• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Reading Response:The Wife of Bath, The Wife of Bath Prologue, and The General Prologue

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Reading Response: The Wife of Bath, The Wife of Bath Prologue, and The General Prologue By Geoffrey Chaucer These selections from The Canterbury Tales best exemplify the ideals and traits of women (as portrayed by Chaucer). In, The Wife of Bath Prologue, the narrator brags of her sexual exploits as well as her prowess of controlling men. The narrator is quite forthright in her enjoyment of this manipulation; she comments on her technique of lying and predomination of men. The General Prologue further serves to display the daunting traits of women. The narrator makes several stabs at a woman's appearance; and the overall effect is one of distaste and inadequacy. The tale itself, The Wife of Bath, embodies the characteristics of the two previous selections; by fermenting a character that is both cynical towards men and symbolizes superficiality. The first selection, The General Prologue, offers the reader a glimpse into the theme and tone of the entire Tale. In this segment of the story, the author appropriates the fabliau genre. This style of composition relies on a bawdy, suggestive sense of comedy to communicate its message. ...read more.

Middle

The selection utilizes exemplum to properly impart this experience. This form is a short story which is embedded into a longer sermon to make a point. The selection is in fact a short story concerning a abhorrent woman, and reinforces the Tale (the sermon), by displaying the pitfalls of post-marriage affairs, and how imprudence is looked down upon. An excellent example of this theme is the inclusion of the wife's many different marriages. The author advertises multiple marriages as unhappy, and full of distrust and superficiality. The wife is constantly lying to her current husband, in a attempt to either garner money or a personal well-being. She accomplishes her sadistic desire for "well-being" by tormenting the husband with threats of infidelity and chastisement. She uses this is great effect to attain what she wants. The subjects of this selection goes further than the previous' mere observations, by displaying them in an uncouth manner. The reader sees the terrible consequences of multiple marriages and the insane women that populate them. The actual Tale, The Wife of Bath, displays a fairy tale transformation from ugliness to beauty. ...read more.

Conclusion

The hag transforms from a wretched troll-beast into a lovely damsel (the kind that the knight meets in corn fields). These transformations merely contribute to the air of superficiality throughout the tale. The knight changes his will and nature on the condition of his new "loyalty" to his new cleft-lipped sweetheart; he is merely bending his will to fit her own. The hatchet-faced enchantress' transformation is simply skin-deep; she is still a manipulative warlock underneath. The themes of the three different selections closely mirror each other to convey a similar tone. The tone is one of disdain and mistrust towards women. The General Prologue accomplishes this by way of chide remarks towards a woman. The Wife's Prologue displays the unfortunate consequences of multiple marriages, and the women that go along with them. Finally, the tale of the Wife of Bath culminates by showing a fantastical quest that culminates with a superficial and manipulating ending. Thus, the three readings are fairly similar in their message; which is that women want to domineer men, and will use any method to do so. The stories use different methods to convey this, but still end up at the same conclusion. IB English 2 October 19.2004 ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Geoffrey Chaucer section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Geoffrey Chaucer essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    Feminism or Anti-Feminism: Images of Women in Chaucer's "The Wife of Bath".

    4 star(s)

    In the case of her first three husbands, Alison commands power by acting out these aged stereotypes. She tells the reader: I governed hem so wel after my lawe/ That eech of hem ful blissful was and fawe/ To bringe me gaye thinges fro the faire; They were ful glade

  2. 'Compare the author's use of images in The Other Wife and The Story of ...

    She describes the cloud as gray and murky to establish a negative atmosphere when Louise is still in a state of shock from the terrible news. However, as her true feelings start to arouse, Chopin intelligently creates a lively atmosphere as the gray murky clouds start clearing and 'patches of blue sky' are visible.

  1. Man and Wife by Robert Lowell.

    This is expressed in the above phrase which suggests that the misunderstanding between them is so intense that it has already started and can last longer without any reason. The image of the bed has been replaced by "Mother's bed" which shadows his parents troubled marriage which haunts him all the time.

  2. General Notes on Chaucer and the Prologue to the Canterbury Tales

    He is accompanied by his equally idealized brother, the Plowman, "a true swinker" (hard-working man) "Living in peace and perfect charity." If the Parson is the model churchman, the Plowman is the model lay christian, as in Piers Plowman, one who is always ready to help the poor.

  1. Ideas of Feminism and the Wife of Bath.

    be concerning small matters or great, you must watch that you do not in any manner that which he has forbidden" (Goodman).

  2. What are the arguments of the Wife of Bath in relation to marriage? How ...

    and decision. Her firm belief and strong arguments are, in my opinion, the results of her awareness of the law and her situation in the society, as well as her understanding of the Bible. Regardless of the higher values of maidenhood, the Wife of Bath believes that marriage is of

  1. Comparison between The Prioress and Wife of Bath

    What make this nun so special is that, she has tender care toward animals more than to human. " She was so charitable and so full of pity that she would weep if she saw a mouse caught in a trap and dead or bleeding."

  2. Chaucer's Art of Characterization

    in the very next line ironically qualifies the word ?worthy? by commenting ?She was worthy woman all her lyve Husbands at church door she had five? But it remains to be noted that though he depicts most of his characters ironically and humorously yet tolerance and sympathy never lose Chaucer?s attention.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work