Study Guide

The Canterbury Tales: The Wife of Bath's Prologue Three Act Plot Analysis

By Geoffrey Chaucer

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Three Act Plot Analysis

Act I

The Wife arranges for her next marriage, to a young clerk named Jankyn, before her fourth husband is even dead. After her husband dies, she and Jankyn marry.

Act II

The Wife and Jankyn's marriage quickly turns sour. Jankyn refuses to give the Wife her way in everything, beats her, and forces her to listen to insulting stories and proverbs about women every night.


Enraged by Jankyn's Book of Wicked Wives, the Wife tears some pages out of it. In the fight that ensues, the two come to blows. But the outcome, the Wife claims, is that Jankyn yields all power to her; she forces him to burn his book.

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