The Theme of Sovereignty in Wife of Bath Tale

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The Wife of Bath, one of the many characters in Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales.Chaucer, in the “General Prologue,” describes her as promiscuous. The Wife confirms this claim in the prologue to her tale.The “General Prologue” and the “Wife of bath’s Prologue” reveals a direct relationship between the Wife of Bath and the characters in her tale, such as the knight, queen, and ugly woman.

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The theme of sovereignty in Wife Of Bath Tale The description of the knight as “lusty” is the opposite of what knights were supposed to be. However, even this knight is able to accept and abide by the Wife’s idea of what a husband should be. The point of her story belief that women should always have sovereignty over their husbands in marriage. The old lady in the tale is able to persuade the young, lusty knight to give her this sovereignty over him. The fact that he raped the girl earlier shows what an accomplishment this is because a man who did not care at all about a lady’s desires has now given in completely to them. The theme of looks can be deceiving and sovereignty.

This is seen when the knight returns to the castle to answer the queen’s question, saying “a woman wants the self-same sovereignty over her husband as over her lover, and master him, he must not be above her” As part of a previous arrangement the knight is saved but must marry the old hag. The woman knows that her new husband is upset that she is old and ugly, so she decides to give him a choice. The hag questions the knight as to whether he would rather have her old and faithful or young and unfaithful.

The knight tells the hag that the decision is hers to choose what she thinks will be best. Because the knight was wise enough to give the woman the choice to choose for herself the old hag was able to become young, beautiful and good. The theme of power ?’There was a knight who was a lusty liver. One day as he came riding from the river He saw a maiden walking all forlorn Ahead of him, alone as she was born. And of that maiden, spite of all she said,” Rape is the domination of another human person by saying that the knight rapes the woman or in spite of all she said is attribute for desires. The knight further deprives the woman of power by taking her maidenhead.

The difference is the Wife Of Bath is based on a central character while the Propagule is based on the character of a rapist.” He saw a maiden walking all forlorn Ahead of him, alone as she was born. And of that maiden, in spite of all she said, By very force, he took her maidenhead.”In the Wife of Bath’s prologue describes the central character Chaucer describes the Wife of Bath as a deaf, gap-toothed woman. She has boldface and wears ten pounds of “coverchiefs” and a hat on her head . She wears a skirt with red stockings and tight-laced supple shoes. She is also a great weaver and has been on many pilgrimages. She is described in “The General Prologue” as being a worthy woman who has only had five husbands. She knows all the remedies of love and is an expert at and preaches and practices the art of love.

The similarities in the Wife Of Bath and Wife Of Bath Prologue,Dame Alice is dominant over all five of her husbands and although she struggles with her fifth husband to gain the upper hand in the marriage, Dame Alice, in the end, accomplishes her manipulation. Dame Alice seems to be only happy when she has power over her husband. They have to hand over this power, consciously or unconsciously, because without their consent she has a battle on her hands, both challenging the other for ultimate superiority in the relationship. The old hag similarity gains control over her husband when the knight places her in the power position and that was seen in the Wife of Bath’s Prologue, the knight must willingly to give up this power in order for the old hag to have it, for if he had not given her control of the partnership, both would have continued unhappily. Both the Wife of Bath’s prologue and tale share a common theme of a woman’s control in a relationship with a man.

In conclusion in the prologue, Chaucer shows similarities and differences between the prologue and story. Sharing themes and also different themes for story development.from the themes and the characters

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The Theme of Sovereignty in Wife Of Bath Tale. (2020, Mar 10). Retrieved February 8, 2023 , from
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