Essay on True Punishment in The Wife of Bath´s Tale by Chaucer

Essay on True Punishment in The Wife of Bath´s Tale by Chaucer

Length: 645 words (1.8 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Better Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

In most cases today rape gets you sentenced to prison and sometimes death. Back in Chaucer’s day, in the text The Wife of Bath’s Tale, Chaucer wrote about a knight in the text The Wife of Bath’s Tale. This knight was arrested for his deed of raping a woman. His punishment is not as suffice as it would be in the modern world. The life of the knight was spared because of his beauty that the Queen had seen. Instead, the Queen insisted that the knight go on a trip; a trip that would last a year and a day. When the knight’s time was up, he would return to the Queen and explain what she had asked him before he left on his journey. The question that was asked was, “’yet you shall live if you can answer me: what is the thing that women most desire?’” says the queen ([Prentice Hall Literature] page 140 lines 50-51).As for the knight, what final choice does the old woman offer the knight? In what way does his response show that he has finally learned his lesson about the nature of women? And finally, Has the knight experienced sufficient punishment and redemption for his crime.
First, the knight is giving two choices by the old woman; either he can pick her or someone else. The old woman’s actual words were “’You have two choices: which one will you try? To have me old and ugly till I die, but still a loyal, true and humble wife or would you rather I were young and pretty and chance your arm what happens in a city where friends will visit you because of me, yes, and in other places too, maybe. Which would you have? The choice is all your own.’” ([Prentice Hall Literature] page 149 lines 365-373). For the knight, this is a simple answer which he throws the question back at the old women, saying that you pick for me. Giving her the power to c...


... middle of paper ...


... beloved wife has made the decision for him. After going through this incredible journey of his, not only did he study women but he had to explain what women most desired to the queen. Otherwise he would have been beheaded, but was spared because of his looks. Was this justice? Indeed it would have been justice back in the 1300’s because if you were beautiful you could be spared and do a noble deed for the king/queen as they asked. If you did not complete it who knows what could have happened. But for the knight, he completed what he was told to do and in fact after he raped the woman and he was being prosecuted, the journey of his made him find the true knight inside of him. The old woman choice that was offer to the knight demonstrated that he learned his lesson through his sufficient punishment and redemption for his crime.



Works Cited

Prentice Hall Literature

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

The Wife of Bath: Illustrating Courtly Love Essay

- In the Middle Ages, when The Canterbury Tales was written, society became captivated by love and the thought of courtly and debonair love was the governing part of all relationships and commanded how love should be conducted. These principles changed literature completely and created a new genre dedicated to brave, valorous knights embarking on noble quests with the intention of some reward, whether that be their life, lover, or any other want. The Canterbury Tales, written in the 14th century by Geoffrey Chaucer, accurately portrays and depicts this type of genre....   [tags: The Wife of Bath Essays]

Better Essays
960 words (2.7 pages)

Essay about The Wife of Bath

- The Wife of Bath In Geoffrey Chaucer's "Canterbury Tales", the Wife of Bath tells a tale that includes irony to her and Chaucer. She was considered a beautiful woman but today would be considered ugly. She is considered worthy but vulgar. The reader would think her title showed that she was a loyal wife but the reader will soon know that is not true. Her tale and she have some symbolism each other. Some aspects of the tale resemble Chaucer's life. The general prologue of the "Canterbury Tales" by Chaucer the Wife of Bath is one of three of the women....   [tags: The Wife of Bath Essays]

Free Essays
1345 words (3.8 pages)

Essay on The Handmaid 's Tale : Gender Inequality

- ... Handmaids are not just the society’s wombs: they must be submissive; they cannot speak their mind, even to each other. No matter how much pain one woman is in, she must still follow God’s laws: "Blessed be the fruit," she says to me, the accepted greeting among us. "May the Lord open," I answer, the accepted response. (Chapter 3, page 15) Another way the women in The Handmaid’s Tale are unequal to men is in dress. In modern society it is normal to think of clothing as a way to express our personality and individuality....   [tags: The Handmaid's Tale, Margaret Atwood, Gender]

Better Essays
917 words (2.6 pages)

Free Canterbury Tales Essays: The Knight and the Wife of Bath

- The Character of the Knight of the Wife of Bath          The knight from the "Wife of Bath's Tale" is not a very likable personality. His actions suggest he is just an abstract character, a receiver of the actions, who is used to give the tale's plot a meaning. Neither he nor other characters in the story are even mentioned by name. However, the traits of his character are very real and do exist in the real world. Brought together, they create an un-exciting personality of a man without a purpose in life....   [tags: Wife of Bath Essays]

Free Essays
654 words (1.9 pages)

Essay on Chaucer's Canterbury Tales - Knight's Tale

- In his prologue, Chaucer introduces all of the characters who are involved in this fictional journey and who will tell the tales. One of the most interesting of the characters introduced is the Knight. Chaucer refers to the Knight as “a most distinguished man” and, indeed, his sketch of the Knight is highly complimentary. Another Knight seen in the “Canterbury Tales” is the rapist knight in the Wife of Bath’s Tale, who is not a very noble knight and doesn’t follow a chivalric code. This knight seems more realistic as opposed to the stereotypical ideal knight that Chaucer describes in the Prologue....   [tags: Chaucer Knight's Tale Essays]

Free Essays
1039 words (3 pages)

Essay on Forces of Nature in Shakespeare's The Winter's Tale

- Forces of Nature in The Winter's Tale       "A sad tale's best for winter," young Mamillius declares (2.1, 25). So ominously begins Shakespeare's The Winter's Tale, a story that the audience is immediately tempted to deem a tragedy. However, unlike many of Shakespeare's other later works, which accrue more and more tragedy as the play progresses, The Winter's Tale begins tragically, but concludes happily. The play contains strong elements of both comedy and tragedy, and the course appears to be dictated by the character's relationship with Nature or her representatives....   [tags: Shakespeare Winter's Tale Essays]

Better Essays
1694 words (4.8 pages)

The Tales : The Wife Of Bath 's Tale, And Sir Gawain And The Green Knight

- ... This also shows a mixture of honor. Beowulf retains honor by fighting Grendel, who does not use weapons or armor, without weapons or armor. The author of Canterbury Tales: The Wife of Bath’s Tale, Geoffrey Chaucer, also exhibits societal values through the development of plot. In Canterbury Tales: The Wife of Bath’s Tale, a knight is charged with raping a girl and is subject to death. He then is said he can stay if he finds out what a woman truly desires. He searches for about a year but never comes up with the answer....   [tags: Sir Gawain and the Green Knight]

Better Essays
1509 words (4.3 pages)

Essay about A Knight Has Cracked the Code

- In life we have many choices. Some choices may be more difficult than others. At times as human beings we make the wrong choice, but also there’s times when our choice is the correct or the better one. Talking about choices the choices we make can affect our entire life overall or can just affect a small aspect of our life. Of course, with choices there are also consequences behind the choice if the wrong decision is made. This can sometimes re-shape our entire life and flip it upside down. Sometimes these consequences can be harsh punishments such as serving jail time for example....   [tags: Chaucer's The Wife of Bath's Tale]

Better Essays
722 words (2.1 pages)

Essay on The True Face of Lowbrow Humor

- Following Chaucer’s description of the Miller in the General Prologue, The Miller’s Tale reveals a man who is more complex than his appearance initially suggests. The Miller’s Tale is a fabliau that consists of events of “cuckoldry,” “foolishness,” and “secrets” (1720, 1718, and 1719). Given the bawdy humor of his story, the Miller would seem to be crude and superficial. As the tale unfolds, it depicts how the norms of society trap John’s wife, Alison, in her marriage. Despite his fondness for vulgarity and fraudulence, the Miller is surprisingly sympathetic toward Alison....   [tags: Literary Analysis, The Miller's Tale]

Better Essays
741 words (2.1 pages)

Deception and Punishment in The Scarlet Letter and A Tale of Two Cities

- Deception and Punishment in The Scarlet Letter and A Tale of Two Cities      Nathaniel Hawthorn and Charles Dickens in their novels The Scarlet Letter and A Tale of Two Cities, respectively, both use punishment for deception as a recurring theme.  Although they do so to different degrees and in dissimilar manners, both authors agree that deception is a sin that requires punishment.         In The Scarlet Letter, the heroine, Hester Prynne conceived a child out of wedlock.  Despite the pleas and demands of the clerical community, she did not reveal the identity of the father.  The Puritanical community in which she lived in demanded her to give up her conspirator or be...   [tags: comparison compare contrast essays]

Free Essays
1293 words (3.7 pages)