The Wife of Bath Prologue analysis

Document Type:Essay

Subject Area:Literature

Document 1

She believes that God intended for human beings to procreate and that would only be possible if women explored and exploited their sexual power over men. She gives reference of men of God like Solomon who had over 700 concubines and was still considered right with God (Chaucer), but when women do the same- marry more than once- society perceives them as evil and sinful people. She is the symbol that challenges the beliefs of the medieval church. Her confessions to the audience indicate that she is not a woman of that time. The wife of Bath is convinced that husbands should be subservient to their wives to enjoy happy marriages. The Wife of Bath in The Canterbury Tales and Miranda in The Tempest are great female characters in literature that have very different personalities but have important things to say.

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Miranda has little experience with men except with her father, Prospero, and the slave Caliban (Shakespeare). She is innocent, compassionate, forgiving and very influential. Her emotional connection with those around her makes her a goddess with a force to be reasoned with. She falls in love with Ferdinand and she impacts positively on the lives of men in her life. Horatio is a supportive friend and agrees to stand by Hamlet no matter what happens. Hamlet is not as trustworthy as Horatio; he seems to question every truth. Horatio, on the other hand, is trustworthy and accepts the world for what it is. Horatio is level-headed and evaluates all his decisions to determine the consequences of his actions and decisions. Hamlet is very impulsive and is driven by his emotions which make his make faulty decisions (Shakespeare).

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Alonso Quixano is a fifty-year-old, lean bodied tall man that lives in the Spanish village of La Mancha. His most treasured possessions are his books which he spends all day and night reading. The books he reads are tales of chivalry- of knights that are in some idealized missions. Unfortunately, his reading becomes an obsession that he loses his mind and is convinced that the stories in the books are true (Cervantes). So, he sells some of his lands and sets off to his own mission of saving the world and redressing wrongs. He gets into fights with people along his adventures whom he believes are a threat to knighthood and the world and yet eventually, he finds himself back home wounded.

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