Study Guide

The Canterbury Tales: The Wife of Bath's Prologue Lines 141-168

By Geoffrey Chaucer

Lines 141-168

  • Not everyone who's outfitted with genitals is obligated to use them for procreating. If that were the case, nobody would be chaste.
  • Christ was a virgin, and so were many others.
  • The Wife doesn't envy virginity; let those virgins be considered white bread, and let wives be considered barley bread. Christ was able to feed many people with barley bread.
  • In the estate God has put her, the Wife plans to persevere. She will use her genitals as freely as God has sent them, paying her marriage debt to her husband just as often as he wants.
  • The Wife wants a husband to have sex with. She has power over his body during his life, because Saint Paul told husbands to love their wives well. The Wife really likes that saying.