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The Wife of Bath's Prologue and Tale (Essay Sample)

Text Book: The Norton Anthology Western Literature, Volume I, The Ancient World through the Renaissance, 8th Ed / ISBN# 0-393-92572-2 RESPONSE ESSAY The Wife of Bath's Prologue and Tale page: 1732 – 1749 RESPONSE ESSAY Here are the main ideas that I want you to consider as you shape your essay-- Chaucer's conscious use of a narrative voice apart from his own. How does he use this narrative voice apart from his own to create humor? Chaucer's use of satire—there are times when the narrator tells us more than he realizes about the pilgrims. How does Chaucer accomplish this, and why do you think he does it? Remember to give specific examples from the text. Chaucer's conscious use of physical descriptions of the pilgrims—These physical details serve various purposes for the reader. They are more than "just details." And some of these details stand out more than others. Chaucer's use of contrasts—both of the presentation of different characters and of details within the particular descriptions of the individual characters Chaucer's fairly modern understanding of humor. source..
The Wife of Bath's Prologue and Tale Name: Institution: The wife’s tale and prologue is one of the greatest works of Chaucer, where the wife is one of the characters in his works that has endured most. The wife who is the main character in the tale is used by the writer to deliver the narrative to the audience and she comes off as a person who is self promoting, aggressive, loud and very distinctive. The writer manages to use the narrative voice that is separate from his to bring about humor in the piece. At one point the woman is recorded as saying that she has had five husbands in her life and is looking to get the sixth one before long. To justify her actions as regards to having so many husbands, she compares her life with the woman from the bible, who had five husbands and the fifth one was not even her own, as Jesus had discovered. She continues to bring humor by saying that, if Jesus had intended to have virgins all along, He would have laid out a rule requiring people to be virgins. Satirically according to her, everyone was given sex organs to use them with sex not just to tell them apart in terms of gender or simply use them for urinating. It is for this reason that she thinks that it is in the best interest of all humans to practice as much sex as possible. She also goes on to say that, since there was no rule that says that one should die a virgin she would rather have sex. As such she considers having sex as part of the recreation process which is natural, except for those who are like Paul in the bible, who decide to be virgins for life. In her opinion, those that want to be virgins should feel about it and neither should those that decide to practice sex, since in the end for there to be virgins, someone will have to be having sex in order to produce the virgins. It is ironic that she uses the bible to justify her acts, which are not necessarily morally upright. In a way it seems that Chaucer uses the charact...
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