“The Tale of the Wife of Bath” by Geoffrey Chaucer Analytical Essay
Through the narration of the Canterbury tales, Geoffrey Chaucer, the author, explicitly highlights the private life and behavior of the characters. For instance, from the General prologue and The Tale of the Wife of Bath, the reader is able to describe the Wife’s personality, physical appearance, and biography.
From her body appearance, though at old age, the Wife of Bath appears rich, sexy, and extravagant, which can tell more about her youthful days. Her clothing portrays her wealth; she has expensive footwear and stockings. Therefore, her mode of dressing portrays a modern woman well versed with the current fashion trends in her society.
Furthermore, the coordination or combination of her clothes and the color of the stockings (scarlet), which originates from a very rare dye that is not only expensive, but also extracted from red beetles. Thus, her physical appearance is both attractive and appealing to the eyes. Although age is catching up with her beauty, she tells how she used her body to extract money or gain wealth from men. In addition, her behavioral conduct presents her as a jumpy or cheeky but talented woman who can go an extra mile to achieve her personal goals.
The other most fascinating element about the Wife of Bath is her personality. Her moral character raises eyebrows; besides getting married to five men, she uses their sexual desires or weaknesses to force them accept her proposals. She is both a sadist and a wicked human being because when her fourth husband dies, she pretends to be mourning yet in her heart, she is extremely happy.
Moreover, she is joyful because she has a chance to get married to her fifth husband. When telling her experience, she is neither remorseful nor angry about her previous way of life. Though emotional, she confesses that her lust for wealth and sex always pushes her into seducing rich men. On the other hand, she admits to have loved her last husband who was youthful, abusive, and not rich as the others.
Despite being talkative, she intelligently has a way to succeed in a society that discriminates against women. She uses her wits to access wealth from men eventually becoming independent while her adventurous character enables her to travel all over the world. Therefore, the wife’s of bathe is an all round woman with dynamic attributes like wicked, liar, talkative, successful and intelligent.
Through her tale and prologue, the reader is able to outline denotatively the biography of the Wife of Bath. She was born, brought up, and married in England, a rich country. At a tender age of twelve, she got married to an old man. The marriage did not last because she married the second, third, fourth, and fifth husband. Her talent in dressmaking enabled her to have an expensive wardrobe.
There is no much description about her family or children but her pilgrimage career enabled her to travel to different parts of the world thus she has current information on different parts of the world. Although she is extensively involved in pilgrimage activities, she has a contradictory view about the patriarchal society especially on the teachings about marriage. Finally, through her husbands, she was able to gain a lot of wealth, which ushered her into success and independence as a woman.
In summary, the Wife of Bath has a diverse personal attributes ranging from intelligent to wickedness with an appealing physical appearance and from her description or autobiography, she is an expensive, independent woman from England.
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