Geoffrey Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales

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The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer, which was published in March 1981 by
Bantam Books in New York, New York is a funny piece of work about twenty- nine characters and their stories while on their way to Canterbury. The twenty-nine characters have to tell two stories on their trip to Canterbury. In the Wife of Bath tale, the wife of bath tells of a tale of a young knight, the central character in the story. After he raped a woman, he must roam the countryside in search to the answer to the question “what is it that women most desire?” This is the plot, for he must find the answer in order to live.
The knight only has one year to get to answer this question and then he has to return to
King Arthur’s court and await his sentence.

The setting is in King Arthur’s court when a young man saw a pretty maiden and raped her. The King was going to sentence him to death but the Queen decided to give him one year to answer the question . The story is told from the Wife of Bath’s point of view for she is narrating the story. So the conflict, being that he has to find the answer, is established. The knight’s journey does not go well. Finally on the last day that he has, he comes up to a group of women, as he approaches they disappear and an old woman appears. This part is the climax of the plot because it is when the knight finally knows the answer. The old woman says that she knows the answer but she will only tell it to the
Queen and in return she must do anything that she asks of him. The knight agrees. Finally, while in the presence of the Queen, she tells her that the answer to what all women desire is sovereignty over their husbands. No one disagrees with her answer and so the old woman asks that she be married to the knight. The knight having sworn to do whatever she pleased reluctantly agrees. But this is not the resolution. It happens later on while on their wedding night. The knight is somewhat disgusted and so the old woman goes on to lecture him on the trivial nature of appearances. She tells the knight whether he would prefer to have a woman ugly by day, yet loyal and faithful the rest of the time or to be beautiful and take his chances the rest of the time.
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