O Sowdanesse, roote of iniquitee!
Virago, thou Semyrame the secounde!
O serpent under femynynytee,
Lik to the serpent depe in helle ybounde!
O feyned womman, al that may confounde
Vertu and innocence, thurgh thy malice,
Is bred in thee, as nest of every vice!
– Geoffrey Chaucer
The Canterbury Tales, The Man of Law’s Tale. The Man of Law depicts the Sultaness as an evil woman and a serpent from hell wearing the mask of femininity, who can destroy virtue and innocence through her malice. He portrays her at the arch-enemy of Constance, who is a symbol of virtue and innocence.