The Wife of Bath Prologue

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  • Wife's views on marriage - experience vs. authority
    • The Wife of Bath Prologue
    • God didn't command virginity
      • She uses sexual power to control her husbands
      • She is an expert in marriage - Pardoner will make his own decision
        • Says she will begin her tale
          • Instead discusses own life
            • Her first three husbands were good because they were rich, old, and obedient
          • Tells wives to be mistress in own house - women better at lying
            • She would accuse her husbands of cheating
            • Argues against the complaint that the husband is expected to flatter and praise his wife in public
              • Ridiculous that her husband is jealous of young apprentice
              • Husband should trust wife to go where she likes
                • Ptolemy advises men to mind their own business
                  • Wife kept control of her husbands through verbal and physical powers
                  • Women, says the Wife of Bath, are born with the tricks of deceiving, weeping, and spying


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