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The Canterbury Tales: The Wife of Bath's Prologue

The Canterbury Tales: The Wife of Bath's Prologue

by Geoffrey Chaucer
 Table of Contents

The Canterbury Tales: The Wife of Bath's Prologue Love Quotes

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Quote #1

We wommen han, if that I shal nat lye In this matere a queynte fantasye; Wayte what thyng we may nat lightly have, Therafter wol we crie al day and crave. Forbede us thyng, and that desiren we; Preese on us faste, and thanne wol we fle; With daunger oute we al oure chaffare. Greet prees at market maketh deere ware, And to greet cheep is holde at litel prys; This knoweth every womman that is wys. (521-530)


The Wife of Bath takes the antifeminist stereotype that women only love men treat them badly and puts a new spin on it. According to her, women adopt this 'fantasye' because they understand free market economics – a thing that is too freely given is cheap, whereas something that's scarce is more valuable. To increase her status, a woman must obtain expensive things, including the love of "daungerous" husbands.

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