From 11:00PM PDT on Friday, July 1 until 5:00AM PDT on Saturday, July 2, the Shmoop engineering elves will be making tweaks and improvements to the site. That means Shmoop will be unavailable for use during that time. Thanks for your patience!
We have changed our privacy policy. In addition, we use cookies on our website for various purposes. By continuing on our website, you consent to our use of cookies. You can learn about our practices by reading our privacy policy.
© 2016 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.
The Canterbury Tales: The Wife of Bath's Prologue

The Canterbury Tales: The Wife of Bath's Prologue


by Geoffrey Chaucer

The Canterbury Tales: The Wife of Bath's Prologue Lines 457-474 Summary

  • (The Wife ends her imaginary address to her husband.)
  • That's how I used to speak to my husbands. Now I'll tell you about my fourth husband.
  • My fourth husband kept a mistress.
  • Then, I was young and passionate. I was stubborn, strong, and cheerful.
  • I could dance well to the songs of a harp, and sing like a nightingale, when I'd had a lot to drink.
  • Metellius killed his wife for drinking, but if I'd been his wife he would not have persuaded me to stop drinking.
  • After I drink, I want to have sex. For, just as cold brings hail, so a mouth fond of drink belongs to a body fond of sex.
  • Women who have been drinking have no self-control, which lechers know from experience.

People who Shmooped this also Shmooped...