The Canterbury Tales: The Wife of Bath's Prologue
by Geoffrey Chaucer
Character Role Analysis
The protagonist of the Wife of Bath's Prologue is absolutely the Wife of Bath. She makes this totally clear when she opens her Prologue by promising to speak from her own experience. She is unapologetic about making her Prologue all about her. "Now wol I speken of my fourthe housbonde" (486), she tells her audience, and then proceeds to tell them all about what she was like when she married him! It's the Wife's concerns and motivations that drive the Prologue moreover, including her desire to talk about herself, her compulsion to defend the lifestyle she's cultivated, and her explicit goal of elaborating on the "wo that is in mariage" (3).