The Wife of Bath
Created on February 10, 2024
THE WIFE OF
From this we can understand that the main purpose of her pilgrimages was to meet new men. She is therefore a vital, wordly and enterprising woman, with an egocentric and almost presumptuosus character. A lot of people think that her character is inspired by Alice Perrers, lover of the old king of England Edward III.
The Wife of Bath is one of the few women present in the Canterbury tales. She is described as a wealthy woman, independent and above all as an expert embroiderer, dressed extravagantly and predominantly in red (whose dye was very expensive). She is gap-toothed, she has large hips and red in hue. She travels a lot, in particular to Jerusalem, Rome and Santiago de Compostela. In addition to the many trips, she also had five husbands and many lovers.
The wife of Bath:
"A liberal woman"
The story is set in the time of King Arthur. It all starts when a knight uses violence on a girl and the king decides to condemn him to death. Queen Guinevere would like to dubject him to a test to avoid sentencing. The queen promises him that she will save his life if he finds out what it is that women desire most, giving him a year and a day to complete the mission. The knight leaves and along his way asks to all the woman he meets what it's they want more. Every woman give him a different answer, like honor, wealth or freedom.
The plot of her novel:
The knight replies that the choice is of the woman. Since the husband has learned his lesson, the woman answers that she intends to be for him a wife both beautiful and faithful: when the knight turns, the old woman has become a beautiful young woman and the couple will live happily for life.
The appointed day arrives and the knight is about to return home without an answer, but he meets an old woman who offers him her help, in return he will have to give her what she wants. The knight accepts and returns to the castle with the answer: what the woman want more is to have domination over their husbands. The women of the court approve and free him, but the old woman explains to the court how she was the one to give the answer and now she wants the knight to marry her. Even if he disagrees, the knight marries the old woman. During the first night of wedding, the man has fulfilling his marital duties, so the woman asks him to think about how an ugly and old wife but faithful, as she is, is preferable to a beautiful but unfaithful wife, so she asks him to choose what he wants.
The wife of Bath asks heaven to send all woman obedient husbands