Wife of Bath Vs The Prioress Essay

:: 7 Works Cited
Length: 1213 words (3.5 double-spaced pages)
Rating: Purple      
Open Document

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

Canterbury Tales is a story about a group of thirty people, including the Host, that are traveling to the shrine of the martyr St. Thomas a Becket in Canterbury. The diverse group is a concoction of contradicting personalities that are intricately described by Chaucer. Among these twenty-nine excursionists are two women. One of them is the coquettish Prioress while the other one is the partially deaf Wife at Bath. Although both women possess discernable similarities, both possess divergent personalities and experiences. The Prioress, known as Madam Eglantyne, has an elegant nose, a Lilliputian, soft, and red mouth, a big-forehead, and a glass gray mouth. She wears a cloak, a set of beads, and a broche that reads, “Love conquers all.” She is a sensitive, vain, and artificial person that pretends to be rich. It is also stated that she possesses a coquettish tinge to her personality. The Wife at Bath, like the Prioress, is a lady above all else. Her clothes veer towards extravagance and affirm her great wealth. Like the Prioress, the Wife at bath is affable, loquacious and an eloquent orator. Like most of the people on the pilgrimage, the Prioress and the Wife at Bath encompass a contradicting role in society. Both are fragments of the corruption that hovered the Middle Ages. The Prioress was supposed to be nun. However, the way that she dressed and behaved is evidence to the fact that she was lady before a holy nun. She also owned a dog, which she carried around everywhere. The Wife at is a lustful person who has had five husbands, but yet ironically, is always first in the offerings at mass; she gets mad if someone goes ahead of her. Inclusively, before telling her story, she talks against some details of the Bibl...

... middle of paper ...

...f the Canterbury Tales. The author provides some insight on the tale of the Wife at Bath. She describes her tale as her own life story. She calls it a story within a story because the Wife at Bath can be metaphorically considered as the old hag in her story. She goes on to describe the Knight’s Tale.
Stearns, David P. "What Do Women Want? Go Ask Chaucer." Philadelphia Inquirer,
The (PA) 31 Mar. 2009. Newspaper Source EBSCO. Web. 12 Nov. 2011.
This article is about an opera inspired by Chaucer in New York. It talks about the difficulties of each of the actors, in particular the cast of the Wife at Bath tale. They talk about the scene where the knight is challenged by the Queen to answer the question, what do women want, in order to spare his life. This source did not help me because it focused on the feelings of the cast rather the actual characters in the tale.

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  
Essay on Debatable Decisions by the Wife of Bath - Questionable Decisions by the Wife of Bath In The Canterbury Tales, Geoffrey Chaucer creates a wonderfully complex character in the Wife of Bath. She exhibits many traits easily identifiable as virtuous--honesty, cheerfulness, and the desire to follow the teachings of the Bible. At other times she reveals traits easily perceived as negative--greed, cruelty, and promiscuity. By the end of her tale to the other pilgrims, more light is shed on her character when it becomes apparent that her tale parallels certain aspects of her own life....   [tags: Wife of Bath] 1114 words
(3.2 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Canterbury Tales Essay - Marriage and the Role of Women in the Wife of Bath’s Prologue - Marriage and the Role of Women in the Wife of Bath’s Prologue   The Canterbury Tales, begun in 1387 by Geoffrey Chaucer, are written in heroic couplets iambic pentameters, and consist of a series of twenty-four linked tales told by a group of superbly characterized pilgrims ranging from Knight to Plowman. The characters meet at an Inn, in London, before journeying to the shrine of St Thomas a Becket at Canterbury. The Wife of Bath is one of these characters. She bases both her tale and her prologue on marriage and brings humor and intrigue to the tales, as she is lively and very often crudely spoken....   [tags: Wife of Bath Essays] 1395 words
(4 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
The Wife of Bath Essays - The Wife of Bath In the pilgrimage to Canterbury there were twenty-nine pilgrim of who were to set froth to Canterbury to receive blessing. Out of those twenty-nine pilgrims, there were three women two of the women were the prioress and the Nun. The two women were escorted and protected by the priest. The third woman was the wife of baths. She was not escorted nor protected by man. One of the wife of bath's reasons in going on this pilgrimage, beside getting the holy blessing, was the probability off finding a sixth husband....   [tags: Papers] 339 words
(1 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Chaucer's Views on Women: Griselda and the Wife of Bath's the Loathly Lady - Chaucer's Views on Women: Griselda and the Wife of Bath's the Loathly Lady As a man fascinated with the role of women during the 14th Century, or most commonly known as the Middle Ages, Chaucer makes conclusive evaluations and remarks concerning how women were viewed during this time period. Determined to show that women were not weak and humble because of the male dominance surrounding them, Chaucer sets out to prove that women were a powerful and strong-willed gender. In order to defend this argument, the following characters and their tales will be examined: Griselda from the Clerk's Tale, and the Wife of Bath, narrator to the Wife of Bath's Tale....   [tags: European Literature Chaucer Essays Papers]
:: 7 Works Cited
3022 words
(8.6 pages)
Term Papers [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]
The Wife of Bath from Geoffrey Chaucer's Canterbury Tales Essay - The Wife of Bath from Geoffrey Chaucer's Canterbury Tales In Geoffrey Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales, a collection of tales is presented during a pilgrimage to Canterbury Cathedral. The pilgrims on the journey are from divergent economic and social backgrounds but they have all amalgamated to visit the shrine of Saint Thomas. Chaucer uses each pilgrim to tell a tale which portrays an arduous medieval society. The values, morals and social structures of the society can be examined through the fictitious tales, unravelling a corrupt, unjust and manipulative world, a world that is based around an ecclesiastical society....   [tags: Papers] 585 words
(1.7 pages)
Good Essays [preview]
The Wife of Bath Essay - The Wife of Bath One of the most interesting and widely interpreted characters in The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer is the Wife of Bath. She has had five different husbands and openly admits to marrying the majority of them for their money. The wife appears to be more outspoken and independent than most women of medieval times, and has therefore been thought to symbolize the cause of feminism; some even refer to her as the first actual feminist character in literature. Readers and scholars probably argue in favor of this idea because in The Canterbury Tales, she uniquely gives her own insight and opinions on how relations between men and women should be carried out....   [tags: The Wife of Bath Essays] 956 words
(2.7 pages)
Better Essays [preview]
Essay on The Wife of Bath - The Wife of Bath is a complex character-she is different from the way she represents herself. Maybe not even what she herself thinks she is. On the surface, it seems as though she is a feminist, defending the rights and power of women over men. She also describes how she dominates her husband, playing on a fear that was common to men. From a point of view of a man during that time period, she seemed to illustrate all of the wrongs that men found in women. Such as a weak parody of what men, then saw as feminists....   [tags: The Wife of Bath Essays]
:: 2 Works Cited
541 words
(1.5 pages)
Good Essays [preview]
The Wife of Bath Essay - Geoffrey Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales is the story of a large group of men and women going to Jerusalem on a pilgrimage. Each of the travellers introduces themselves and tells an interesting tale during their journey. One of the travellers, the Wife of Bath shares her views on social relationships between men and women. The fourteenth century is viewed as having a patriarchal dominated society. However, the Wife of Bath, Alisoun, is a strong believer in female maistrie, control in the marriage....   [tags: The Wife of Bath Essays] 1316 words
(3.8 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
The Wife of Bath Essay - The institution of marriage has always been viewed as a lifetime bond which should never be broken. In addition, there are certain general vows that each party usually takes- to be faithful, obedient, and loving. For years, this verbal agreement was enough to keep even the toughest of marriages together for a long time. Enter the Wife of Bath, the polar opposite of the medieval woman. She was loud, brash, and deceitful- making her seem like the least likely person to get married. However, she ends up marrying five men....   [tags: The Wife of Bath Essays] 1309 words
(3.7 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]