Wife of Bath

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Lust effecting love in the Wife of Bath

"If there were no authority on earth Except experience, mine, for what it's worth, And that's enough for me, all she goes to show That marriage is a misery and a Woe," opens Chaucer's "Wife of Bath's Tale." This means without God present in love on earth marriage is misery. Marriage can only be misery if there is no love and without love there is only lust. Therefore lust is a major benefactor to the outcome of the Wife of Bath.

Throughout this entire story Allis uses her body to get what she wants. She is all about power and the power comes from her body. On page 287, the third stanza she says, "I never would abide in bed with them if hands began to slide Till they had promised ransom paid a fee." Se she holds sex from her men till she gets what she wants. In love there would be sex anyhow but in lust sex is only for pleasure and at a price. Some call sex love making, but having sex as a reward for some paid ransom completely contradicts it. Chaucer pounds in complete "lust making" through out the "Wife of Bath's Tale." On page 280 Allis says, "In wifehood I will use my instrument As freely as Maker me sent. If I turn difficult, God give me sorrow! My husband, he shall have it eve and morrow Whenever he likes to come and pay his debut I wont prevent him! I'll have a husband yet And bear his tribulation to the grave Upon his flesh , as long as I'm his wife. For mine shall be the power of all his life." Allis' instrument being her body will be used freely and she will have sex whenever her husband pays his debt. Once again sex is being used because sex is fun. No affection is being shown. Allis finally gets married, out of love, to Johnny who is her fifth and final husband. On page 290 in the last stanza Chaucer writes, "My fifth and last-God keep his soul in health! The one I had took for love and not for wealth." This was a failed relationship because of her four previous marriages. She couldn't...
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