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What is the irony behind the knight's situation in "The Wife of Bath's Tale"?Please...

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seagoddess19 | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 1) eNoter

Posted December 5, 2012 at 4:44 PM via web

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What is the irony behind the knight's situation in "The Wife of Bath's Tale"?

Please explain the irony.

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juhlissa | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Adjunct Educator

Posted December 5, 2012 at 6:26 PM (Answer #1)

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The irony in the Wife of Bath's tale is in the solution to the knight's predicament.  He finds himself in trouble with the court after raping a maiden and robbing her of her virginity.  In order to save himself from death, he must find what it is that all women most desire.  When he learns that the answer is that all women desire sovereignty over their husbands, the irony is revealed.  Had the knight considered what the maiden wanted and given her that sovereignty, he would not have forced himself on her.

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