The Old Hag In The Wife Of Bath By Geoffrey Chaucer

Submitted By musicalbugs
Words: 989
Pages: 4

World Literature: 2332
30, October 2013
Power Brought by Actions Literature, whether it is fiction, or non-fiction, has been a part of human culture since the beginning of time. Literature was not always written down, for a long time stories were told by song. The telling of stories became more advanced as the human culture advanced. Many of the earlier pieces of literature have either been lost, forgotten or have become lost in translation. So, even though many epics still exist, one cannot be sure if it is still in original form. One thing though is certain, women can almost always been found in old world literature. Whether the role of a woman is big, small or even important, they were always there. Many of the women in epic literature were often powerful, whether the power came from mystical power that Greek and Roman goddess possessed, or the power that came with the status of being a queen, princess or noble woman. There is one woman in epic literature that stands out form the others that preceded her, the Old Hag in, The Wife of Bath written by, Geoffrey Chaucer in the mid fourteenth century. The Old Hag was a woman who did not possess any form of power. Unlike many of the other women who appear in earlier literature such as, Juno (Aeneid), Venus (Aeneid) and Surpanakha, (Ramayana) they all possessed power both in mystical and status forms. The Hag was the complete opposite; she was a simple peasant with absolutely no power. However; it is the Old Hags actions that differentiate her from other women in epic literature, simply because, it is in her actions that her power is found. When The Hag is compared to Juno many differences in their power can be found. First Juno was Greek goddess whose mystical powers could help her achieve almost anything, not to mention the fact that she was a goddess, “royalty” so, her status alone could have helped her overcome any task or challenge that she was presented with, whereas the Hag had nothing like that. With all the power possessed by Juno, one has to wonder why she never actually was the one to implement any of her power. Instead of completing the task at hand herself, she went to a man of power, either for permission or hoping that she could convince the man to complete her agenda for her. In Juno’s case, she is an angry goddess who is set on killing what is left of the Trojans. Juno could have used her power to complete her own agenda, but she decided to, instead, have someone else do it for her. She went to Aeolus, God of the winds, and had him create a huge storm that would kill off the remaining Trojans. Juno had the ability and power to complete the task at hand, but did not. Instead, she got someone else to do it for her. The Hag had no mystical power, or power from status, but she is the one who acted. She came up with a plan to help save the Knight from his awaiting death and acted on it herself.
Another woman who was, a lot like Juno, in the sense of possessing mystical power and power from status is Surpanakha. Surpanakha was the demon sister of Ravana, the king of Lanka. She, like Juno, had a task that she wanted to be done, but again, instead of her completing it herself she found a way to have her brother complete it for her. After Rama turned her love away and cut off her nose, she decided to seek revenge. Instead of killing Rama on the spot or trying to start a war with him, Surpanakha did something a little bit sneakier. She went to her