against conventional notions of gender. Despite this inferiority complex, Gender roles were determined by social class, religion, and sexuality.

There’s limited historical information on the matter, but the evidence that’s accessible determines that the ordinary women was able to equally share assets with their husbands and participate in public affairs. She is rather interesting, being that women of later centuries didn’t have the same privileges. I wonder what contributes to a society’s ethical regression. Fell states that the equality of women lasted until the Norman Conquest of 1066, when military society began to perceive women as insignificant.

The text states that the role women played has been subdued and disregarded by patriarchism. Apparently, clerical sources of the period were altered and censored by misogynistic scholarship. But by scrutinizing and deciphering documentation and literacy, the authors were able to form suppositions on the representations of women in their masculine culture. They found that women and men appeared to share equal rights. However, women still faced social pressures of conforming to their gender roles.

Ruth Mazo Karras’ “Sexuality in Medieval Europe: Doing Unto Others” claims that This is also prevalent in Anglo-Saxon literature, which consisted of many tales of “wicked” women. Much like in religious context, women were often seen as the perpetrators, tempting a man’s goodwill.  “The Wanderer” depicts the warrior culture through a man who is wallowing in pity due to his failure to meet warrior expectations. The warrior code made up their identity and proving to be inadequate, stripped these men of purpose. For women, men what their lives revolved around.

While the most prominent person in a man’s life was another man. In the “The Wanderer”, a man has ostracized himself from his community and sails aimlessly in his anguish. He dwells on the death of his Lord, the slaughter of his kinsmen, and the thought of living in exile forever. In the Anglo-Saxon warrior community, a man without a lord is without identity, leaving him reeling over his loss of guidance and sense of self. Comitatus code promoted fellowship and was a prominent aspect of Anglos-Saxon culture.

It mainly pertained to a Lord’s relationship with his men. Their allegiance to one another formed an unbreakable bond and became the center of their lives. This is why The Wanderer was tormented by his own thoughts, shame, and grievances. His solitude was nothing but torturous. Avenging your lord is a major component of the Anglo-Saxon warrior ideal and his inability to fulfill this duty of revenge haunts him.

Hypermasculinity is expressed by The Wanderer’s depiction of societal standards for men. He states that a man’s emotions must be subdued and claims that a man must not be “too hasty in speech” or “quick to boast”. The ties a man has with his Lord and kins define his role in society, leaving The Wanderer in distress and with a lack of direction. He reckons that although a man can mask his emotions and temporarily suppress them, he can’t escape them. He contradicts social norms by embracing his emotions and utilizing them to embrace his inner self. This further establishes the war against femininity and establishment of virility. By isolating himself, he’s able to explore the meaning of life and find God.

He begins to cherish the experience, realizing that it has made him wiser. He’s consoled by God and the thought that every man has his own fate. During the 5th century, the Germanic Pagan culture of Anglo-Saxon England underwent a transition to Christianity. The society consisted of both traditional Germanic warrior culture and of a Christian value system.

The wanderer expresses Christian beliefs about how a “wise man” should present himself, the certainty of death, and their inability to change one’s fate. It emphasizes the Christian idea of God’s favor, which the man believes is the only possible refuge from all the misery he experiences. The presence of fate and God’s grace in the poem indicates his position at the borderline of Christianity and Paganism.


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