Tis a Pity She's a Whore

"If only we listened to reason; instead we are susceptible to other voices": Character Analysis of The Canterbury Tales and 'Tis a Pity She's a Whore 12th Grade

In both ‘Tis Pity’ and ‘The Wife of Bath’ many character abandon reason, and tend to replace reason with their own desires, making them, in T.S Eliot’s words “Monsters of egotism”. Fundamentally, in ‘Tis Pity’, when characters do not listen to reason, it ends in death, as shown through Annabella, Giovanni and Hippolita. Contrastingly, in Chaucer’s poem, when the Wife and the Knight do not listen to reason, they are not punished, since the Wife and the Knight result living harmoniously with their counterparts. Within both texts, characters abandon reason and replace them with lust and power.

Clearly, in ‘Tis Pity’ through Giovanni and Hippolita, and in ‘The Wife of Bath’ through the Wife and the Knight, they listen to their own voices of lust, and do not listen to reason. Giovanni is motivated by his lust for his sister Annabella: “Of thy immortal beauty hath untuned all harmony both of my rest and life”. The lust he has for his sister immediately suggests that he has abandoned reason for one of the Seven Deadly Sins – likening him to in Hay’s words Marlowe’s “a young ‘Dr Faustus’”. This comparison is made more vivid through the Friar’s hellish imagery, “Discovered first the nearest way to hell, And filled the world with...

Join Now to View Premium Content

GradeSaver provides access to 1174 study guide PDFs and quizzes, 9057 literature essays, 2374 sample college application essays, 399 lesson plans, and ad-free surfing in this premium content, “Members Only” section of the site! Membership includes a 10% discount on all editing orders.

Join Now

Already a member? Log in