Character Analysis Of The Wife Of Bath

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The Wife of Bath: An Analysis of Her Life and Her Tale
The Wife of Bath’s Prologue stays consistent with the facts that experience is better than the societal norms, specifically those instilled by the church leadership. Chaucer uses the Wife of Bath to display the insanity of the church, but through switching and amplifying their view of men and chastity onto the opposite gender. The church doctrine at the time held celibacy in an idolized manner, forgetting the inability for humans to ever reach perfection, or live up to this standard. They also did not hold women in a high regard at all, again this is where Chaucer flips the role, as the Wife of Bath describes her five marriages in her prologue, essentially describing each as a conquest, where the result is her having all control. The importance of experience is clearly expressed in the Wife of Bath’s Prologue and is the reflected in the Wife of Bath’s Tale. The Wife of Bath makes a defense for her “experience” and five marriages in her prologue before explaining each of her marriages. She uses scripture, in a somewhat distorted way, but scripture none the less, to defend her actions. She uses the example of Solomon to back up her claim for marriage by stating, “old Solomon, I think he had more wives than one” (173). The irony is that she is using the same Bible of the church that she is rebelling against, but again both the Wife and the church at the time used scriptures out of context to reach a desired societal
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