Study Guide

The Canterbury Tales: The Wife of Bath's Prologue Lines 509-530

By Geoffrey Chaucer

Lines 509-530

  • Now I will tell you about my fifth husband, who I hope doesn't go to hell.
  • He was the worst-behaved toward me, which I feel and always will, in the injuries to my body.
  • In our bed, however, he was fresh and spirited. He knew how to make me feel so good during sex that, even though he beat me, he could win my love again.
  • I believe I loved him best because he withheld his love from me.
  • We women are strange in this way: whatever we can't get easily, we ache for all day long. Forbid us something, and we desire it. Give us something easily, however, and we run away from it.
  • Great demand for something on the market makes it expensive; what's common earns little profit. Every wise woman knows this.