Study Guide

The Canterbury Tales: The Wife of Bath's Tale Lines 1037-1051

By Geoffrey Chaucer

Lines 1037-1051

  • Everyone is commanded to be silent, and the knight is asked to tell the audience what it is that women love best.
  • The knight immediately answers that women desire to have sovereignty over their husband or lover, to be in mastery above him.
  • The knight says that he believes this is women's greatest desire, though they may kill him for it. He announces his submission to the queen's will.
  • No wife, maiden, or widow disagrees with the knight's answer.
  • Everyone says that the knight ought to keep his life.