Women In The Fabliaux Essay

1010 words - 4 pages

Females are portrayed in the Fabliaux as having certain distinct characteristics. In "Les Quatre Sohais Saint-Martin", "The Chevalier Who Made Cunts Talk", and "The Miller's Prologue and Tale" medieval women are portrayed in similar ways. Women are imaginative and therefor their thoughts must be controlled. They also, in the Fabliaux, crave sex and have sexually creative minds. These three Fabliaux texts present women that are similar and represent commonly held views about the female sex of the time.Women in the Middle Ages were thought of as having wildly creative imaginations. They were capable of much more description and creativity then men. This is portrayed in "Les Quatre Sohais Saint-Martin". The peasant women, when presented with her husbands four wishes, begins to wish for pricks all over her husbands body. After first describing her husband's current state as "soft and like a furry animal" (lecture notes) she goes on to say that she wishes for big pricks, short pricks, curved pricks, strait pricks, and other kinds all over his body including his ears, knees, forehead, and abdomen. She does not merely wish for one, hard prick but instead lists all the types she can think of. Because the husband only wishes that the "same comes to her" (lecture notes) it is obvious that the wife is the one with the creative imagination. In "The Chevalier Who Made Cunts Talk" the women are also very imaginative. After the Chevalier rescues the three naked women's clothes they decide to each present him with a gift as a reward for acting so honorably. The first grants him a loon. The second grants him the ability to make all cunts speak to him. The third, not wanting to be upstaged by the first and second, gives him the talent to make all assholes speak. It is here that the extents of the female imagination are demonstrated. The Chevalier finds these gifts to be so wild that he thought the girls were mocking him: " 'Those meadow girls made fun of me'" (Guerin 233). In the Middle Ages a woman's imagination was considered a powerful thing that must be controlled. If a woman's thoughts were not controlled there could be drastic consequences like strange characteristics in children. The thoughts and actions of the women in these Fabliaux are representative of this wildly held belief among men.The women in these three Fabliaux are also very interested in sex. One common idea of the time was that women are dry and need sex and the moisture of a man to replenish them. In "Les Quatre Sohais Saint-Martin" the peasant woman immediately wishes for working pricks on her husband's body. She does not wish for a better station in life, for wealth, good looks, or even for good health. Her first priority is her sexual appetite. Her husband is the voice of reason before she makes her wish. He knows that her wish will be sexual and he tells her they must consider all things carefully. She pays no...

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