Wife of Bath

In: English and Literature

Submitted By Kat2016
Words 434
Pages 2
Inbalance Power
In the story “ The Wife of Bath’s Tale “ portrays a common issue happening in society. This being that women are seen to be the weakest gender. There is no equal pay, women are underestimated and thought of to be incapable at performing at the same level as men. Although, it isn’t as radical as it was during the time of King Arthur, in this story, the power that men hold is suddenly withdrawn from their hands and put into the delicate hands of the “weaker sex”.
It starts off with a flirty knight who thinks that he has every right to take a maiden’s virginity away, against her will. Of course, the knight knew what he was doing and chose to do it anyways, feeling that he has superior power of the innocent maiden’s virginity. It’s like having a perfect rose in your palm and suddenly destroying it with your own hands. You can’t get that perfect rose to be perfect once again. Once committed, the damage cannot be undone. At this point it is evident that the superiority is held by men. Although when the knight is brought to trial, this is not the case. Being charged with rape, during the medieval times, was a crime punishable by death. King Arthur held his knights to the idealized code of honor known as chivalry and was not going to let one knight stain the reputation of them all. But suddenly his jurisdiction is stripped away by her beloved wife, the queen. She simply asks the king to grant her the power to decide the fate of the sinful knight. Now the queen comes to represent women's sovereignty. Even more amazing then that, she also comes to represent justice when she brings forth judgement over the knight. She decides what punishment will be given to the knight that would have been killed in the hands of Arthur. Women, represented by the queen, also come to be educators. Even though the knight deserves death, she decides to teach him a lesson about…...

Similar Documents

Wife of Bath Prologue

...that is sensible enough to substantiate serial marriage. And I believe, I know just the right person to solicit. 5 marriages with no regrets and still having enough caliber to hunt down “the sixth”, Wife of Bath proves to be the appropriate someone to inquire. Wife of Bath’s prologue begins with the launch of torpedoes and missiles aimed at ‘authority’. It’s more like a full scale war; her very first lines are like ‘Super marine spitfire’s’ intercepting ‘Luftwaffe’. The authority here is the pseudo-male favoring society. Wife of bath questions this authority based on her experience, she uses her experience as a tool against the church and the aristocracy prevalent during those days, where it were the men who said what women should be or should not be. She challenges the authority of these powerful men who were part of the clergy, who laid down principles for women, whom they had very little knowledge, and their everyday lives. Wife of bath tries to triumph over this authority; she believes in experience over authority and certainly considers herself as a power on marriage and sex, given her five marriages. She establishes herself as an authority on all matters of marriage. Women, in the time of Chaucer, were cast into very specific roles. In her prologue, the Wife of Bath addresses the general code of conduct and other commonly accepted behaviors of women and dismisses them to justify and rationalize her own life style of being married many times. This Authority works......

Words: 701 - Pages: 3

Bed Bath

...Short Gases ASE 1: BED BATH & BEYOND,S PLAN FOH cRowrHc-t Bed Bath & Beyond (BB&8, www.bedbathandbeyond.com), the power retailer of domestics and home furnishings, has annual sales of $7 billion and a net income of $562 million. The firm's profitability can be explained by its increasing gross profit margins at the same time it decreases selling, general, and administrative (SG&A) expenses as a percent of sales. BB&B is able to increase its gross profit margins due to its excellent atmosphere, wide assortments, and a deep variety within most merchandise lines. Its control over SG&A expenses is partly due to the outsourcing of its dishibution centers to a third party. BB&B has opened hundreds of stores over the last few years, ranging in size from 30,000 to 80,000 square feet. Because it uses a flexible real-estate strategy, BB&B is able to stood by the shopper as she decided whether to purchase the set and even had the dishes brought to a nearby checkout so that the shopper could continue buying at the store. The sales clerk then met the shopper at the checkout to facilitate the transaction. In 2008, BB&B was tied for second place in an annual study of the top "20 Most Competitive Retailers" in the United States. The study, conducted by Capgemini (www.capgemini. com) and W Ratings Corporation (wwwwratings.com), measured the ability of retailErs to beat consumer expectations and deliver superior profitability. Each firm's rankings were based on ib profits over the......

Words: 517 - Pages: 3

My Wife

...My Wife Daniel Shelly ENG121: English Composition I Anne Fowler February 18, 2013 My Wife Most individuals can count on one hand whenever it comes to naming someone who has significant meaning in their life. I am no stranger when it comes to this fact. I am not so easily amazed when it comes to meeting people, but the first time I laid eyes on my wife I was astonished. I knew something was special about her and I was right. Some of the significant wonders about my wife that are special to me are her beauty, her sweet pea fragrance, and her voice. I don’t intend to sound weird, but I can stare at my wife all day long. Her beauty is so mesmerizing. Her creamy, butterscotch skin tone is like no other I have ever seen. Her eyes are round. Gazing into them is like staring at a full moon on a clear night. She stands at five foot one. Although she is small in stature, her enormous heart is one to die for. Her distinctive smile remains to be her most unique feature. It might not be the most perfect smile, but no one can deny its beauty. She bares all her pearly whites as the corner of her lips stretch from cheek to cheek. Everyone is beautiful in their own way and she definitely has her style. I am not one to have a keen sense of smell, but I would recognize her fragrance anywhere. Her choice of perfume is sweet pea from Bath and Body Works. I’ve grown accustomed to this smell. I could be blindfolded and sniff her out like a beagle hot on the trail of a rabbit. That......

Words: 516 - Pages: 3

Wife of Bath

...Feminist Criticisms The Wife of Bath is the most revolutionary character in the “Canterbury Tales”. The Wife of Bath is portrayed as a woman who was witty and didn’t care about fitting in as the classic wife. Dame Alyson was aggressive when describing her feministic points of view and puts these views into action. She releases her fury towards men by taking control of them sexually. Dame constantly was antagonizing the common thought of society that a man should be in complete control of a relationship. She seemed crazy to be going against men during this time but that is what made her so revolutionary. Although she narrates herself as a woman who wants power over men she at points contradicts this practice which, creates some harmful stereotypes for feminism. The prologue labels who she is as an actual person and her experience while the tale describes what she is trying to achieve with men. The Wife of Bath lived in a time where men dominated all aspects of life. Dame Alyson opens up her prologue by telling us that during the course of her life she has had five husbands. She was first married at the young age of twelve which was not unusual during this time period. She has been criticized throughout her life because of all the husbands she has had. In the church it is perceived that Christ has only been to one wedding at Cana in Galilee and that it is only acceptable to be married one time. Dame Alyson was able to gain control of these men by using the power of sex......

Words: 1655 - Pages: 7

The Wife of Bath from Canterbury Tales

...2013 The Wife of Bath Is Not A Feminist Chaucer used the Wife of Bath to push his thoughts on feminism through her attitude and views. Throughout Canterbury Tales, she explains her ideas of women and how they are by telling stories of her varies marriages and a tale of a knight which represents what women desire most. She elaborates on the negative stereotypes towards women and her thoughts begin to form the idea that she is a feminist. Really, the Wife of Bath is far from a feminist; therefore, to call her so would be insulting. In the beginning of the her tale, the Wife of Bath alludes us to the idea that she agrees with female polygamy; she believes that as well as men, women should be able to marry more then once. In the times of which Canterbury Tales was written, women in the Medieval Era were expected to be widows for the remainder of their lives after the death of their husbands and were not to remarry. The Wife of Bath thought otherwise. She remarried five times and even categorized her husbands. The first three where old and rich, they were called, “The Good” and her last two husbands received the title, “The Bad”. Being married so many times would give the thought that the Wife of Bath was a cursed black widow, she only remarried after each husband's death; therefore, it would not be considered much of a scandal because she severed each husband “until death do they part”. To support her idea of why female polygamy was only right for women as well as men, the Wife......

Words: 795 - Pages: 4

The Wife of Bath

...The Wife of Bath begins the Prologue to her tale by establishing herself as an authority on marriage, due to her extensive personal experience with the institution. Since her first marriage at the tender age of twelve, she has had five husbands. She says that many people have criticized her for her numerous marriages, most of them on the basis that Christ went only once to a wedding, at Cana in Galilee. The Wife of Bath has her own views of Scripture and God’s plan. She says that men can only guess and interpret what Jesus meant when he told a Samaritan woman that her fifth husband was not her husband. With or without this bit of Scripture, no man has ever been able to give her an exact reply when she asks to know how many husbands a woman may have in her lifetime. God bade us to wax fruitful and multiply, she says, and that is the text that she wholeheartedly endorses. After all, great Old Testament figures, like Abraham, Jacob, and Solomon, enjoyed multiple wives at once. She admits that many great Fathers of the Church have proclaimed the importance of virginity, such as the Apostle Paul. But, she reasons, even if virginity is important, someone must be procreating so that virgins can be created. Leave virginity to the perfect, she says, and let the rest of us use our gifts as best we may—and her gift, doubtless, is her sexual power. She uses this power as an “instrument” to control her husbands. At this point, the Pardoner interrupts. He is planning to marry soon and......

Words: 488 - Pages: 2

The Wife of Bath

...there are many different corrupt and flat out crazy characters. However, The Wife of Bath is one character that stands out the most. She is a strong, sexual being who does not care about obeying the rules. The Wife of Bath speaks highly of herself when it comes to pleasing her man sexually and does not believe that when one marriage ends that is it; she believes that more opportunities open. She marries five men, four of them for money and one for love. The Wife of Bath is not perfect in her tale but she keeps her audience on their toes, she is bold in her tale and stands behind her beliefs. The Wife of Bath is a very sexual person; she loves to please her man. “So help me God, I can’t help laughing yet/When I think of how at night I made them sweat”(Chaucer, 1328). She speaks about how she always keeps her man on his toes. She speaks about how it is God’s word that we must generate and multiply. This is why she feels that sex is good all the time, not only to please her man but to keep herself satisfied. The Wife of Bath feels that she has control of her husband’s body not mind. She did not believe that once her husband passed away that she was to become ugly and old but to stay young and fair. She went on to marry one after the other; she makes each husband pay off their debts. Only then can they have their ways with her. The Wife of Bath feels it is a waste to not let your husband enjoy his wife, “If I hold back with it, God give me sorrow!/My husband shall enjoy it......

Words: 926 - Pages: 4

Wife of Bath

...The Samaritan Woman with Five Husbands Throughout historical and societal achievements, there have been famous writings that have sparked controversial topics and debates. One such writing is the “Wife of Bath” the character of this tale is a woman named Alisoun, she speaks her mind on the condemnation of wives in her time, and how men of that age have looked down upon women as devious creatures. But Alisoun we will find is a contradicting women in her prologue, as she describes her life experience with five husbands; through her expressions and words will a picture be drawn of what she really was as an individual. Alisoun starts off by stating that she is an authority on marriage, due to her life experience with five husbands. Like the Samaritan woman in the bible that she compares herself to, she has been criticized on her numerous marriages (lines 5-14). Yet she shows a religious side of her in challenging the clergymen of her day with scriptural verses and examples, she also expresses a view of God’s plan. In the line “God bad us forto wexe and multiplye”(line 28) she endorses the verse wholeheartedly, now it is my belief that she seems to be a cunning women. For as she is right in quoting this text as a relation to God’s plan, at the same time she is also using this text as a “scapegoat” or excuse to indulge in her passions and pleasures as a women. Though she admits that innocence and virginity is important (lines......

Words: 1022 - Pages: 5

Wife of Bath

...The Wife of Bath’s Tale; Chaucer’s Early Feminism When the knight from The Wife of Bath’s Tale is to be put to death for taking the ”maidenhead” of a young maiden, he is offered a chance to live, if he can find out what women really want in life. He finds out that women just want to be in charge of their relationships, and have the freedom to make choices on their own. The knight eventually gets married, and shows his true understanding of what women really want. This suggests that, for his time, Chaucer has progressive feminist views. The Wife of Bath’s Tale displays these feminist values through three major events in the tale. The knight’s sentencing, was a major event in The Wife of Bath’s Tale, and in which, a female was in a high place of power, which displays progressive views towards woman in power. King Arthur lets his queen decide what punishment to give to the knight. The king normally made this decision, but the queen requested to make the decision and “ceaselessly, he [King Arthur] gave the queen the case.”(72) This willingness to let his wife make decisions shows feminist intention from Chaucer. The question asked to the knight: “What is the thing that women most desire?” (81) is a feminist one, for it’s a question not asked too often in that time. The decision of the king to allow his wife to decide, and the penalty decided upon by the queen, both allude to the feminism in The Wife of Bath’s Tale. When the knight meets the old hag, he swears his life to......

Words: 670 - Pages: 3

Chivalry in the Wife of Bath`S Tale

...In today`s society it is difficult to find a person who is true to their word, unlike in medieval times. In medieval times a person who possessed these characteristics was a knight, who followed the code of chivalry. In The Wife of Bath`s Tale by Chaucer, the knight is a character that follows numerous aspects of the code of chivalry including staying true to his word numerous times even though he does not want to, and in the end he is rewarded for doing so. The knight first shows that he is true to his word in this tale when he promises the queen that he will find what all women most desire, “Sad was the knight and sorrowfully sighed, but there! All other choices were denied, and in the end he chose to go away and to return after a year and a day armed with such answer as there might be sent to him by god” (Chaucer, 89-94). This quote shows that even though he truly does not want to spend a year searching for what all women desire he does accept the challenge and in the end he does return with the correct answer. As a result for returning with the correct answer, the knight is able to keep his life even though he committed a ghastly crime. The second occurrence of the knight staying true to his word occurs near the end of his journey to discover what all women most desire. Near the end of his journey the knight has not found an answer to this question, but once he meets an old woman he agrees to do what she wants him to do in return for the answer to this......

Words: 606 - Pages: 3

Wife of Bath Slefish

...Chaucer portrays the Wife as a very unconventional character which becomes more evident throughout the text as she voices her opinions on things such as marriage and sex. ‘’Thoroughly selfish ‘’ indicates that the Wife only cares about herself and is in no way altruistic. It could also be argued that she is ‘unlikeable’’ as she seems to portray her views in an anti-feminist manner due to her lack of support for women as well as her deceitfulness and using her sexuality to manipulate men. However, this could be a result of being in a male dominated society, and despite the negative stereotypes that she embodies she does stand up for herself albeit it is in a contradictory vulgar manner. On the other hand, Giovanni can be considered ‘selfish and unlikeable’ due to his manipulative nature. He manipulates Annabella by lying and trying to justify his incestuous feelings for her. Although, it could be suggested that he is not entirely ‘unlikeable’ because his charm is evident throughout the text and it could indicate that he does love Annabella even though he possesses impure thoughts. The Wife’s manipulative and deceitful nature may portray her as a selfish and an unlikeable character, those characteristics are evident throughout the text. She justifies her autonomous lifestyle by using biblical exegesis, and although she misinterprets it for her own benefit it still portrays her as an intelligent woman which in turn manipulates the audience. For example, she validates her......

Words: 1104 - Pages: 5

The Wife of Bath

...autobiography known as confessio, but though the Wife admits her former ‘misliving’ (which could be interpreted as confessional), but it’s tone and her/Chaucer’s purpose take it far away from a ‘theological’ form of confession…the Wife has not the slightest intention of changing her life. • Several of Chaucer’s sources allow the woman’s voice to be heard as proof of misogynist messages, but Chaucer allows the woman’s voice to take over completely; the impossibility of identifying a safe ‘genre’ is typical of everything Chaucer does with the Wife. Sources • The first thing to stress is that Chaucer and the Wife are dealing in commonplaces of the medieval stock of antifeminism; and the second, that she turns them inside out. The Wife uses them as a triumphant vindication of who she is and her way of life. While Alison of Bath takes great care to footnote her sources, it is safe to assume that anything she fails to footnote is common of the medieval body of antifeminist propaganda. • The Prologue draws on an EXCEPTIONALLY large range of sources, some sub textual, and some identified by the Wife herself (we are even told how she has come to know then – through her fifth husband Jankin, an Oxford scholar). • The most authoritative and prominent of her Latin sources is that of St. Jerome’s Adversus Jovinianum, written to refute the suggestion that virginity and marriage were of equal worth; this provides the Wife with most of her polemical......

Words: 1967 - Pages: 8


...Sean Cannon English Annabel Servatt 23 April 2014 12. With the aftermath of being killed by his beloved wife, we see that Agamemnon starts to become very shaky towards all women and initially questions every woman’s devoted love for their husbands. In order to understand his confusion and heartache, we must understand the reasoning behind his death. We learn that Agamemnon was married to Clytemnestra, which is Helen’s sister. Long before he sets for sail, his wife makes it known that he should not bring home any female slaves when he comes back. The irony is that as soon as he gets to Troy, he finds another woman and makes her his wife and brings her back home with him. Once Clytemnestra hears news of this, she plans the murder of her husband. Clytemnestra begins to knit him a short that has no sleeve holes and her reasoning behind it is so that when they attack him, he cannot fight back. She decides to draw him a bath and she plans to try and get him to wear the shirt and to kill him in the tub. It is very ironic because ancient Greek warriors are always known for dying with honor and integrity and going out with a fight and in this case he could not do that because she killed him so easily. Odysseus travels down to the underworld in order to seek answers to some of his curiosity; in the underworld he meets Achilles and Agamemnon. The whole time he is down their he notices that all Achilles does is whine and complain about why he hates being dead and says how much he......

Words: 2052 - Pages: 9

Wife of Bath

...A Conjecture on the Wife of Bath's Prologue Author(s): Richard F. Jones Source: The Journal of English and Germanic Philology, Vol. 24, No. 4 (Oct., 1925), pp. 512-547 Published by: University of Illinois Press Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/27702906 Accessed: 17-08-2015 10:45 UTC Your use of the JSTOR archive indicates your acceptance of the Terms & Conditions of Use, available at http://www.jstor.org/page/ info/about/policies/terms.jsp JSTOR is a not-for-profit service that helps scholars, researchers, and students discover, use, and build upon a wide range of content in a trusted digital archive. We use information technology and tools to increase productivity and facilitate new forms of scholarship. For more information about JSTOR, please contact support@jstor.org. University of Illinois Press is collaborating with JSTOR to digitize, preserve and extend access to The Journal of English and Germanic Philology. http://www.jstor.org This content downloaded from on Mon, 17 Aug 2015 10:45:38 UTC All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions A CONJECTURE ON THE WIFE OF BATH'S PROLOGUE of Bath's the Wife When for the first reading Prologue time, I remember my surprise upon reaching line 193 to find continued for several hundred lines, whereas that the Prologue a tale to follow. With I had expected each reading since, I in adjusting my expecta the same difficulty have experienced found. This repeated experience, ...

Words: 17831 - Pages: 72

Discuss in Brief the Character Sketch of Wife of Bath.

...alleged affairs so that she could cover up her follies with young men. She used these means to control her husbands. The fourth husband was an ideal match for her. He was a lecherous man who maintained mistresses throughout his life. He died young and she moved on to the fifth husband. This man was cruel and beat her at every pretext. She was hugely fond of him because he played hard to get. The fifth husbands name was jankin. She had an affair with him while she was still married to her fourth husband and while he was a student at Oxford. Once the fourth husband died she married Jankin who was exactly half his age. Jankin used to read books about wicked wives, an anti feminist writing. He was reading a book aloud by the fire, and the wife, tired that he would not finish reading the book all night tore three pages of the book. She also hit him in face so that he fell backwards into the fire. He got up and hit her in the face which made her fall down to the ground. She lay there like she had died. She shouted "Have you killed me?? Have you murdered me to claim my land??" He then sought her pardon and she forced him to burn that book. Having increased her control over him, he begged her to keep all her possessions to herself. After that they never quarreled. They were both honest and kind to each other....

Words: 497 - Pages: 2