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. 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.
Summary Analysis The Wife of Bath announces that she is an authority on marriage because of her experience, having had five husbands. Instead, the Wife of Bath interprets Scripture in her own way.
She prefers to go forth and multiply, defending her position by pointing to King Solomon, who had many wives, among other Biblical figures who married often.
The Wife of Bath claims authority for her tale from her own experience. She interprets Scripture her own way, reading against the grain to find different meanings in the text than the generally accepted ones. Some literary scholars argue that Chaucer has her misread the Bible, but others argue that Chaucer is actually empowering her, that she deliberately finds new ways to read it.
God made sexual organs, she claims, for both function and for pleasure, and she does not envy any maiden her virginity.
The Wife of Bath uses her sexual power to control her husbands. The Wife of Bath is unabashedly lustful and physical. Her Prologue takes the form of a literary confession, in which she openly admits and defends her sins. Active Themes The Pardoner interrupts, worried because he is about to be married.
The Wife of Bath tells him to shut up and have another drink: In the General Prologue, Chaucer describes the Pardoner as feminine and anxious, which makes sense with his nervousness about being wed to a woman much stronger than himself. Active Themes Of her five husbands, the Wife of Bath says, three were good and two were bad.
The first three were good because they were rich, old, and obedient to her every whim. Once they had given her their money and land, she no longer had any use for them. She would make her husbands bring her presents and put them through torments. Women in medieval society could only gain power and money through their husbands.
The Wife of Bath both goes against and conforms to stereotypes: The Wife of Bath tells all the wives to listen to her carefully: Always, she says, be mistress in your own household, for women are twice as good as men at lying and cheating.
She would launch into a tirade, firing an array of all kinds of accusations. Though men may have all the tangible power in society, women are better at lying and deceiving than men are: Some men, she claims, only want women for their looks, some for their money, some for their figure, some for their gentleness.
An ugly woman lusts for any man she sees and will jump on him with animal lust. To the man who claims that he does not need to marry, the Wife of Bath cries, may thunder and lightning strike him down!
The Wife of Bath gives a typical rant that she might launch into against one of her husband. 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.
Active Themes The Wife of Bath rants against the old proverb that women only show their vices after they are married.Character Analysis of The Wife of Bath of Chaucer's Canterbury Tales The Canterbury Tales is Geoffrey Chaucer's greatest and most memorable work.
In The Canterbury Tales, Chaucer uses "a fictitious pilgrimage [to Canterbury] as a framing device for a number of stories" (Norton 79). Analysis of some of the early manuscripts of the Canterbury Tales suggests that Chaucer originally intended to assign the Wife of Bath the tale that is now attributed to the Shipman.
Some people th. Character Analysis. 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 can recognize from the way people behave today. He purposely makes The Wife of Bath stand out more compared to the other .
A summary of The Wife of Bath’s Prologue in Geoffrey Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales. Learn exactly what happened in this chapter, scene, or section of The Canterbury Tales and what it means. Perfect for acing essays, tests, and quizzes, as well as for writing lesson plans.
Full Glossary for The Canterbury Tales; Summary and Analysis The Wife of Bath's Prologue and Tale Bookmark this page Manage My Reading List.
Summary. Before the Wife begins her tale, she shares information about her life and her experiences in a prologue. The Wife of Bath begins her lengthy prologue by announcing that she has .
In Geoffrey Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales, the Wife of Bath believes that a wife ought to have authority and control over her husband.
The Wife's ideas were indisputably uncommon for her time period and she shocked her audience with her radical opinions, but perhaps that was her intention.