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The Wife of Bath's Tale

by Geoffrey Chaucer
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The Wife of Bath's Tale Questions and Answers

The Wife of Bath's Tale

The knight who raped a young woman gets many answers when he wanders around the countryside asking people what women most want. Some respond that women want material wealth. Others say honor is...

Latest answer posted October 5, 2018, 11:22 am (UTC)

2 educator answers

The Wife of Bath's Tale

The knight at first appears to be a bad character. The tale begins with the knight raping a woman he finds alone in a deserted place. No explanation is given for his behavior, and the sense is that...

Latest answer posted October 26, 2019, 12:51 pm (UTC)

2 educator answers

The Wife of Bath's Tale

The message delivered in the Wife of Bath's tale is related to the quest embarked upon by the knight in the story. In order to avoid being put to death for raping a young maiden, the knight has to...

Latest answer posted October 24, 2020, 11:27 am (UTC)

4 educator answers

The Wife of Bath's Tale

The Wife of Bath holds a favorable view of marriage. She considers herself an authority on the subject, since she was first married at age twelve and has had five husbands since then. Her views of...

Latest answer posted November 10, 2020, 12:22 pm (UTC)

5 educator answers

The Wife of Bath's Tale

We learn from the Prologue that the Wife of Bath knows what she wants and is good at getting her needs met. We also know that she likes to be in charge in a marriage (even if her fifth husband, who...

Latest answer posted December 12, 2019, 5:51 pm (UTC)

4 educator answers

The Wife of Bath's Tale

The Wife of Bath's story obviously reveals her own personality and her desire for sex. She is obviously a very lustful woman who has a preoccupation with sex. In that time period, a woman showing...

Latest answer posted November 21, 2019, 7:45 pm (UTC)

3 educator answers

The Wife of Bath's Tale

A knight must find the answer to the Queen's riddle: What do women desire most in all the world? If he doesn't, then he'll be executed as a rapist and will lose his head on the block. The knight...

Latest answer posted September 10, 2019, 9:37 am (UTC)

3 educator answers

The Wife of Bath's Tale

The Wife of Bath's first three husbands share the characteristics of being old, rich, and subservient to her—she refers to their catering to her as being "good." They also all seem to have trouble...

Latest answer posted September 3, 2019, 4:40 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Wife of Bath's Tale

The consensus is that there are only two morals to The Wife of Bath's Tale, although the Wife expresses three primary opinions in her tale; more about her opinions can be read in the answer to...

Latest answer posted November 21, 2009, 10:23 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Wife of Bath's Tale

The Wife of Bath interrupts her story to tell the tale of King Midas, beginning by saying "we wommen" can't keep any secrets. To illustrate this point, she begins to recount the story of King...

Latest answer posted October 12, 2018, 7:47 pm (UTC)

2 educator answers

The Wife of Bath's Tale

As the other excellent answer to this question suggests, the knight agrees to grant the old woman the first thing she desires if she gives him the answer to the riddle regarding what women want....

Latest answer posted October 18, 2016, 12:51 pm (UTC)

2 educator answers

The Wife of Bath's Tale

The Old Woman in the "Wife of Bath's Tale" says that a gentleman is one who "loves to work for virtuous ends, Public or private, and who most intends to do what deeds of gentleness...

Latest answer posted January 15, 2008, 12:19 am (UTC)

2 educator answers

The Wife of Bath's Tale

The Wife of Bath is quite open in saying that she manipulates her husbands through lying: You wise wives, that can understand. Thus should you speak and accuse them wrongfully, For half so boldly...

Latest answer posted April 11, 2020, 7:57 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Wife of Bath's Tale

The Wife of Bath begins by stating that long ago during the days of King Arthur's rule, England was a magical place. The land was full of fairies and elves, and the Elf Queen and her court could...

Latest answer posted August 26, 2021, 11:41 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Wife of Bath's Tale

The Wife of Bath contradicts the gender roles of her time. Through her tale, Chaucer outlines and critiques the rigid gender norms of medieval English society. The feudal system defined a woman’s...

Latest answer posted September 14, 2020, 11:22 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Wife of Bath's Tale

In The Wife of Bath’s Prologue in Geoffrey Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales, the Friar and the Summoner have a heated exchange before she begins her tale. The contrast of the tone of their speech...

Latest answer posted December 21, 2019, 4:00 am (UTC)

6 educator answers

The Wife of Bath's Tale

The main characters in "The Wife of Bath's Tale" are the knight and the hag who saves him. The knight is a young warrior who rapes a young girl and is brought before Guinevere and a jury of women...

Latest answer posted July 10, 2019, 4:03 am (UTC)

2 educator answers

The Wife of Bath's Tale

In the time of King Arthur, a knight of the realm has raped a young woman. In Arthur's kingdom the normal punishment for such a serious crime is death. But the queen and other ladies of the court...

Latest answer posted December 23, 2018, 9:00 am (UTC)

2 educator answers

The Wife of Bath's Tale

Satire pokes fun at human weaknesses or social issues. Focusing on the tale itself, we could pick out two social issues it pokes fun at and undermines: the first is male intellectual superiority;...

Latest answer posted November 23, 2019, 7:42 pm (UTC)

4 educator answers

The Wife of Bath's Tale

I think that the best way to answer this is to say that the Wife of Bath seems to want the following things in a husband: First, she wants a husband who is obedient to her, or at least one that she...

Latest answer posted December 2, 2010, 6:03 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Wife of Bath's Tale

Geoffrey Chaucer's "The Wife of Bath's Tale" is a medieval romance with the usual knight on an adventure. Historically, knights in such Arthurian romances traditionally followed the code of...

Latest answer posted April 7, 2013, 6:20 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Wife of Bath's Tale

The Wife of Bath states that she had her husbands under her power and that they would bring her gifts to keep her happy: I governed them so well, by my own law,That each of them was happy as a...

Latest answer posted April 12, 2020, 4:17 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Wife of Bath's Tale

I can't answer all these many questions in one note, but let's examine the heart of the Wife of Bath. She is a feisty woman, the opposite of the ideal of a docile, obedient wife and tells a...

Latest answer posted October 14, 2019, 7:05 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Wife of Bath's Tale

When an author writes satire, they use humor, irony, sarcasm, and/or exaggeration to poke fun at the vices, follies, and corruption of individuals, groups, customs, practices, ideas, government,...

Latest answer posted November 7, 2020, 6:25 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Wife of Bath's Tale

The Wife of Bath opens her tale by telling of one of King Arthur’s knights, whom the Wife of Bath describes as a “lusty bacheler,” rapes a young girl: “By verray force, he rafte hire maydenhed”...

Latest answer posted November 30, 2014, 8:47 pm (UTC)

2 educator answers

The Wife of Bath's Tale

The Knight certainly gets the best deal by the end of “The Wife of Bath’s Tale,” as he keeps his life and gains a beautiful and faithful wife in the process—what some may call an injustice after...

Latest answer posted December 5, 2018, 3:13 pm (UTC)

2 educator answers

The Wife of Bath's Tale

King Arthur was ready to punish the knight according to the law, but the queen and the other ladies begged him not to kill him. According to the law, the knight was to lose his head given his...

Latest answer posted December 28, 2016, 8:27 am (UTC)

2 educator answers

The Wife of Bath's Tale

The Wife of Bath is interrupted several times during her initial introduction to her story. It is an interesting point that people continue to interrupt her and badger her far more than the other...

Latest answer posted November 12, 2019, 4:06 pm (UTC)

5 educator answers

The Wife of Bath's Tale

We need to remember that when the knight meets the old woman, he is at his wit's end. He has to give the Queen an answer to her question, and, as yet, he has not been able to do so. He is therefore...

Latest answer posted November 28, 2011, 6:42 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Wife of Bath's Tale

We know the Wife of Bath has some education in the Bible and classical literature, though we are not certain of the extent of her education or even if she is literate. However, she has the ability...

Latest answer posted December 15, 2020, 1:28 am (UTC)

2 educator answers

The Wife of Bath's Tale

In "The Wife of Bath's Tale" the knight is charged with raping a young madien. The king decrees that his punishment will be death for his crime, but the queen convinces her husband to change the...

Latest answer posted November 8, 2011, 8:31 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Wife of Bath's Tale

After the knight forced himself on the maiden, people demanded justice, and he was to be put to death. However, the queen and other ladies intervened, and the king spared the knight and handed him...

Latest answer posted September 27, 2016, 7:34 am (UTC)

2 educator answers

The Wife of Bath's Tale

In the time of King Arthur, the natural environment blended with magical elements and creatures. However, all the elements and creatures had since disappeared and paved the way for modern...

Latest answer posted December 30, 2015, 2:43 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Wife of Bath's Tale

The Wife of Bath is one of Chaucer's most interesting characters. In trying to develop a thesis statement, I would focus on what characterizes her as a woman, and why she chooses to tell the story...

Latest answer posted February 1, 2018, 9:33 am (UTC)

2 educator answers

The Wife of Bath's Tale

The tale tells us that women in the Middle Ages were expected to occupy a position of subordination in relation to their menfolk yet still retained a certain measure of control over them in...

Latest answer posted November 27, 2019, 6:16 am (UTC)

4 educator answers

The Wife of Bath's Tale

In Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales, the Wife of Bath's attitude towards marriage is based on her firm belief that the wife must be at least equal to, if not superior to her husband. She also...

Latest answer posted September 17, 2019, 9:59 pm (UTC)

3 educator answers

The Wife of Bath's Tale

One of Chaucer's significant themes in The Canterbury Tales is marriage, and the Wife of Bath garrulously discusses her many marriages in which she assumed the dominant role. Before she begins her...

Latest answer posted March 8, 2014, 11:55 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Wife of Bath's Tale

The Wife of Bath shares with the Crone the conviction that women want the upper hand in marriage and romance. In her prologue, she makes it very clear that with the exception of her last, younger...

Latest answer posted May 27, 2020, 5:12 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Wife of Bath's Tale

A critical appreciation is a written work that examines and evaluates a piece of literature from a discerning and critical point of view. Basically, it's something written by a reader that...

Latest answer posted January 16, 2018, 5:04 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Wife of Bath's Tale

In The Wife of Bath's Tale, a knight from King Arthur's court goes on a journey to find out what women most want. On his travels, the knight finds an old woman who informs him what women want most...

Latest answer posted June 29, 2016, 11:47 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Wife of Bath's Tale

The Wife of Bath appears to indicate that women want it all. She certainly does. And she has no hesitation in projecting her own wishes, wants, and desires onto the rest of womankind. Sovereignty...

Latest answer posted June 3, 2019, 5:50 am (UTC)

2 educator answers

The Wife of Bath's Tale

It is difficult to assess how much of the Wife of Bath's life story—told in the the tale's Prologue—is true, as she repeatedly describes how she lies blatantly and without shame to manipulate men...

Latest answer posted July 21, 2017, 12:18 pm (UTC)

2 educator answers

The Wife of Bath's Tale

The narrative action of “The Wife of Bath’s Tale” begins when one of King Arthur’s knights, who the Wife of Bath describes as a “lusty bacheler,” or a pleasure-loving knight of lower order, “rafte...

Latest answer posted November 22, 2014, 1:44 pm (UTC)

2 educator answers

The Wife of Bath's Tale

The Wife of Bath is an interesting character precisely because she challenges every preconception the medieval audience might have about the role of women. In her prologue, she begins by...

Latest answer posted October 26, 2017, 7:59 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Wife of Bath's Tale

The knight is ordered by the queen to find what women really want. He travels all over asking women this question, only to find all the answers are different. He is in despair because if , at the...

Latest answer posted November 16, 2007, 10:55 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Wife of Bath's Tale

In this brief digression, the Wife of Bath asserts her independence, a very rare thing for a woman to do at that time. What's more, she justifies her independence by referencing the Bible, which...

Latest answer posted May 31, 2019, 10:49 am (UTC)

2 educator answers

The Wife of Bath's Tale

In her prologue in Chaucer's Canterbury Tales, the Wife of Bath refers to the apostle Paul to support her argument that God does not command virginity or forbid marriage. The Wife, of course, has a...

Latest answer posted October 6, 2021, 8:52 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Wife of Bath's Tale

In the Prologue to the "Wife of Bath's Tale" the Wife relates little antecdotes about her life and her many marriages in particular. A running theme of her view of life and marriage is that the...

Latest answer posted November 8, 2010, 11:18 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Wife of Bath's Tale

This is a tricky one to answer because The Wife of bath's Tale by Geffrey Chaucer itself is tricky! There has been much debate about it recently and the manuscript itself has been studied in minute...

Latest answer posted December 16, 2009, 8:52 am (UTC)

2 educator answers

The Wife of Bath's Tale

This is largely a matter of subjective opinion, but I would argue that one of the most significant quotations in "The Wife of Bath's Prologue" concerns the appropriate behavior of widows: But me...

Latest answer posted September 26, 2019, 10:53 am (UTC)

3 educator answers

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