The Canterbury Tales

The Queen’s Sovereignty in Geoffrey Chaucer’s “The Wife of Bath” College

Literature in the fourteenth-century brought about numerous characters, both major and minor, that presented allegorical issues pertinent to society. Characters that audiences have come to love (and hate) were featured in (fourteenth-century) works such as The Divine Comedy, Katherine, and Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. Along with these works, one of the most recognizable pieces of literature to have come out of this century was Geoffrey Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales. Within this anthological text, there are a plethora of diverse characters who all have a common reason for being united in one setting; a pilgrimage. Chaucer depicts many social and societal issues through the actions of his differing characters. One of these characters, the Queen, is introduced in the tale of “The Wife of Bath” and her character sparks much action in the story. While her role may be considered small compared to other main characters in all the stories conveyed in The Canterbury Tales, her personality/actions speak for themselves through the poetic creations of Chaucer. Her power and ranking in the social hierarchy scale helps to establish her character. While Middle English audiences popularized “The Wife of Bath,” tale, it should be...

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