Feminist Discursivity in the Wife of Bath's Prologue and Tale
作  者 / 陳莜蓉          指導教授 / 鄭冠榮
中興大學 / 外國語文所
the Wife of Bath
In “the Wife of Bath,” Chaucer exhibits how a medieval woman behaves against her husbands' domination: The Wife of Bath speaks in company what she wants and her carnal desires, and boldly competes with male authority. Therefore, what I would like to engage in is that living in the Middle Ages, how does a woman strive for her inner desires and against male authority? In this thesis, I am going to read the text in the light of the symbolic/semiotic, jouissance, and mimicry proposed by Julia Kristeva and Luce Irigaray to prove whether Chaucer is a pioneer of feminism or not. Then, I would trace back to the contemporary cultural background to re-read the text after proving “the Wife of Bath” is participating the modern feminism. By means of negotiation in New Historicism, the text would contain a mobilizing energy between aesthetic practices and social practices-the aesthetic and social practices stimulate and penetrate each other. Finally, I would discuss broadly the matrimonial relationship in other tales to make a comparison with the Wife's. Chaucer in the Wife of Bath's Prologue and Tale invents such a distinctive and extraordinary woman as Sandra Gilbert and Susan Gubar's cite “the Wife of Bath's fictional words as an instance of authentic female speech and takes her as a direct spoken-woman for the perspective proto-feminism of Chaucer.”
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