The Canterbury Tales

how does don john in the shipman's tale relate to the middle age english life

don john is the monk

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This follows the Wife of bath's tale. It is simple and describes the close links between sex, money and women in the middle Ages. I suppose the connection works today as well but I won't get into that! The whole idea of sex for personal gain, even amongst the married, was common. A woman’s “tail” becomes an endless credit note: she will pay her husband, she says, in bed. Women, in this tale, and in the Wife of Bath’s are playing by patriarchal rules in order to beat the men; and the fact that they do beat the men might have been an uncomfortable shift of powers to many of Chaucer’s medieval readers.