Wife of Bath

Monique Tyson

Research Questions

What specific occupation does your character practice? What modern day occupation might correspond to your medieval character and why?

The Wife of Bath in Medieval was a clothmaker. Today she would be considered as a fashion designer, and would be making people clothes.

What did women suppose to do in Medieval?

Women in this time period were suppose to be subordinate to males. Not only to their fathers but husbands, brothers, uncles, and other male figures. Women would've stayed at home taking care work around and in the house along with taking care of the children during this time period.

What was the need for this occupation tell us about the time period?

The need for women to stay at home during this time period shows that women didn't have a lot of freedom, they were the housekeepers and caretakers of the children. They didn't go out much nor did they have as much freedom. As far as to occupation of the Wife of Bath it shows that they cared about their clothing very much during this time period. Their clothing were a way they symbolized their wealth and riches.

What was Wife of Bath social standings?

She would've stood in the rich structure, she wasn't poor because she traveled to all of these religious pilgrimages where only the wealthy can afford.

What might her day to day life life be like?

She travels to different pilgrimages seeking marriage, and working in her clothes making business, as in women back in this time period would've been working around the house and taking care of their children.

What details don't Chaucer included about the Wife of Bath?

That her name is Alison. That she demands for men to respect her and obey her. She isn't going to be submissive to men. She wants the same respect from men as she gives them.

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Citations

Shmoop Editorial Team. "The Wife of Bath in The Canterbury Tales: General Prologue & Frame Story." Shmoop. Shmoop University, Inc., 11 Nov. 2008. Web. 22 Feb. 2016.


"Geoffrey Chaucer: (1340-1400)." Notes for "The Wife of Bath Tale" Louisiana Tech University, n.d. Web. 22 Feb. 2016.


"History of The Wife of Bath." History of The Wife of Bath. N.p., n.d. Web. 22 Feb. 2016.


"Medieval Women." Medieval Women. N.p., n.d. Web. 22 Feb. 2016.


"Women+in+medieval+time+period - Google Search." Women+in+medieval+time+period - Google Search. Pintrest, n.d. Web. 22 Feb. 2016.

Paraphrasing

A worthy women from the the city of Bath was here, the sad thing about the women was somewhat deaf. She had great talent while making clothing. Not one woman dared to move in front of her or she would get angry. Her headscarf that she wore on Sundays was made out of good cloth. Her hose were a superb scarlet red and her gartered tight; her shoes were soft and new. Her face has strong bold and had a red hue to her face. She was a worthy women all her life, she had five husbands all married. She has been to Jerusalem three times, and she has also gone to Rome, Boulogne, St. James of Compostella, and Cologne, and she learned new things along the way. She was bold, and loved to travel and had gap teeth. She rode a horse with a hat sitting on her head. She had large hips and heels to compliment them. She loved to talk and laugh.

The lines that described her physical appearance are lines (463-479) and (478-483)

The lines that describes her personality are lines(459-462) and (484-486)

When they say gap-teeth, oldest dances, and worthy.


  • Thrice
  • Licour
  • Pilgrymages
  • Ryde
  • Reste
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Analysis of the passage

Chaucer didn't like the Wife of Bath at all, he didn't like how she was a bold minded person. He didn't like how she always put her input into things. He didn't like how she "manipulated" men to follow her commands. He confess these concerns in lines 459- 461 in the prologue. He continues this in lines 468-472.