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The reader should remember that The Clerk

The reader should remember that The Clerk - The reader...

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Unformatted text preview: The reader should remember that The Clerk's Tale is told as a result of the Wife of Bath's story about women who desire sovereignty over their husbands. Thus the Clerk tells a story with the opposite view: that of a woman who is completely submissive to her husband, never loses her patience, and remains steadfast through all adversities. The Clerk's Tale treats a large range of loosely feudal interrelationships, both on a social and private level. Initially, the central focus is on the lord, Walter, who consents to marry at the desire of his people (a sign of a good ruler is one who is concerned for the happiness of his subjects). He breaks with the strict traditions of his time and chooses a peasant girl for his bride, thus violating the social distinctions. He then violates humane standards by cruelly and needlessly testing his wife to prove distinctions....
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