The Wife Of Bath, By Chaucer Essay

970 WordsSep 13, 20164 Pages
Through the voice of the narrator, Chaucer remarks on the attire and mannerisms of his pilgrims. This descriptive prologue reveals the state of the pilgrims and offers a glimpse into their nature. The focus of this essay is to explore the Wife of Bath, her character, appearance, and tale. For the purpose of establishing a correlation between; the perceptions of the other pilgrims, the Wife’s apparent nature, and the tone of her tale. Slade suggest that Chaucer intended the Wife as an ironic character (247). A perspective that is supported by Chaucer’s treatment of the Wife in her description and prologue. The Wife, unlike the other pilgrims who are identified by their occupations, is identified as a wife. Regardless of, her stated occupation of clothier (line 447-448). Married and widowed five times, the Wife claims authority in the realm of marriage. She defends her numerous marriages holding religious figures as models (lines 35-59). Defending herself at length, she argues her marriages perform a needed service to the virtuous of the world. Claiming that there could be no virginity without seeds sown to grow new virgins (lines 71-72). At first defensive in tone, the Wife soon speaks arrogantly boasting about her number of husbands and the manipulation of them. She accused her husbands of seeking lovers away for home, despite her own guilty. Mockingly she reveals her husband’s foolishness, believing her jealously an expression of her love (lines 379-396). The Wife
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