The Trials Of Marriage In Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales

1025 Words5 Pages
There is a clear relationship in The Canterbury Tales between the teller of a tale and the story that he or she chooses to share. Chaucer presents several demographically different tales of moral awareness, human desire, and vice and virtues, where each travelers’ tales reflects the teller’s personal traits. A major theme seen in The Canterbury Tales, is that one tale is simply a retelling of the previous tale but with a repayment to the teller of the previous tale. Chaucer’s work in The Canterbury Tales serves as a social commentary that is rhetorically complex implicating varying levels of ethos between Chaucer, the tellers, and the tellers characters. The hidden topic in the prolog of The Wife of Bath reveals itself to be a record of the trials of marriage. In the prologue and the tale itself, the Wife questions sovereignty, virginity, and marriage. It is evident the topics the Wife focuses on in her story is in all likelihood a portrayal of what she craves, dominance. Her story is set during the reign of King Arthur where a youthful knight has been sentenced to death for assault, but his life is saved on the condition that he discover the thing ladies crave, which is to be in control over their lovers. The Wife picking what the knight should do in order for his life to be spared represents that she has been miserable or unsatisfied in her past relational unions. Her tale, strongly suggesting that women should have more control over their husbands, is a reflection of
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