The Wife of Bath Key Quotations and Translation

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"A wys wife shal, if that she kan hir good/Bere him on honde that the cow is wood"
A clever wife should always be prepared to decieve her husband in order to get her own way
1 of 23
"He is to greet a nigarde that wolde werne/A man to lighte a candle at his lanterne/He shall have never the lasse light, pardee"
It would be unfair of a husband to refuse to let a man light a candle from his lantern/torch, he would have no less light as a result- it is the same with husbands who refuse to share their wives
2 of 23
"With empty hand men may none hawkes lure/For winning wolde I al his lust endure/And make me a feyned appetit"
With no money a man won't attract any women, just like trying to lure hawks with no bait. For the sake of inheriting money, I would put up with all my husband's sexual advances and pretend to enjoy them
3 of 23
"For certes, I am all Venerian/In feeling, and myn herte is Marcien."
I have female qualities of desire and love (supposed to come from Venus) and male ones of toughness and resolution (from Mars)
4 of 23
"Stibourn I was as is a leonesse/And of my tonge a verray jangleresse/And walke I wolde as I had doon biforn/From hous to hous, although he had it sworn"
I was stubborn as a lioness and would not let my husband forbid me to go visiting my friends to gossip.
5 of 23
"And when that I hadde getten unto me/By maistrie, al the sovraintee/...After that day we hadden never debaat."
When my husband gave me control of the marriage through my mastery of him, we never argued again
6 of 23
"Men may conseille a womman to been oon/But conseilling is no commandement."
Men might tell women that it is best to be a virgin, but that isn't an order- they cannot force us to!
7 of 23
"An housbonde I wol have, I wol nat lette/ Which shal be bothe my dettour and my thral"
I will marry a man who pays me the "debt" of sex and who is my slave and does what I ask
8 of 23
"Shulde ye speke and bere hem wrong on honde;/ For half so boldly kan there no man/Swere and lyen, as a womman kan."
I would advise you to lie to your husband as women are far more gifted at lying than men
9 of 23
"Thou seist men may not keep a castel wal/It may so longe assailed been overal."
A wife is like a castle wall- other men will always try to attack it and eventually the woman will give in and allow the men to sleep with her.
10 of 23
"O lord! The peyne I dide hem and the wo/Ful giltelees, by Goddes sweete pine."
I was a lot of trouble to my husbands and caused them to suffer, but I don't feel guilty for it.
11 of 23
"Deceite, weping, spinning, God have yive/To wommen kindly, whil that they may live."
God has given women the talent to lie to their husbands and to pretend to be upset in order to get their own way.
12 of 23
"Sith a man is moore resonable/Than womman is, ye moste been suffrable."
Since men are more reasonable than women are, men should be prepared to sacrifice more in relationships
13 of 23
"And thanne wolde he upon his Bible seke/That ilke proverb of Ecclesiaste/Where he commandeth and forbedth fast/Man shal not suffre his wife go roule aboute"
My husband would look at his Bible and tell me how it says that men should not have to put up with their wives doing what they like
14 of 23
"For trusteth wel, it is an impossible/That any clerk wol speke good of wives."
It isn't possible for any educated man to speak well of women, they are all misogynist
15 of 23
"Who peynted the leon, tel me who?"
Like the picture of the lion was painted by man, women are represented in anti-feminist literature by men- if the women told the stories, a different point of view might be popular.
16 of 23
"Lo, here expres of wommen may ye find/That womman was the los of al mankind."
Jankyn claimed that women, through Eve, were responsible for the downfall of humanity
17 of 23
"Maugree hir heed/By verray force, he rafte hire maidenhede."
Without her consent, the Knight stole the virginity of the young women in a violet ****.
18 of 23
"Of thy lyf yet hastow no suretee/I grante thee lyf, if thou kanst tellen me/What thing is it that wommen moost desiren?"
I will pardon you your life, over which I have control, if you can tell me what it is that women most want in the world.
19 of 23
"Fareth every Knight thus with his wyf as ye?/Is this the lawe of King Arthures hous?"
Does King Arthur command every knight to behave as rudely towards his wife as you have to me?
20 of 23
"He nis nat gentil, be he duc or erl;/For vilyns sinful dedes make a cherl"
You cannot claim to be noble becuase you have inherited a title or have good social standing, it is your actions that count.
21 of 23
"'Thanne have I gete of yow maistrie' qoud she/'Sin I may chese and governe as me lest?"
"Do you submit control of our marriage to me so that I may make the decisions as I want?" asked the Loathly Lady
22 of 23
"And she obeyed him in every thing/That mighte doon him plesance or liking."
She was an obedient wife and would do anything to make him happy.
23 of 23

Other cards in this set

Card 2

Front

It would be unfair of a husband to refuse to let a man light a candle from his lantern/torch, he would have no less light as a result- it is the same with husbands who refuse to share their wives

Back

"He is to greet a nigarde that wolde werne/A man to lighte a candle at his lanterne/He shall have never the lasse light, pardee"

Card 3

Front

With no money a man won't attract any women, just like trying to lure hawks with no bait. For the sake of inheriting money, I would put up with all my husband's sexual advances and pretend to enjoy them

Back

Preview of the back of card 3

Card 4

Front

I have female qualities of desire and love (supposed to come from Venus) and male ones of toughness and resolution (from Mars)

Back

Preview of the back of card 4

Card 5

Front

I was stubborn as a lioness and would not let my husband forbid me to go visiting my friends to gossip.

Back

Preview of the back of card 5
View more cards

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