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Themes in Canterbury Tales

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Themes in Canterbury Tales

Throughout an author’s literature, many times we find common themes; this is definitely true in Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales. The reader can find common themes through many of the tales. In the Wife of Bath tale, The Miller’s tale, and the Pardoner’s tale, it is easy to see that one of the main themes through the book is that women are the downfall of men.
In the tale of The Wife of Bath, the reader sees the main theme in Chaucer’s work. In The Wife of Bath’s prologue, she tells a story about a night when she and one of her husbands spent a night at home. Her husband would read to her from a book. On this particular night, the Wife of Bath was subjected to more of this book, and the reader is told of how the book explains that women are men’s downfall.
The Miller’s Tale is another that supports the theme. The Miller’s Tale speaks of a man who is totally devoted to an unfaithful wife. In the tale this beautiful woman is having an affair with a friend of her husband. To have some time alone they made a plan to get him away. They tell her devoted and gullible husband that there will be a flood like Noah’s, and to make boats to save them. In an attempt to save his wife, the husband goes to the roof and makes the boats. He died, and again, the actions of an unfaithful wife lead to the death of an innocently man.
In the Pardoner’s Tale, a male traveler, the characters in his tale give examples as to why women are the downfall of men. The characters speak of the age-old example of Adam and eve. They explain how if it weren’t for Eve, Adam would have avoided the difficulties he was placed in.
Even though Chaucer may not have believed it, one of the themes in his literary work was the idea that women are the downfall of men.

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