Consider his advice on marriage and the roles of men and women in the First letter to the Corinthians” (Crawford et al. 2:27), and compare and contrast these ideas about marriage and the roles of wife and husband to those expressed by Chaucer in the Wife of Bath’s tale from the Canterbury Tales and those expressed in The Thousand and One Nights
When St. Paul was writing the letter to the Corinthians, he talked about marriage and the role of men and women. St. Paul is seen as the primary promulgators of patriarchal ideas in Christian cultures. This is because he gives more power to men than women. He asserts that men have authority over women body whereas women do not have any authority over their body. Additionally, he gives men freedom to leave their wife if they are not satisfied. He says that a man has the right to do whatever his heart directs him to do. However, a woman is advised to endure all the difficulties in marriage when his man is alive. He asserted many things regarding to marriage. For instance, he portrays the truth that women are bound to their husband incase he is alive.
He also suggested that women have the authority to marry whom they like incase their husbands are dead. He says that married women have to concern themselves with things that please their husbands. He argues the unmarried women and widows should remain as they are. However, he said that if they tend to loss self-control, it is advisable for them to marry whomever they love. He says that no married women should ever leave their husbands and if they have to do that, it is good for them to remain unmarried. He cautions men not to divorce their women. According to St. Paul, men and women have different roles. For instance, a man should be the head of the family and has authority over his wife (1 Corinthians 7). Women have a responsibility to honor their husbands and obey them. They have a role of taking care of their children.
The story of the “Wife of Bath’s tale from the Canterbury Tales” tends to point out some important ideas about marriage and roles of women and men (Chaucer 176). The main character is “the wife” and she tends to portray the difficulties she experienced during her marriage life. This wife had married five husbands. She had a perception that whenever one divorces a man she should not remain a widow instead she should find another man to marry (Chaucer 176). She presents some argument about those who claims that once a husband has died a woman should become a nun. The fact that she was married to five men, she had a lot of wealth as she was inheriting everything when they divorce (Chaucer 176). Therefore, she was only looking for a man with outstanding characteristics; however, the man she married turned to be problematic.
She asserts that men and women should have equal opportunities to rule the family. She curses men who refuse to be ruled by their wife. According to this story, the wife should play same roles that a man carries. One of the differences between St. Paul and The wife of Baths’ tale is their ideas on marriage and role of man and women. For instance, St. Paul asserts that men have authority over women whereas the story of the wife opposes this argument. Another difference is that St. Paul argues women to remain widowed if they have control whereas the story of the wife opposes the claim that widowed women should become nuns.
According to St. Paul, men have the mandate of being the head of the family, but the story of the Wife curses those men that refuse to be ruled by their wives. This is different in the story of one thousands and one night. This is because men and women have different roles that they play during the night. For instance, women will turn to be slaves and concubines and they must respect their men (Hovannisian 16). Others were faithful while others tend to be unfaithful. There are also a number of women who are magician and others are not. On the other hand, men have the role of being the head of the family and should be respected by their wives. This story is different from that one of the Wife as some of the women are still virgin and they are willing to live that way.
- Chaucer, Geoffrey. The Wife of Bath. Lanham: Start Publishing, 2012. Internet resource.
- Hovannisian, Richard G. The Thousand and One Nights in Arabic Literature and Society: [proceedings of the Giorgio
- Levi Della Vida Conference, Held at the University of California, Los Angeles, 1989]. Cambridge [u.a.: Cambridge Univ. Press, 1997. Print.