The Good Wife Of Bath Language Analysis

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Will Frimel Dr. McBride British Literature 13 February, 2018 The Good Wife of Bath In The Canterbury Tales, Geoffrey Chaucer uses descriptive language while describing the good Wife of Bath to reveal that despite her outward presentation, the good Wife is not the holy person that her looks and history suggests. Furthermore, Chaucer skillfully utilizes figurative language and irony to indicate that the good Wife is a social preacher that shares greater truths from her past experiences to her peers. In the introduction of the good Wife of Bath in Chaucer’s General Prologue, the motif of red is paired with the outward appearance of the good Wife to reveal her true morals and values that her religious background masks. Throughout her introduction,…show more content…
The good Wife appears to her company as a woman that has been in many different relations, which leads to tensions with the Pardoner and other characters who hold religious positions in society. However, the good Wife is “somewhat deaf, which [is] quite a shame.” (448) This represents the woman’s dedication and commitment to her own values. Furthermore, it suggests that the good Wife simply ignores those who don’t agree with her morals and sexually charged lifestyle, whether that be the Pardoner or the Church itself. Even though the good Wife fails to listen to others, she still makes sure to preach her past history to those around her. Chaucer states “she knew much about wandering by the way.” (469) In other words, the good Wife has gained a vast amount of knowledge from different experiences throughout her life. Furthermore, this line demonstrates that the woman did not learn from traditional Church or scholarly texts, but rather learned from ordeals in life. This reflects the woman’s progressive views on relationships and sexual promiscuity, which separates her from the Church. Chaucer displays the good Wife’s advanced preacher role in society when he states “she had such a talent for making cloth that she surpassed the weaver of Ypres and Ghent.” (449-450) Ypres and Ghent are both cities with rich, historical, and deep religious connections to the Church. By using figurative language, Chaucer ties together the role of the weaver with the role of the preacher. Weavers have the ability to stitch together stories and history into one fabric to reveal a greater moral path. Similarly, the good Wife shares her past sexual relationships to reveal truths about people, especially the wants of women and men, in
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