Study Guide

The Canterbury Tales: The Wife of Bath's Prologue Lines 385-400

By Geoffrey Chaucer

Lines 385-400

  • (The Wife's imaginary rant at her husband ends here.)
  • Lords, this is how I got the upper hand in my relationship with my husbands, telling them that they said all these things when they were drunk.
  • It was all a lie, but I swore on my servant and my niece it was true.
  • I caused them much pain, though they were innocent!
  • Like a horse, I bit and whined.
  • I knew how to complain, though I was the guilty party. Had I not, I would have been in big trouble.
  • Whoever comes first to the mill is the first to have their meal ground; therefore, I made sure to complain first.
  • My husbands were glad just to excuse themselves of things they were not guilty of.
  • I would accuse them of having mistresses when they were so sick they could barely stand.