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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

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The Wife of Bath's Prologue


1. How many husbands has the Wife of Bath had?
2. What is her opinion on the number of times one may marry?
3. What is her opinion on virginity?
4. What type of man makes a "good" husband?
5. How does a "knowing wife" handle her husband?
6. What types of complaints does the Wife of Bath make against her husbands?
7. How did Wife of Bath's old husbands react to her complaints?
8. Why was bedtime a "misfortune" for her men?
9. Why did she become jealous during her fourth marriage?
10. Why did she love her fifth husband the most?
11. How did she become deaf?
12. Why did Jankyn's book enrage her?
13. What kinds of crimes did the women in the book commit?
14. What did she make Jankyn do with the book?


1. Five
2. She thinks it shouldn't be limited. God said to go forth and multiply, but He didn't specify how many marriages one should have.
3. She has no problem with the concept of virginity, but she thinks that God doesn't demand it. He made people with "generative organs" for a reason.
4. One who is rich and old
5. She makes him think he's always in the wrong.
6. They were controlling and possessive, keeping tabs on her whereabouts and getting suspicious if they saw her with another man.
7. They apologized for bad things they'd never even considered doing.
8. She would taunt them, claiming that what she saved especially for them (her "belle chose") she could have easily sold to another.
9. Her husband had a mistress.
10. Because he was disdainful in his love, which made her want it more
11. Her fifth husband (Jankyn) struck her when she tore a page from his book.
12. It was about wicked wives.
13. They poisoned or betrayed their husbands.
14. Burn it