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The Lady of Bath Canterbury Tales

  • Date Submitted: 11/16/2010 04:59 PM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 67.3 
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Tyler Wilson
Eng 4, 6th hour
Canterbury Tales

      The Lady of Bath gave a lot of insight of marriage in the late middle ages. The Lady of Bath, also known as Alyson, is described in depth physically. Chaucer speaks of her garments, physical abilities and her downfalls.
      Bath is an English town on the Avon River where Alyson resides. She works as a seamstress, though she seems to be better at marriage than her occupation. She has been married five times and had many other relationships in her youth, making her some what a professional in the art of love. She makes herself appear as someone who loves marriage along sex. She is shown to take great pleasure in the best clothing, talking, and arguing. Physically, she is deaf, which Chaucer says is a pity, and has a gap between her front teeth. Chaucer adds an addition statement saying that her gap was wide set. He says she wears a long flowing mantle to cover up large hips and wears broad hats while sitting upon her horse. She has traveled the likes of Jerusalem three times, to many rivers, Rome and Boulogne.
      The Wife of Bath, or Alyson, establishes herself as an authority on marriage. She married for the first time at the age of twelve, and has since married five times. Many people have criticized her for her marriages, saying that Christ only attended one wedding, in Galilee. She holds her own views of Scripture and God because no one has been able to answer her question, ‘how many husbands can a woman have in her lifetime.’ She reasons that if virginity is important, someone must be procreating so that virgins may in turn be created.
      The Lady of Bath is described and put off as someone appealing however it is implied that she is promiscuous. Her gift is her sexual power which she uses as an instrument to control her husbands


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