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Word Count: 1,571
Chaucers motley crew of pilgrims offered a vast deal of insight into life during the 14th century Many aspects of society were revealed throughout the tales of the many characters One such aspect prevalent in many of the tales was the role that women played in society during this time The tales give the clearest images of women are the Knights the Millers the Nuns Priest and the Wife of Baths Tale In the Knights Tale women are portrayed through Emily Upon first sight of Emily through his prison window Palamon the imprisoned knight falls madly in love with her He exclaims I have been hurt this moment through the eye Into my heart It will be the death of me The fairness of the lady that I see Roaming the garden yonder to and fro Is all the cause and I cried out my woe Woman or Goddess which I cannot say I guess she may be Venus - well she may Arcite Palamons cousin and best friend also falls deeply in love with Emily as he gazes upon her The freshness of her beauty strikes me dead Hers that I see roaming in yonder place Unless I gain the mercy of her grace Unless I at least see her day by day I am but dead there is no more to say The knights believe that one man may love and worship Emily from afar and each vehemently contends that he should be this man The knights emotions for a woman of whom they know absolutely nothing save that she is beautiful reduces her to an object to be won and an occasion for adventure and courtship Years later after Palamon and Arcite are no longer in prison they meet and agree to fight to the death for the right to love Emily She still does not know that these men exist let alone that they both love her and are willing
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