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The Wife Of BAth's Prologue

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by

CeCe Marzinsky

on 14 October 2014

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Transcript of The Wife Of BAth's Prologue

1. Read the first 3 pages of the tale
( 258-261)
2. Look for themes and characterization of the Wife of Bath
3. Look for allusions.
Themes
Marriage: Why are multiple marriages bad?
Power: Who should be in charge in a marriage?
Women's Role: How should women be viewed?
The Wife of Bath's Views on Women and Marriage

She lied and manipulated her husbands into getting what she wanted
She used the Bible to show that it is right to marry more than one person and to show that virginity is not what makes a women desirable
She thinks that women should have power over men in a marriage
Debate
Does the use of biblical references and allusions help or hinder the Wife of Bath’s argument?
Critics such as, H. Marshall Leicester, Jr., see the Wife of Bath as an early feminist striving for autonomy in an oppressive patriarchal society. Do you agree or disagree?
Other critics such as, Susan Crane and Catherine S. Cox, view The Wife of Bath as destined to fail in her search for equality, because she is trying to gain acceptance by emulating men instead of embracing her femininity. Do you agree or disagree?
Do you think the Wife of Bath’s complaints and means of expressing her views are justified?
David Reed thinks she is an absurdity, and her character doesn’t helps the poem at all. Do you agree or disagree?

Summary of the Prologue
She has had 5 husbands, her first when she was 12 years old
She used her first 3 husbands to get money and possessions
Her 4th husband cheated on her
She met her 5th husband while she was still married to her 4th.
She married her 5th husband after her 4th husband "mysteriously died"
Her 5th husband abused her physically but she loved him the most

The Wife Of BAth's Prologue
By: CeCe, Anna, & Tyler
Full transcript