The Wife Of Bath Essay

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The Wife of Bath begins to describe two of her husbands whom she thought were bad. First, her fourth husband, whom she married when still young, who liked to have fun, however he had a mistress. Remembering her wild youth, she feels nostalgic of how old she has become, but she says that she pays her loss of beauty no mind. She then confesses that she was his purgatory on Earth, always trying to make him jealous. He died while she was on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem. Of her fifth husband, she has much more to say. She loved him, even though he treated her horribly and beat her. He was coy and flattering in bed, and always won her back. Women, the Wife says, always desire what is forbidden them, and run away from whatever pursues or is forced upon…show more content…
She loses her place in the story momentarily, then resumes with her fourth husband’s funeral. She made a big show of crying, although, she admits, she actually cried very little since she already had a new husband lined up. By Chaucer 's time, it obvious how there were many anti feminist individuals and how it was a tradition to write texts about the dangers and annoyances of women and wives. The Wife of Bath refers to many of these texts in her Prologue. Her fifth husband, she tells us, owned a book that was an entire collection of such texts, from which he used to read to her every evening. Because of this tradition, an anti feminist stereotype of women had taken shape. At one point or another in her Prologue, the Wife conforms to every single one of these antifeminist stereotypes. At the end of her Prologue, the Wife rips a page or two out of her husband 's book because she is so angry. Finally, the Wife has begun to seem like an actual person with feelings, rather than just a combination of negative stereotypes. In the Wife 's transformation from caricature to character, we begin to see the way stereotypes fall short when it comes to capturing the complexities of everyday existence and everyday
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