The Canterbury Tales: The Wife of Bath's Prologue Lines 35-82 Summary
Solomon had more than one wife; the Wife wishes it were permitted for her to have sex half as often as him.
The Wife continues on to say that it was a great gift for Solomon to have so many wives. He must have really enjoyed himself on his wedding nights.
The Wife blesses God that she has had five husbands.
She says that she picked the best men, both in terms of their genitals and their wealth.
Just as a lot of schooling makes for good clerks, and a lot of practice at their craft makes for good craftsmen, so, says the Wife, she is "of fyve husbondes scoleiyng" (50), implying that she is a really, really good wife.
The Wife welcomes a sixth husband whenever he comes along, for she does not want to be chaste.
When her current husband is dead, she plans to marry again. The apostle (probably Paul) allows her to remarry because he says that to be wedded is not sinful; it is better to be married than to burn (meaning, better to be married than to have sex out of wedlock, thereby condemning oneself to hell).
Why should the Wife care if people condemn Lamech for having multiple wives? After all, Abraham and Jacob also had multiple wives, and they were considered holy men.
Also, when did God ever forbid marriage expressly? And when did he ever command virginity?
When Saint Paul spoke about virginity, he didn't command it, only recommended it and left it to each person's judgment.
If God had commanded virginity, he would have condemned marriage.
Also, if people didn't procreate, no virgins would be born, so there would be no virginity.
Saint Paul certainly didn't dare to command something God wouldn't command.
Virginity is a challenge ("The dart is set up of virginitee" ), says the Wife. Let's see who wins it.