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Word Count: 657
Love is the central theme of the two stories Lanval by Marie De France and The Prologue and Tale of the Wife of Bath in The Canterbury Tales by Geoffery Chaucer The authors have very similar opinions about the nature of love and how people react to being in love One of the messages conveyed in both stories is the irresistible power that a woman has over a man who is in love with her The authors use their characters to illustrate the idea that love and sexual desire can easily be used for personal gain Chaucer and Marie make a strong effort to relate love to death in their stories The authors use their characters actions and interactions to explore both the light and dark side of how love affects people Strong women are the driving forces behind both of these stories In the prologue to the Wife of Baths story she tells the group of pilgrims about her five husbands and she expounds on her feelings about love and sex The Wifes beliefs go against the popular feelings of the time especially among a group of devout religious believers The Wife makes no attempt to hide the fact that she likes men and one of her criteria for a husband is sexual prowess Line 610-615 The Wife is also forthright to the group about her desire to marry for money Line 315-322 The Wife must fight an uphill battle against the group because she is uneducated and comes from the country Her knowledge comes from life experience not from studying church doctrines like the others She gains credibility from the others by sharing these experiences and by the views that they have helped to shape Chaucer sets the strong-willed Wife apart from the other weaker and obedient female characters in the group Marie De France uses the Queen to get her message about love across to the reader The Queen is a sly
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