The General Prologue is an important key in understanding the clear distinction between the Wife of Bath’s appearance and reality. It gives a detailed description of her appearance as well as the places she has traveled, stating that she has been to Rome visited Jerusalem three times. She makes a pilgrimage to these important religious cities, demonstrating her extensive knowledge of religion, but travels with the intention of finding a sixth husband. Her physical appearance as described paints a picture of a very sensual woman. S...
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...een the unjustified tyranny of satire's wives and the meritorious supremacy of romance heroines. Clearly, there is no Dorigen or Criseyde in her story. The hag is aggressive, manipulative, and sexually demanding in the best satiric vein, but her high and magical attributes--as queen of fairies, as goal of a quest for life, as moral guide, and finally as love object of the knightly hero--obscure her antifeminist connections and work to validate her active exercise of power. (Crane, 20-27)
The Wife of Bath clearly demonstrates the distinction between the life she lives and the life she wishes to live. She has been unable to receive the love she has desired through her past marriages and continues to search for it. Through the tale, she makes her feminist ideas known by giving women a role of authority but also shows the imbalance of her authority and experience.
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- The Wife of Bath is a complex character-she is different from the way she represents herself. Maybe not even what she herself thinks she is. On the surface, it seems as though she is a feminist, defending the rights and power of women over men. She also describes how she dominates her husband, playing on a fear that was common to men. From a point of view of a man during that time period, she seemed to illustrate all of the wrongs that men found in women. Such as a weak parody of what men, then saw as feminists.... [tags: The Wife of Bath Essays]
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