Wife of Bath

The Canterbury Tales

What specific occupation does your character practice?

The wife of Bath was a maker of cloth, an adventuresome traveler and a wealthy widow from having handled four out of five husbands well.

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

All women were was property to please their husbands, do house work, and have no education.

What is his or her social standing?

Considered to be in middle-class group of Pilgrims.

What might your character's day to day life be like?

Women’s role and identity in society during the medieval period were different from their role and identity in society now. Women are still living in a double-standard society, trying to overcome many barriers. In the Middle Ages, women were primarily their husbands’ possessions. Obviously, formal education was not necessary for a woman, since her fate had already been decided, which was to be a housewife pleasing her husband all her life, among many other tasks.Women did have education, but not any formal education, for they were denied the privilege of college.

What modern day occupation might correspond to your medieval character and why not?

Some women are housewives today and can choose if they want to go to college or not.

Paraphrase each line of the prologue describing your character

She always wanted to be the first wife to make a donation because if any other wife made a donation before she did, she would get mad and take her donation back, she liked to laugh and gossip with others

Which lines in the prologue best describe your character's physical appearance?

red face to match her red stockings, and a large gap between her two front teeth. she wore kerchiefs on her head every sunday

Which lines describe his/her personality?

described in an explicit way to provoke a shocking response. Her clothes, physical features and references to her past are purposely discussed by Chaucer causing the reader to wonder how well she fits the rules imposed by Christian authorities regarding womanly behavior. Women were categorized as saints or sinners by their actions according to Christian tradition.

Which specific words add to your understanding of the character's personality?

she liked to gossip a lot and she was a whore

5 adjectives

seductive, sensually active, humorous, emotionally independent, fearless, and very outspoken