The wife of bath from the Canterbury tales is written by GeoffreyChaucer. This piece of literature is a tavern and a pilgrimage from London toCanterbury, England in the late fourteenth century. No one really knows exactlywhen Chaucer wrote The Canterbury Tales, but it had to be in the late 1380’sand as early as the 1390s, just right after his retirement from life as a civilservant. During this era, the plague had destroyed a huge percentage of thepopulation established social mobility that eventually led to class tensionthroughout society.
A extremely important part of life in the medievalperiod was the church. Religion played a huge role in the lives of many. TheChristian faith was practiced among those who believed in the Eucharist andConfession, that only the church could provide. Unlike the other two storiesthis one is different because Chaucer decided to take every single medievalantifeminist approach dealing with stereotypes. Medieval antifeminism was atype of estate irony which characterized women as greedy, lustful, deceptive,parasites on men. Throughout the tale, lessons about what women want are fullyexpressed. “The discrepancy between what women find arousing and what they oughtto be attracted by runs throughout the book. It’s a negation of desire.
Womenmay indeed be naturally promiscuous, but this isn’t to say they’re driven onlyby sexual need. Pragmatism and principle make matrimony attractive. It’s betterfor raising children. It provides emotional security which women,paradoxically, also want.
” (McDonagh, p.46) The Wife of Bath, she and all womenwant to control according to her, want to oversee their husbands and lovers.They want to command the money, the sex, and the passion of any givenrelationship. This prologue acquaints the reader with the earthly and veryoutspoken wife of Bath, a middle-aged woman who has been married five times. She strongly believes that experience is the best teacher around. This ispartly what makes her assertive, self-confident and literate.
Three mainthemes come to mind when the tale was told. The first theme was women desiremastery over men. Secondly, are appearances can be deceiving.
The ugly oldwoman becomes a beautiful young lady towards the ending of the tale. Lastly, wesee how rehabilitation takes place. A knight