The Wife of Bath's Prologue and Tale Contents
- The Prologue: introductory comments
- Part one: l.1 'Experience' - l.76 'Cacche whoso may'
- Part two: l.77 'But this word' - l.134 'To purge uryne'
- Part three: l.135 'But if I seye noght' - l.162 ' Al this sentence'
- Part four: l.163 'Up sterte' - l.192 'For myn entente'
- Part five: l.193 'Now sires' - l.234 'Of hir assent'
- Part six: l.235 'Sire old kanyard' - l.307 'I wol hym noght'
- Part seven: l.308 'But tel me this' - l.378 'This know they'
- Part eight: l.379 'Lordinges, right thus' - l.452 'Now wol I speken'
- Part nine: l.453 'My forthe housebonde' - l.502 'He is now in the grave'
- Part ten: l.503 'Now of my fifthe housebond' - l.542 'Had told to me'
- Part eleven: l.543 'And so bifel' - l.584 'As wel of this'
- Part twelve: l.585 'But now, sire' - l.626 'How poore'
- Part thirteen: l.627 'What sholde I seye' - l.665 'I nolde noght'
- Part fourteen: l.666 'Now wol I seye' - l.710 'That women kan'
- Part fifteen: l.711 'But now to purpos' - l.771 'Somme han kem'
- Part sixteen: l.772 'He spak moore' - l.828 'Now wol I seye'
- Part seventeen: The after words l.829 'The frere lough' - l.856 'Yis dame, quod'
- The Wife of Bath's Tale: Introductory comments
- Part eighteen: l.857 'In the' olde days' - l.898 'To chese weither'
- Part nineteen: l.899 'The queen thanketh' - l.949 'But that tale is nat'
- Part twenty: l.952 'Pardee, we wommen' - l.1004 'These olde folk'
- Part twenty-one: l.1005 'My leve mooder' - l.1072 'And taketh his olde wyf'
- Part twenty-two: l.1073 'Now wolden som men' - l.1105 'Ye, certeinly'
- Part twenty-three: l.1106 'Now sire, quod she' - l.1176 'To lyven vertuously'
- Part twenty-four: l.1177 'And ther as ye' - l.1218 'I shal fulfille'he Holocaust and the creation of
- Part twenty-five: l.1219 'Chese now' - l.1264 'God sende hem'
- Reaction to the Wife's Tale
- Themes in The Wife of Bath's Tale
- The struggle for power in The Wife of Bath's Prologue
- The 'wo' that is in marriage
- The portrayal of gender in The Wife of Bath's Prologue and Tale
- Desire and The Wife of Bath's Tale
- Is there justice in The Wife of Bath's Tale
- Social criticism in The Wife of Bath's Prologue and Tale
- Marriage and sexuality in The Wife of Bath's Prologue and Tale
- Mastery in The Wife of Bath's Prologue and Tale
- Debate, dispute and resolution in The Wife of Bath's Prologue and Tale
- Tale and teller in The Wife of Bath's Prologue and Tale
The Wife of Bath's Prologue and Tale
Geoffrey Chaucer: The Wife of Bath's Prologue and Tale
Chaucer’s The Wife of Bath’s Prologue and Tale is a lively and entertaining late fourteenth century text which engages with ideas about marriage, conflict, wealth, power, gender, sex, romance, desire, and interpretation of the prevailing church teaching.
Explore Chaucer's Wife of Bath and the world it was written in
The aim of this guide is to enable you to enjoy reading, discussing and studying The Wife of Bath’s Prologue and Tale.
The guide will help you to become familiar with Chaucer’s Middle English so that reading and understanding the text becomes easier for you. It will invite you to explore nuance and irony in Chaucer’s use of language. As part of this text guide, find out about the author's narrative devices, the character of the narrator and the significance and themes of the texts. Examine literary allusions, historical references and their implications.
In short - you should find anything you need to know about The Wife of Bath's Prologue and Tale, Chaucer's life and the world he was writing in. See the links below to jump right in and get started!
The guide will not provide a definition of every unfamiliar word in the text. Work smart! Find an edition to work with which gives you a glossary on the same page as the text.
Line references are to the Norton Critical Edition of The Canterbury Tales, selected and edited by V A Kolve and G Olson (2005) Norton, New York and London. Your line references may differ but the guide will help you to find your place in the text.
Variations in spelling - expect them; Middle English spelling was not standardised and editors follow their preferences in producing a text for you.
The son of a London wine merchant, Chaucer (c.1340 - 1400) was an important royal official. A prolific and influential medieval poet, he is widely loved - in particular for The Canterbury Tales, of which The Wife of Bath's Prologue and Tale is a part. Read more . . .
The Wife of Bath: Context
The Wife of Bath's Prologue and Tale were written in the Middle Ages. To understand this text, one needs to understand the world it was written in. Hit the link to explore a world so very different to the one we now live in.
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Synopsis and commentary - Read a line by line summary and commentary on The Wife of Bath's Prologue and Tale.
Characterisation - Find out about the Wife of Bath and the main protagonists in her Tale.
Geoffrey Chaucer section - This is not part of this text guide, but a separate section on Crossref-it.info with general information about Geoffrey Chaucer and links to text guides of other Chaucer texts.
The Wife of Bath's Prologue and Tale e-book - Read the book and research the text, all for free and online.
How to do well in your Wife of Bath essay
Know the text well. Become accustomed to Chaucer's language.
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Relate evidence from the text to your line of argument.
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