Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1946/4893
Forever Young: Chaucer‘s Wife of Bath and Her Fear of Losing Her Outer Beauty
In this essay the fears of the Wife of Bath in Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales are examined. The Wife of Bath is one of Chaucer’s most curious characters. Her obsession with marriage is looked at, as well as her history of former husbands. The status of women during the Middle Ages, and their rights are briefly displayed. She comes off as a strong and independent woman who has a lot to say, but at heart she is insecure and desperate for love. Having already been married five times and at the age of 40, the Wife of Bath is looking for husband number six. She never had trouble finding a husband, but now her looks are failing her, and she knows that men are easily drawn to beauty. The Tale that the Wife of Bath tells her company is examined from her perspective. She changes her Tale and also passages from the Bible to her own advantage, and the reason for this is to appeal to the inner beauty. This essay will argue that the Wife of Bath only tells her Tale to appeal to men’s ability to look beyond women’s appearance. The reason for her doing this is because she is no longer a beautiful, young woman, but, as mentioned before, is on the lookout for a new husband. Her character is studied; how a woman dares to be so bold and honest during the Middle Ages, and demand respect from both men and women equally. She wants a husband, but also a complete mastery over him, and what she wants, she goes after.