Interpreting the Wife of Bath’s Tale
- The introduction of the Church and the Christian religion in England protected people from pagan Gods and spiritual entities like fairies. As a result of this change throughout society, women are much safer and happier and all non-Christian spirits have been expelled.
- Using evidence from the Wife of Bath’s tale explain how she would respond to the quote above? Your evidence should come from lines 31-56
- Explain the Wife of Bath’s message about the following topics:
- Gentility, gentle birth, noble birth and what it means to be a gentleman:
- What social criticism does the Wife of Bath make about the noble class?
- What alternative perspective of poverty does the Wife of Bath offer?
- Old age in women
- What alternative perspective of aging and beauty in woman does the Wife of Bath offer?
- “Nor can it be doubted, that it is more consonant with the order of nature that men should bear rule over women, than women over men. It is with this principle in view that the apostle says, ‘The head of the woman is the man;’ and, ‘Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands.’ So also the Apostle Peter writes: ‘Even as Sara obeyed Abraham, calling him lord.’”
— On Marriage and Concupiscence, St. Augustine.
- What point being made in the quote above about the proper relationship between men and women?
- Using evidence from the Wife of Bath’s tale explain how she would respond to the quote above?
- Explain how any portion of the Wife of Bath’s message is still relevant in today’s society. Please be specific by referencing specific current events where similar issues are at play.