If she were beautiful, many men would be after her; in her present state, however, he can be assured that he has a virtuous wife. For instance, she notes that: Female sovereignty[ edit ] As Cooper argues, the tension between experience and textual authority is central to the Prologue.
Her Prologue takes the form of a literary confession, in which she openly admits and defends her sins. Love can, in essence, be bought: Though men may have all the tangible power in society, women are better at lying and deceiving than men are: Rather than just a silly, pompous character who brags about her sexual exploits, the Wife of Bath is revealed to have depths to her character.
Active Themes Of her five husbands, the Wife of Bath says, three were good and two were bad.
Her characterisation as domineering is particularly evident in the following passage: As soon as the honeymoon was over, she was disturbed to find that Jankyn spent all his time reading, especially from a collection of books that disparaged women.
The Wife is still establishing the right of more than one marriage. Tell me, I Pray you. When the peasants revolted against their feudal lords inthey were able to organize themselves well precisely because they had formed these strong social ties through their companies. In the General Prologue, the Host introduces the structure: Although the law demands that the knight be beheaded, the queen and ladies of the court beg to be allowed to determine the knight's fate.
The woman tells the knight that he must pledge himself to her in return for her help, and the knight, having no options left, gladly consents. Unfortunately, just at the time she gains complete mastery over one of her husbands, he dies. Love can, in essence, be bought: I can well understand that noble text"  to bear fruit, not in children, but financially through marriage, land, and from inheritance when her husbands pass;  Chaucer's Wife chose to interpret the meaning of the statement by clarifying that she has no interest in childbearing as a means of showing fruitfulness, but the progression of her financial stability is her ideal way of proving success.
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.
Friendship and Company Friendship can be seen on two scales throughout the Tales: He roams throughout the country, posing the question to every woman he meets. The Wife of Bath uses the prologue to explain the basis of her theories about experience versus authority and to introduce the point that she illustrates in her tale: The Queen tells the knight that he will be spared his life if he can discover for her what it is that women most desire, and allots him a year and a day in which to roam wherever he pleases and return with an answer.
The Wife's "emphatic determination to recuperate sexual activity within a Christian context and on the authority of the Bible [on a number of occasions throughout the text] echoes one of the points made in the Lollard Twelve Conclusions of ". She is a woman of great vitality, a woman who is wonderfully alive and responsive.
Arriving at the court, he gives the answer that women most desire sovereignty over their husbands, which is unanimously agreed to be true by the women of the court who, accordingly, free the Knight. Furthermore, sexual organs are made both for functional purposes and for pleasure.
Once they had given her their money and land, she no longer had any use for them. As Cooper notes, the Wife of Bath's "materials are part of the vast medieval stock of antifeminism ",  giving St.
The relationship becomes one of a happiness which has never been imagined by scriptures and authoritative texts like Against Jovinianum. Finally, he replies that he would rather trust her judgment, and he asks her to choose whatever she thinks best.
Active Themes The Wife of Bath took her fifth husband, a clerk named Jankyn, not for his money but for his looks and charms. With no other options left, the Knight agrees.
The Wife of Bath's Tale is referred to technically as an exemplum, a story told to illustrate an intellectual idea. As he rides near a forest, he sees a large group of women dancing and decides to approach them to ask his question. She has the power to enjoy life with a zest denied the other dour pilgrims, and she has the will to enjoy what she cannot change.
Furthermore, sexual organs are made both for functional purposes and for pleasure. When he bent over her, she hit him once more and again pretended to die.
A summary of Themes 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. Prologue to the Wife of Bath's Tale “Experience”, even if no written authorities existed in the world, “is right ynogh for me”.
Thus begins the voice of the Wife of Bath. Prologue to the Wife of Bath's Tale “Experience”, even if no written authorities existed in the world, “is right ynogh for me”. Thus begins the voice of the Wife of Bath. For an overview of the Wife of Bath and her tale, visit the EDSITEment-reviewed Geoffrey Chaucer Website for background on the Wife's Prologue and her tale.
To review the pronunciation guide for Middle English, read the "Teach Yourself to Read Chaucer's Middle English" guide at the Geoffrey Chaucer Website. The Wife of Bath's Tale Homework Help Questions Identify two images that connect the Wife of Bath's Prologue with the Wife of Bath's Tale and how One of Chaucer's significant themes in The Canterbury Tales is marriage, and the Wife of Bath garrulously discusses her many marriages in which she assumed the dominant role.
Chaucer was extremely interested in the role of women in society, and how they reacted to it. In the Wife of Bath's Tale, for example, Chaucer foregrounds the issue of female "maistrie", and in the series of Tales often called "the Marriage group" by critics, Chaucer actively explores the potential.The theme of authority in the wife of baths prologue and the knights tale by geoffrey chaucer