David S. Reed (essay date 1970)
SOURCE: Reed, David S. “Crocodilian Humor: A Discussion of Chaucer's Wife of Bath.” Chaucer Review 4, no. 2 (1970): 73-89.
[In the following essay, Reed studies the negative characterization of the Wife of Bath and notes that her character is of low moral standards and amuses through her baseness and bad taste.]
It is odd that many have found the Wife of Bath lifelike. If she is, it is not in a way that those who see her as a marvel of naturalistic invention would accept. In common sense human terms she is absurd and grotesque, a figment of that anti-feminist gallimaufry, the Prologue to her Tale. That many take her as a...
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