Study Guide

The Canterbury Tales: The Wife of Bath's Prologue Lines 794-834

By Geoffrey Chaucer

Lines 794-834

  • When I saw that Jankyn wouldn't stop reading from this book all night long, I suddenly tore three pages out of it while he was reading.
  • Also, I hit him so hard on the cheek that he fell backward into the fire.
  • He jumped up like a crazy lion and hit me so hard on the head that I lay on the floor as though dead.
  • When he saw how still I lay, he became afraid and would have run away.
  • Finally, I awoke from my faint and cried out, "Have you killed me? Have you murdered me for my land? Yet before I die, I will kiss you."
  • He came close to me and said, "Deer Sister Alisoun, so help me God I'll never hit you again. You are to blame for the blow I gave you. Forgive it me, I beg."
  • And yet after that I hit him on the cheek and said, "With that, I take vengeance! Now I will die, I can speak no longer."
  • But finally, with much suffering, we made peace with one another.
  • Jankyn gave me control over the house and our land, and also over his tongue and hand.
  • I made him burn his book.
  • After I had gotten all the power in our relationship and Jankyn said, "Dear wife, do whatever you want for the rest of your life, keeping your honor and my property." We never fought again.
  • I was as kind to Jankyn as any wife from Denmark to India, and he was the same to me.
  • God bless his soul.
  • Now I will tell you my tale.