The Canterbury Tales

The prologue to the Canterbury tales

Wife of Bath represents the typical characteristics of middle English Period.Critically analyse it.

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“Experience”, even if no written authorities existed in the world, “is right ynogh for me”. Thus begins the voice of the Wife of Bath. She has certainly had “experience”, and is keen to justify it against biblical authority. THese experiences and biblical authority point many generalities of the middle ages experience. She has had five husbands and justifies it in scripture: Christ never taught that people should only be married once, the Bible says “go forth and multiply”, and Solomon had more than one wife. The Wife’s husbands, picked out by their “chestes” and “nether purs”, have all been good men, and she is looking forward to the sixth. She also points out that Jesus never lays down a law about virginity, and essentially states that we have the parts for sex and should use them as such: “they were nat maad for noght”.