With the reflexivity so abundant in the Confessions, he writes of himself: And so by her ryotte and ennoye she gat her a croked nose, moche evyll. Would this mean the male is more like a lord than a servant, more a traditional husband than Troilus? The interaction between utopian perspective and the present was thus central to the poem's meaning. Ye shul youre trouthe holden, by my fay! It needs to be discrete, concrete and worthy of study. Ashgate, , pp. So that the clerkes be nat with me wrothe, I sey this, that they maked ben for bothe, This is to seye, for office, and for ese Of engendrure, ther we nat God displease. Forth comth the preest, with stole aboute his nekke, And bad hire be lyk Sarra and Rebekke In wysdom and in trouthe of mariage; And seyde his orisons, as is usage, And croucheth hem, and bad God sholde hem blesse, And made al siker ynogh with hoolynesse. Laws of King Alfred In this silence Chaucer mirrors the prevailing relationships between leading secular groups and the orthodox church, as well as the latter's inability to transform practices and attitudes in which it was fully immersed. I trowe it were to longe yow to tarie, If I yow tolde of every scrit and bond By which that she was feffed in his lond. But Chaucer's imagination was so engaged with the realities of his own culture in relation to the Wife's consciousness and actions that he did not allow the fifth marriage to achieve any straightforward transcendence of these realities. But as important is the utterly complacent and unself-conscious attitude of the old knight, a complacency that is dependent on the support received from the major cultural institutions which licensed and blessed this union. In doing so it could possibly meet aspirations, evident in the later medieval world, to unite a love which involves the complete, incarnate human being with the institution of marriage. The males organize a market transaction in which woman is a commodity and marriage the particular institution which will secure the transaction, stabilize the inheritance of property and, hopefully in the purchaser's eyes, allow the useful enjoyment of his new possession. This text brings together a wide array of writings as well as informative introductions and explanations, to give a vivid impression of how love, sex and marriage were discussed at the time.