In reference to Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales, I have to write a creative piece regarding how another pilgrim feels about the Wife of Bath.I have to choose one pilgrim and describe what I think...

In reference to Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales, I have to write a creative piece regarding how another pilgrim feels about the Wife of Bath.

I have to choose one pilgrim and describe what I think his or her reaction to the Wife of Bath and what she says, might be.

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booboosmoosh | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Educator Emeritus

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In Chaucer's Prologue to The Canterbury Tales, the author introduces several of the members of a group on a holy pilgrimage to the Canterbury Cathedral.

The Wife of Bath is one of the most memorable, not only for the tale she tells, but also for the manner in which Chaucer describes her. In terms of the opinion of the other travelers, Chaucer presents himself as one of the group.

The Wife seems well-accepted by everyone. Chaucer describes her as "worthy." This is the clue that provides the positive way in which he perceives the woman: it is based not on her appearance but on her character. She is not terribly attractive (she has a gap-toothed smile  and is rather wide); but she does not believe that beauty is the most important asset a woman can have. She is a larger-than-life character who speaks her mind. She is also a successful business woman.

She has been married five times...

"...all at the church door, Apart from other company in youth..." (lines 458-459)

...(we assume she has buried five husbands), and she is looking for a sixth. She is a realistic woman who enjoys being married; it is often asserted by experts on The Canterbury Tales that the Wife is "lusty wench." She knows all about love: she knows how to play the game, but is also a proponent of matrimony, offering herself as an example. And for this purpose, the moral of her tale asks which is more important: a beautiful wife or a passionate wife?

The Wife is a holy and devout woman, and has been so all her life. She is first in line at mass, has visited the Holy Lands three times, and has joined this holy pilgrimage to pay homage to Thomas Becket, martyred by his king at the Canterbury Cathedral.

Of all the pilgrims, the Wife of Bath is one of the most memorable, and according to Chaucer, a fellow-pilgrim, she is a worthy and pious woman.

If you have to choose a specific character to describe the Wife, I would select the Knight. He is also a good man and honest man; he has proven himself repeatedly on the battlefield, but he is humble. Having just arrived home, his first priority is to go on a pilgrimage to give thanks to God.

Just home from service, he had joined our ranks / To do his pilgrimage and render thanks. (lines 73-74)

The Wife of Bath's value as a good person would best be seen through the eyes of a good man.

 

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