An analysis of the wife of bath in chaucers canterbury tales

The tale itself raises another religious discussion of the time: Furthermore, in Chaucer's time, perpetual virginity received considerable praise; some of the saints were canonized because they preferred death to the loss of their virginity, or some struggled so fiercely to retain their virginity that they were considered martyrs and were canonized.

She fell to the floor and pretended to be dead. When his day of judgment draws near, the knight sorrowfully heads for home.

The Wife of Bath's Tale

Paul's admonishment that it is better to marry than to burn. On the one hand, there was the medieval notion we are most familiar with today in which the knight was the consummate righteous man, willing to sacrifice self for the worthy cause of the afflicted and weak; on the other, we have the sad truth that the human knight rarely lived up to this ideal Patterson She admits that she is a boisterous woman who enjoys sex and is not ashamed of it — a violation of the medieval view that saw sex as justified only for procreation.

Jerome's comments on celibacy in Hieronymous contra Jovinianumhe reshaped the tale to fit in with the Wife of Bath's introduction and her basic thesis that women most desire "sovereignty.

The knight says the choice is hers. And after five husbands and hardships — she has lost her beauty and her youth — she has survived. Love can, in essence, be bought: In Chaucer's time, the antifeminism of the church was a strong controlling factor.

All the writers the Wife of Bath quotes have written something either antifeminist, satiric, or unpleasant about marriage. Jankyn retaliates by smacking her on the head, which causes her to become deaf in one ear. Despite my twentieth century urge to laud Alison of Bath in her being unrepresentative of the stifling societal norms of fourteenth century England, I must admit that Chaucer was probably not very fond of the now revolutionary woman.

She admits that many great Fathers of the Church have proclaimed the importance of virginity, such as the Apostle Paul.

The Canterbury Tales

At the month's end, she and Jankyn were married, even though she was twice his age. Not only does the Wife of Bath re-interpret the Bible, she also finds her own textual authorities who agree with her ideas about morality.

She also denies the popular belief that women should be submissive, especially in matters of sex. She gives a long list of what men want in a woman, which foreshadows the long list of answers to the question of what women want that the knight in her Tale seeks to answer.

The Wife of Bath then relates tales about her former husbands and reveals how she was able to gain the upper hand "sovereignty" over them. Where as his knowledge that knights were often far from perfect is evidenced in the beginning of Alison's tale where the "lusty" soldier rapes a young maiden; King Arthur, whom the ladies of the country beseech to spare the life of the guilty horse soldier, offers us the typical conception of knighthood.

First of all, the Wife is the forerunner of the modern liberated woman, and she is the prototype of a certain female figure that often appears in later literature. She pretends to be dead so that he will feel guilty and then do anything she wishes. The old hag reminds him that true gentility is not a matter of appearances but of virtue.

She asks him what he would prefer—an old ugly wife who is loyal, true and humble or a beautiful young woman about whom he would always have doubts concerning her faithfulness.

Eve, Delilah, Clytemnestra, etc. To the man who claims that he does not need to marry, the Wife of Bath cries, may thunder and lightning strike him down! Outside a castle in the woods, he sees twenty-four maidens dancing and singing, but when he approaches they disappear as if by magic, and all that is left is an old woman.

Having already had five husbands "at the church door," she has experience enough to make her an expert. She then guarantees that his life will be saved. In fact, her views prompt the Clerk to tell a tale of a character completely opposite from the Wife of Bath's tale. If they ever accused her of anything, she would call them drunk, and she could make them admit to crimes they never committed in their lives.

Through her nonconformity to the expectations of her role as a wife, the audience is shown what proper behaviour in marriage should be like. Overcome by lust and his sense of his own power, he rapes her.Character Analysis of The Wife of Bath of Chaucer's Canterbury Tales In Chaucer's Canterbury Tales, In Chaucer's Canterbury Tales, Chaucer opens with a description of twenty-nine people who are going on a pilgrimage.

Each person has a distinct personality that we. The Wife of Bath is intriguing to almost anyone who has ever read her prologue, filled with magnificent, but for some, preposterous statements.

First of all, the Wife is the forerunner of the modern liberated woman, and she is the prototype of a certain female figure that often appears in later literature. The Wife of Bath then relates tales about her former husbands and reveals how she was able to gain the upper hand ("sovereignty") over them.

Unfortunately, just at the time she gains complete mastery over one of her husbands, he dies. The Wife of Bath's Prologue is technically a part of the frame story of The Canterbury Tales, meaning that it's a part of the action that occurs among the characters, between the tales that they te.

The Wife of Bath's Tale in the Ellesmere manuscript of The Canterbury Tales, c. – The Wife of Bath's Tale (Middle English: the Tale of the Wyf of Bathe) is among the best-known of Geoffrey Chaucer 's Canterbury Tales.

Video: Chaucer's The Wife Of Bath: Summary & Analysis 'The Wife of Bath's Tale' is one of the stories written by author Geoffrey Chaucer in 'The Canterbury Tales.' Learn more about 'The Wife of Bath's Tale' and test your knowledge with a quiz.

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An analysis of the wife of bath in chaucers canterbury tales
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