The Wife of Bath's Tale: Introductory comments

The Wife of Bath's Tale is very much easier to read than her Prologue. It has a clear narrative movement, fewer digressions, and fewer allusions than the Prologue. However, you will sense the presence of the Wife's narrative voice in the tale.

As you read, think about the connections between The Prologue and The Tale and ways in which the Wife of Bath's concerns surface in it. For example:

  • Sex and marriage
  • ‘maistrye' (mastery) and ‘sovereyntee' (sovereignty)
  • Women's power.
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