Analysis of Wife of Bath

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Geoffrey Chaucer was charged with rape by a woman named Cecily Chaumpaigne around the year 1380. It is most likely that a distinguishable character, such as Chaucer would not have been guilty of this charge. However, the word "rape" probably referred to kidnapping rather than assaulting a woman as it means today. Cecily Chaumpaigne in 1380 released Chaucer of all charges of "raptu meo," a phrase that could be interpreted as "seizing me". It is possible that this allegation of rape brought on to Chaucer by Cecily Chaumpaigne, is the very reason behind the Tale of the Wife of Bath.The wife of Bath is a tough woman with a mind of her own and she is not afraid to speak it. She intimidates men and woman alike due to the strength she possesses. But instead of showing this as a positive characteristic, Chaucer makes her toothless and ugly. However, Chaucer, instead of portraying her low-social class as shameful, Chaucer showed that she is actually prudent and eloquent. Chaucer sympathizes with her because he himself was considered low-class. The wife of Bath has also had five different husbands and countless affairs, thus breaking innocent men*s hearts. Her husbands fell into two categories. The first category of husbands was: rich, but also old and unable to fulfill her demands, sexually that is. The other husbands were sexually vigorous, but harder to control. The first three were rich, old, and jealous. She tamed them by accusing them of promiscuous behavior, that she herself practiced. Her fourth husband had a mistress, so she "gave him a real cause for jealousy". Her fifth marriage was unhappy because her husband who is half of her age beats her. To anger her fifth husband, the wife of Bath tore three pages from his book. After this he beat her again. She pretended to be dead and he felt so guilty that he threw his whole book in the fire. This gave her the upper hand for the rest of his life. The wife of Bath is a very envious women, who desires...
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