Flowers and plants

References to flowers and plants are not frequent in the text. The two quoted here use images from the natural world to make an ironic or witty point rather than to affirm the beauty or redemptive power of nature.

In The Prologue:

  • The wife uses the rose as an image of freshness l.448. Her use of it is somewhat ironic – Chaucer rhymes ‘rose' with ‘bele chose': the wife is speculating about how she could sell her sexual favours and remain unsullied
  • Grass and plants become an image of immeasurable quantity as the Wife says her husband knows more proverbs than there are grasses and plants growing in the world, l. 774.
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