* Site-Outage Notice: Our engineering elves will be tweaking the Shmoop site from Monday, December 22 10:00 PM PST to Tuesday, December 23 5:00 AM PST. The site will be unavailable during this time.
© 2014 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

Love Quotes

How we cite our quotes:

Quote #7

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

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.

People who Shmooped this also Shmooped...

Noodle's College Search