Wife of Bath

4 April 2015
Examines character, her prologue & tale in Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales] as example of women as complex & struggling with independence, social conformity, marriage, sex, guilt and morality.

Geoffrey Chaucer presents a broad portrait of life in his Canterbury Tales both in the depiction of the pilgrims themselves and in the characters in the stories the pilgrims tell one another to pass the time. The women in these tales are neither better nor worse than they should be, and they are much more realistically portrayed than the idealized women of many other writers of the era. The Wife of Bath can be seen as a character exhibiting primordial behavior, or behavior that is both original and primitive for her time. The Wife of Bath’s Prologue and Tale are connected in the way the themes of the story illuminate the character of the Wife of Bath, just as her character sheds light on the broader meaning of the story she tells.

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