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Unformatted text preview: In Chaucer's time, the antifeminism of the church was a strong controlling factor. Women were frequently characterized as almost monsters; they were sexually insatiable, lecherous, and shrewish, and they were patronized by the church authorities. Women were not allowed to participate in church doctrine in any way. Likewise, in Chaucer's time, a second marriage was considered suspect, so the Wife of Bath carefully reviews the words of God as revealed in scripture. And her knowledge of scripture (although confused at times) reveals that she is not simply an empty-minded woman. Nowhere, she confesses, can she find a stricture against more than one marriage, save the rebuke Jesus gave to the woman at the well about her five husbands. But this, she confesses, she cannot understand. Furthermore, in Chaucer's time, perpetual virginity received considerable praise; some understand....
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- Fall '11