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The Prioress and Grisilde A Medieval Parody How does medieval society view women Or more importantly how does Chaucer view women in his society and what does he think about societys views By examining the way Chaucer portrays women in his tales perhaps we can get a better understanding of his attitudes towards women The Prioress and Grisilde are two women in the Canterbury tales that show very specific ideas of how a woman should be In their portrayal if you read the text closely Chaucer is trying to satirize the way society medieval thinks women should be against his view that women could not possibly live up to those standards If a woman tries to live up to the pious expectations of society and succeeds she ends up looking ridiculous like the character of Grisilde Or as shown in the character of the Prioress Chaucer makes a mockery of the very ideals that were popular in the medieval culture Medieval England was not a happy place for women to grow up in Females had very little to no freedom During this period of history women were completely dominated by men The only time females were ever allowed to roam freely around males was from the ages three to twelve And look thy daughters that none of them be born From the very time that they are of thee born Busy thyself and gather fast for their marriage and give them to spousing as soon as they be of age Hanawalt 212 They werent allowed to go into town unescorted or even have private conversations without being chaperoned Believe it or not they were kept away from any windows and doorways Often times a suitor had to come to the window so that courting could be continued This was because the womans fathers and brothers had to keep a close watch on their chastity Virgins
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