The Prologue: introductory comments

As you examine the text, use your ‘owene jugement' (own judgement) of the lively and dramatic voice of the Wife of Bath who delivers her account of marriage, of the woe that she has inflicted, and who expresses her willingness to take a sixth husband. It is a powerful performance!

In the midst of the arguments and disputes that Chaucer introduces in the Wife's Prologue, it can be easy to neglect Chaucer's craft as a poet. In most of the commentary sections there will be some discussion of the text as a narrative poem. 

To help you to grasp the pattern of this apparently rambling text (See Narrative), this section is divided into 16 parts for synopses and commentary.

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