Study Guide

The Canterbury Tales: The Wife of Bath's Tale Lines 919-957

By Geoffrey Chaucer

Lines 919-957

  • The knight is very sad, and sighs sorrowfully.
  • Finally, he decides to travel in search of the answer to the queen's question, and return after a year to give it.
  • He says goodbye and begins his journey.
  • He looks in every house in every land, hoping to find out what thing women love the most.
  • He is not able to find two people anywhere who agree on what the right answer is.
  • Some people say that women love wealth best, others honor, others beauty.
  • Some others say that women love nice clothes, sex, or to often be widowed and remarried.
  • Still others say that women love to be flattered and pleased, and I admit that this is not far from the truth; a man easily wins a woman with flattery and diligent attendance upon her. In this manner women can be caught.
  • Others say that women love to be free and do just as we please, and not to be reprimanded of our flaws, but instead told that we are wise.
  • Truly, there is no woman who tolerates being scolded without lashing out, even if the person is telling the truth. Just try it!
  • For no matter how bad we are on the inside, we want to be considered wise and free from sin.
  • Some people say that we take great delight in being considered constant and well able to keep secrets, not likely to betray a confidence.
  • That, however, is ridiculous; we women cannot keep secrets. Haven't you heard the tale of Midas?