The Wife Of Bath — страница 2

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thing he liked. (229) She would actually tease them in bed, refusing them of satisfaction until they promised her money. This was an obvious portrayal of misuse of marriage by a heartless younger woman. At the end of the Wife of Bath’s Prologue she moves on to her fourth and fifth husbands, both the two bad husbands of the five. The fourth husband she married when she was young he was unwealthy and at his funeral she met the last of the five, the only man she married for love and not for money. He was also an unwealthy man, who did not treat her like the other husbands did. He would torment her by reading a book about the most deceitful wives in history. She would rip one page out every night and he hit her with his fist, she laid on the floor and yelled toward him: You’ve

murdered, me you dirty thief. You have gone and murdered me, just for my land! But I’ll kiss you once more, before I’m dead! (239) Then the Wife of Bath gives her alternative motive away: We made it up between the two of us: he gave the reins to me, and to my hand not only management of house and land, but of his tongue and also his fist and then and there I made him burn the book. (239) Through all five marriages she used the marriages as a tool of which she controlled. Even with the last it seems as if she does not have the control because she is being abused, then she is given the control, when he makes the wrong move, she grabs the reins and holds on. In the actual tale she makes the character the Knight who is going to be beheaded for rape have to find out what women

want most in the world. He has a year and a day and asks many women but never receives the same two answers: Some said we love best riches and wealth; others, happiness; some said it is the pleasures of the bed, and to be often widowed, often wed. And others said we’re happiest at heart when complimented and well cosetted. Which is pretty near the truth, and that’s no lie. A man can win us best by flattery; and with attentiveness, assiduity, we’re ensnared, one at all. (242) Finally an old hag told him he could have the answer if he does the next thing she asks of him, he says yes, and they go to the castle. He told the court the definition given to him by the old hag: Women desire to be dominion over their husbands, and their lovers too; they want to have mastery over

them. That’s what you most desire–even if my life is forfeit. (245) Then the hag told him what she wanted it was marriage, he begged her not to make him, but he was forced. He was sad and when she asked why he was sad he gave her a cruel and honest answer: You are so hideous, so old and plain, and what is more besides, so basely born, it’s little wonder if I toss and turn. (246) She gave told him to choose between a loyal old hag or a not loyal young beauty. He told her it is her choice: I place myself in your wise governance; choose for yourself whichever’s the most pleasant, most honourable toy you, and me also. All’s one to me; choose either of the two; what pleases you is good enough for me. (250) He made the right choice and she gave him both a beautiful loyal

bride. The Wife of Bath wanted to have dominance over all males that is what she shows in her own life, the Prologue, as well as in her Tale. The queen in the tale has the power to let her husband behead the knight. The Wife of Bath herself held sexual deeds over her husbands in exchange for money. She held power over their property and money. The women of this story are portrayed as opposites of the way women were supposed to act in those times. These woman were independent although still able to be put into their place by their husband. There is always an alternative motive, which is the woman receives what she wants in the end. The Wife of Bath is not a picture of chastity but she proves that there is nothing wrong with marrying more than once because she waited for each to

die before remarrying and in the bible the men say that it is all right by the Lord to marry.