An analysis of the themes in the tale of the wife of bath in chaucers canterbury tales

The Wife of Bath begins her lengthy prologue by announcing that she has always followed the rule of experience rather than authority. Having already had five husbands "at the church door," she has experience enough to make her an expert.

An analysis of the themes in the tale of the wife of bath in chaucers canterbury tales

Analysis of Wife of Bath from The Canterbury Tales The Wife of Bath is a woman of passion, who desires most of all to be more powerful than her man, her spouse, or her lover.

When we look at the prologue and her tale we are able to see who she is and to get a real sense of how she actually views herself. She is confident about her knowledge of love, virginity and marriage because she has been married five times and declares that her experience is more important than knowledge derived from scholars and books.

She is very original for a traditional type of woman because she does not feel shameful for her experiences in life, instead, she feels that living by experience is the smartest way to live. As the poem goes on, Geoffrey Chaucer paints a very controversial portrait of the Wife of Bath.

On one hand she is crude, sexually explicit, and hypocritical, but on the other hand, she is witty, courageous, and radical.

She is proud of her life and the fact that she has had five husbands "at the church door" does not shame her in any way. On the contrary, she truly believes in her philosophy and her virtues and supports them with citations from the Bible.

That is ironic because she is opposing women's oppression with the piece of literature that has been used by men as a justification for women's oppression.

An analysis of the themes in the tale of the wife of bath in chaucers canterbury tales

She questions if the Bible commands virginity and marriage only one time, but realizes that, in fact, many men in the Bible had more than one wife. Lamech and his bigamye? I woot wel Abroaham was an holy man, And Jacob eek, as fer as evere I can, And eech of hadde wives mo than two, And many another holy man also.

Chaucer develops her character, gap-toothed, earthy old hag, who is honest, witty and funny. She brags about lying, cheating and deceiving her husbands, she shows little sympathy to any of the men in her life.

Yet, she is a woman of a strong character, who knows what she wants and continuously fights against male dominance.


The challenges that the Wife of Bath confronted in the 14th century are the same challenges that women are still facing today. Although our society has become more lenient and accepting, women still struggle to gain the same sexual freedom and social power that men have always held.Geoffrey Chaucer - Poet - Geoffrey Chaucer was born in London sometime between and to (c.

), later used as the "Second Nun's Tale" in the Canterbury Tales. Chaucer was named Controller of Customs on wools, skins, and hides for the port of London in , and continued in this post for twelve years. His wife died the. An Analysis of Chaucer's The Wife of Bath's Tale In reading Geoffrey Chaucer's "Canterbury Tales," I found that of the Wife of Bath, including her prologue, to be the most.

Chaucer was extremely interested in the role of women in society, and how they reacted to it. In the Wife of Bath's Tale, for example, Chaucer foregrounds the issue of female "maistrie", and in the series of Tales often called "the Marriage group" by critics, Chaucer actively explores the potential.

Study Guide for The Canterbury Tales. The Canterbury Tales is the last of Geoffrey Chaucer's works, and he only finished 24 of an initially planned tales. The Canterbury Tales study guide contains a biography of Geoffrey Chaucer, literature essays, a complete e-text, quiz questions, major themes, characters, and a full summary and analysis.

Feb 28,  · The Canterbury Tales is very clear on his opinion of friars through his own Friar named Huberd and the friars mentioned in other pilgrim tales such as the Wife of Bath’s Tale and the Summoner’s Tale.

An analysis of the themes in the tale of the wife of bath in chaucers canterbury tales

The Friar, perhaps Chaucer’s least favorite character, is the worst offender because he goes against his vow of life of. The Wife of Bath’s Tale Fragment 3, lines – Summary: The Wife of Bath’s Tale. In the days of King Arthur, the Wife of Bath begins, the isle of Britain was full of fairies and elves.

Now, those creatures are gone because their spots have been taken by the friars and other mendicants that seem to fill every nook and cranny of the isle.

A Great Lesson Plan for Teaching The Canterbury Tale Characters