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Wife Of Bath And The Prioress In Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales

Decent Essays
The Wife of Bath and the Prioress are two completely different characters. One is a woman who has lost five husbands and is looking for a sixth, and the other is a woman who acts properly all the time, whether she is speaking or eating, and is much too sentimental. Chaucer is a master at using physical details to reveal character. The inner natures of the pilgrims are revealed by their outer appearance. Being the only two female pilgrims, it is interesting to see how Chaucer describes them in such sundry ways. The Canterbury Tales, written in the early 1300s by Geoffrey Chaucer, is a collection of stories in which twenty-eight pilgrims, and Chaucer himself, are challenged by the host of an inn, Harry Bailey, to tell two stories on the journey to Canterbury and two on the way back. Canterbury is the site where Saint Thomas â Becket was murdered and where devout Christians would travel on a pilgrimage to seek the martyr’s help for illness and for absolution for their sins.…show more content…
When it comes to the clothing that she wears, she dresses more elegantly than the Wife of Bath. She wears a cloak and has a coral trinket upon her arm. She also has a golden brooch that is engraved with love conquers all in Latin. The Prioress’ body description is much different than Wife of Bath’s. The Prioress, unlike the Wife of Bath, has an elegant nose, glass-grey eyes and a small, soft and red mouth. Another way that the Prioress differs from the Wife of Bath is how she holds herself. She spoke a schoolgirl French, acted with decorum, and she “was all sentiment and tender heart” (154). The Prioress is described as being someone who “certainly was very entertaining,/ Pleasant and friendly in her ways, and straining/ To counterfeit a courtly kind of grace” (141-143). The outer appearance of the Prioress reveals her inner nature because it shows how fake she is being and how hard she is trying to be someone she’s
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