1. Although a widow. the Wife of Bath by her really name clearly represents the “feminine Estate” of “Wife. ” To what extent is her Prologue ( and even her Tale ) a response to clerical attitudes toward matrimony and virginity? 2. Trace the stairss in her statements for the rightness of matrimony ( and. specifically. of her ain five matrimonies ) . How does she utilize written governments to back up her ain actions and universe position? 3. Based upon her ain histories and Chaucer’s portrayal of her in the General Prologue. what exactly is the Wife of Bath’s “experience” ? Given that there was a mediaeval tradition of highly misogynous Hagiographas ( such as those contained in her 5th hubby Janekin’s Book of Wikked Wives ) how can we understand the Wife of Bath as a guardian of her sex? 4. Why would adult females be peculiarly concerned with holding experience recognized as transporting its ain weight and “auctoritee” ? 5. In her prologue. Alison describes three “good” hubbies and two “bad” 1s. Are these descriptions to be taken earnestly? Of which of her past hubby does she look fondest? What is the balance of power between hubby and married woman in each instance? Does it alter? When and why?
Pay peculiar attending to the narratives of hubbies four and five. Her 4th hubby is unfaithful to her. How does the Wife of Bath respond? Does she perpetrate criminal conversation in bend? What does she intend when she says she “fried him in his ain grease” ? 6. Alison explains that she met ( and presumptively fell in love with ) her 5th hubby. Janekin. while married to conserve figure four. What was her initial involvement in him? What is their several societal. fiscal and personal position when they foremost run into? How do they pass their clip together? How good do they acquire along?
Are they well-matched socially? physically? intellectually? in formal instruction? in energy and appetite? What alterations after their matrimony? 7. Janekin is a “clerk at Oxenforde” . a cleric trained in the scholarly traditions of ( written. biblical ) “authority. ” including the misogynous Hagiographas contained in the “Book of Wikkid Wives” . Pay careful attending to the events environing this book. What does the Wife of Bath ab initio do to the book. and what are the symbolic deductions of that action? ( See in the visible radiation of the resistance between experience and authorization elsewhere in the Prologue. ) What does she do Janekin finally do to the book? What are the symbolic deductions of that act? ( Note that she does non fire the book. . . he does. )
The Wife of Bath’s Tale
1. In the visible radiation of the Wife of Bath’s Prologue. see Alice’s narrative of the raper knight condemned to find “what thing it is that wommen most desiren” ? What is the reply to this inquiry? What is meant. in this context. by maistrye? 2. Given the nature of the knight’s initial offense. why is it particularly suiting that he larn this peculiar lesson? How does what happens to the knight after his nuptials tantrum into this subject? What does the old adult female teach him about gentilesse. and how does it suit in with the subject of maistrye? To what extent is the old adult female similar to Alice? 3. Alice’s narrative. set “in th’olde dayes of King Arthour” is clearly a love affair – so its beginning must be a piece of slang instead than Latin ( and church-oriented ) literature. Make you see a possible relationship between Alice’s pick of narrative and her old insisting on the value of experience as a rival to biblical ( Latin-language ) auctoritee?