Comparing Marriage In Wife Of Bath´s Prologue And The Franklin's Tale

2103 Words9 Pages

According to William E. Mead ‘the evils of matrimony, […], were a favourite theme in the Middle Ages’ . This means that marriage was a recurring topic and especially marriages that had trials and problems to overcome. Indeed, in the Canterbury Tales Chaucer uses for some of his tales the setting of marriage. In this essay, the Wife of Bath’s Prologue and the Franklin’s Tale will be used to demonstrate how Chaucer represented marriage and what possible functions could it have. With functions I mean in the texts as part of the plot as well as how marriage functions as a plot device. Both texts have been chosen as they deal with marriage and its tribulations and both offer an insight as to what marriage represented. The representation of marriage will be analysed in terms of the power relationship between the spouses and by the notion of ‘trouthe’. ‘trouthe’ according to the Middle English Dictionary (MED) has about 16 meanings, however this essay will focus on the notions of fidelity, commitment, devotion and honour. The Franklin’s Tale will be the first text to be analysed, then the Wife of Bath’s Prologue. Finally both texts will be compared to each other in how the representation of marriage differs.
In the Franklin’s Tale the reader learns about Dorigen’s and Averagus’ marriage. It is indeed a marriage with trials for both of them as Arveragus leaves his wife alone to fight in England and Dorigen encounters Aurelius, who courts her while knowing she is married. In ‘”In

Open Document