Study Guide

The Canterbury Tales: The Wife of Bath's Prologue Lines 363-384

By Geoffrey Chaucer

Lines 363-384

  • What's wrong with you, to spy on me like this? Though you enlisted Argus (a mythological monster with a hundred eyes) to be my keeper, you could never control me. I could easily trick even Argus.
  • You also said that there are three things that trouble this earth, and nobody might endure the fourth.
  • May Jesus shorten your life, for you say a hateful wife is one of these things. Aren't there any other things you can complain about in your parables besides a good wife?
  • You compare a woman's love to hell, or a barren landscape without water. You compare it to a wildfire, for the more it burns, the more it desires to consume.
  • You say that just as worms destroy a tree, so a wife destroys her husband, as anyone who is married well knows.