The Wife Of Bath's Tale

Decent Essays

Geoffrey Chaucer "The Father of English," is best known for his literary work "The Canterbury Tales." In which his most realistically developed character is The Wife of Bath. In "The Canterbury Tales," the Wife of Bath's Tale has been seen as controversial because in the middle ages woman had no say in anything including marriage. She considered herself "an expert as a wife," (Chaucer, l. 12) and on marriage because of her past experiences in five marriages. She believed that a marriage controlled by the woman is a happy marriage, and her beliefs on marriage are directly connected to the tale she tells.

The Wife of Bath, whose name is Alisoun, has some unusual ideas on marriage, especially for a woman in the Middle Ages. She considers …show more content…

In her tale a handsome young knight is charged with rape and is sentenced to death by the king. The queen gives him a year and a day to spare his life if he can answer the question "what is the thing that women most desire?" (Chaucer, l. 81) On the last day he meets an elderly woman who gives him the answer and he promises her that when all of it is over he will give her whatever she desires if it is in his power. The knight goes before the queen and presents the answer that was told to him by the elderly woman and the answer is correct. When he asked the woman what she wanted she replied "to be your wife." The knight refused to marry the old woman, he pleaded her to ask for anything else but that. The old woman said that she would only settle for marriage and so they got married. On their wedding the knight expressed his feeling and how he thought that he was to good for her because she was too old, ugly,and poor. The woman then told him that although she was old, ugly, and poor she would be a faithful wife. She then proposed to him a choice would he want her to be old, ugly, poor, and faithful or young and beautiful and risk that when his friends came over to visit they would visit for the sole purpose of seeing her. The knight then told her that she could choose and the woman told him " does this mean i will be in control of this marriage?" The knight told her "yes, yes, yes." She then became young beautiful and

Get Access