Preview
Preview

Essay on Chaucer's The Wise Wife of Bath

:: 3 Works Cited
Length: 1382 words (3.9 double-spaced pages)
Rating: Blue      
Open Document




- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Chaucer's The Wise Wife of Bath


The Wife of Bath, in my opinion, is one of Chaucer's wisest

characters.  I am somewhat surprised that he made up such a character, as

he was writing these tales in the early fourteenth century.    She took

what she did have, which was wit and wisdom, and used it to her advantage.

Although she was assumed to be an ugly old woman, she had five husbands all

of whom she had mastered only to have them die.  She personifies the

character that women of her era secretly aspired to, however because of the

restrictions imposed upon them by society, they could not be the Wife of

Bath.

 

      She is obviously a very strong woman and knows what she wants.

"Experience, though no authority were in this world, were good enough for

me, To speak of woe that is in all marriage"(Chaucer, 103) as she states in

the introduction to her tale.  She is a self professed authority on the

etiquette of marriage.  Her extensive knowledge and education on matters of

the heart have been acquired through experience, and through the

conventional means of learning.

 

      Through her tale she explains herself, in a sense.  She speaks of a

wise, but ugly old woman.  A handsome young knight happens upon the old

woman.  She asks him what he is seeking. The young knight explains to her

that he, as punishment, was sent on a quest to discover what women desire

most. The old woman's answer is a simple but costly one.  In exchange for

her assistance, the old woman demands that he oblige her one request. The

knight hastily agrees that he will allow her the request.  Thus, she has

taken her wisdom and used it to her advantag...


... middle of paper ...


...ave and

once we get it we do not want it anymore.  She has used the men in her life

for riches and happened upon her fifth husband whom she loved only because

he did not give much love back to her.

 

      All the reasons described above are why the Wife of Bath was a

remarkable and different woman.  She leans toward a feminist nature and

seems resentful toward men.  For women, she is easy to respect and look up

to for advice.  For men, she is an intelligent woman but may not know the

limits of her games.

 

Works Cited and Consulted

Bowden, Muriel.  A Reader's Guide to Geoffrey Chaucer.  New York:  Noonday Press, 1964.

Hallissy, Margaret.  A Companion to Chaucer's Canterbury Tales.  London:  Greenwood Press, 1995.

Nardo, Don, ed.  Readings on the Canterbury Tales.  San Diego:  Greenhaven Press, 1997.


Click the button above to view the complete essay, speech, term paper, or research paper

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »







This essay is 100% guaranteed.


Title Length Color Rating  
The Wife of Bath: A Literary Analysis Essay - Geoffrey Chaucer’s “The Wife of Bath’s Tale” is an important part of his most famed work, The Canterbury Tales. One of the most respected highly analyzed of all of the tales, this particular one is important both for its character development and its prevailing themes. It seamlessly integrates ideas on society at that time with strong literary development. This work stands the test of time both because of its literary qualities and because of what it can teach us about the role of women in late Medieval society....   [tags: The Wife of Bath Essays]
:: 4 Works Cited
1091 words
(3.1 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
The Wife of Bath: Illustrating Courtly Love Essay - In the Middle Ages, when The Canterbury Tales was written, society became captivated by love and the thought of courtly and debonair love was the governing part of all relationships and commanded how love should be conducted. These principles changed literature completely and created a new genre dedicated to brave, valorous knights embarking on noble quests with the intention of some reward, whether that be their life, lover, or any other want. The Canterbury Tales, written in the 14th century by Geoffrey Chaucer, accurately portrays and depicts this type of genre....   [tags: The Wife of Bath Essays] 960 words
(2.7 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
The Wife of Bath: The Catalyst of Modern Female Standards Essay - Where would society be today without the Wife of Bath. This is a question not commonly asked, but has had an underlying influence on women’s standards across the globe. With lack of moral value, the Wife of Bath became the most acrimonious character Chaucer had invented. While many other characters stirred up controversy as well, there lie no doubts that the Wife of Bath was written for a specific reason: to break the double standard between males’ and females. Geoffrey Chaucer went about breaking the double standard in a variety of ways....   [tags: The Wife of Bath Essays] 600 words
(1.7 pages)
Good Essays [preview]
Essay about The Wife of Bath - The Wife of Bath In Geoffrey Chaucer's "Canterbury Tales", the Wife of Bath tells a tale that includes irony to her and Chaucer. She was considered a beautiful woman but today would be considered ugly. She is considered worthy but vulgar. The reader would think her title showed that she was a loyal wife but the reader will soon know that is not true. Her tale and she have some symbolism each other. Some aspects of the tale resemble Chaucer's life. The general prologue of the "Canterbury Tales" by Chaucer the Wife of Bath is one of three of the women....   [tags: The Wife of Bath Essays] 1345 words
(3.8 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Ideal Women vs Real Women in Beowulf and The Wife of Bath Essay - In the Middle Age literature, women are often presented or meant to come off as an unimportant character; which can also reflect on how the author wants the women character represent. Women are usually shunned, have no say or control in what they do; due to what men desire; like Ophelia and Gertrude did in William Shakespeare’s Hamlet. But these female characters that I will discuss are women with power, control, and a voice. Majority of the female character’s appearances are made to represent wickedness, evil, or a seducer who challenges a man belief; and does not symbolize perfect women....   [tags: Beowulf, Wife of Bath]
:: 2 Works Cited
1489 words
(4.3 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
Canterbury Tales Essay - Wife of Bath as an Attack on Married Life? - Canterbury Tales - Wife of Bath is Not an Attack on Women and Married Life Feminists have proposed that the Prologue of the Wife of Bath is merely an attack on women and married life. The Prologue is spoken by a woman with strong opinions on how married life should be conducted, but is written by a man. It is important to examine the purpose with which Chaucer wrote it. This is especially so as many of the pilgrims in The Canterbury Tales condemn themselves out of their own mouths, such as the Monk and the Friar....   [tags: Wife of Bath Essays]
:: 1 Works Cited
1307 words
(3.7 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
An Analysis of The Wife Of Bath's Tale Essay - The Wife Of Bath’s Tale is a magnificent story, that relates and under covers what every women wants, and what every man dreads. This tale is very unique concerning how rebellious it was to the views of the time period it was written in and even in the values that are set in stone today. Chaucer did an excellent job of expressing his outward views towards the subject of how women should be treated. The story starts off with a Knight who has just been convicted on the crimes of rape on a young lady, he is condemned to death by hanging, until the queen chirps up and makes a deal with him, if he can come back in one year and a day and tell her what every women wants then he will be hanged....   [tags: Chaucer's Canterbury Tales]
:: 1 Works Cited
804 words
(2.3 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
The Women from The Odyssey, The Wife of Bath, and Sir Gawain Essay - The Women from The Odyssey, The Wife of Bath, and Sir Gawain      Until recently, the role of women in literature has seemed to reflect the way they were treated in society. Women were seen as secondary to men, and their sole purpose in life was to please a man’s every desire. This is not the case in three specific literary works. The Odyssey, The Wife of Bath, and Sir Gawain and the Green Knight use the actions of its women characters to greatly enhance important thematic elements. The women in each of these works use feminine psyche to persuade men to do things that men of the time would not usually do....   [tags: Odyssey Wife Bath Sir Gawain Essays]
:: 3 Works Cited
1680 words
(4.8 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
Essay Masculinity in The Wife of Bath's Prologue and Tale - Masculinity in The Wife of Bath's Prologue and Tale      The Wife of Bath, with the energy of her vernacular and the voraciousness of her sexual appetite, is one of the most vividly developed characters of 'The Canterbury Tales'. At 856 lines her prologue, or 'preambulacioun' as the Summoner calls it, is the longest of any of the pilgrims, and matches the General Prologue but for a few lines. Evidently Chaucer is infatuated with Alisoun, as he plays satirically with both gender and class issues through the Wife's robust rhetoric....   [tags: Chaucer's Canterbury Tales]
:: 6 Works Cited
2166 words
(6.2 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
Essay about A Knight Has Cracked the Code - In life we have many choices. Some choices may be more difficult than others. At times as human beings we make the wrong choice, but also there’s times when our choice is the correct or the better one. Talking about choices the choices we make can affect our entire life overall or can just affect a small aspect of our life. Of course, with choices there are also consequences behind the choice if the wrong decision is made. This can sometimes re-shape our entire life and flip it upside down. Sometimes these consequences can be harsh punishments such as serving jail time for example....   [tags: Chaucer's The Wife of Bath's Tale]
:: 1 Works Cited
722 words
(2.1 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]