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Flashcards in Wife Of Bath Tale Deck (6)
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Wife of Beth tale - section 1

In ancient days of King Arthur the country was filled with fairy folk. We do not see fairies anymore as Friars now walk there. Women are safe. Friars only spirit that may copulate with women, treat them in a demean way.

In Arthur's household there was a young and eager retainer, came back past river and saw young maiden. Despite her resistance he violently stole her virginity.

Outcry at Cairo, Arthur condemn to death. Ladies begged for mercy and Arthur handed over power to wife. She said that his life was not safe, that he had to find out what women most require and return within a year and a day. If he does not have the correct answer he will die.

The knight was sad but could see he had no choice so he set off.


Wife of bath section 2

He went to every house looking for answer but none gave the same
some said sexual pleasure
others Wealth
Merry making
Expensive clothes
Widowed and remarried often
Flattered and pandered to- not far from the truth, ensnared by flattery.
Want to be unrestricted and unchided - we would all kick back, want to be thought pure and wise even if wicked.
Reputation for being discreet and reliable - not worth anything, cannot keep secret. Look at mindas and wife, if want to know more read Ovid.


Wife of bath - section 3

Realised couldn't find answer, headed back very disheartened. Saw 24 women dancing and went towards hoping they could tell answer, but they disappeared. Only person left was very ugly hag.

Old lady - no route along here. What are you looking for? I am very old and may be able to help you.
Knight- dear mooder, I need to know what women most desire or I am a dead man. I will reward you handsomely if you know.
Old lady - if you promise to grant me whatever I next ask if you I shall tell you.
He promised.
Your life is safer follow me, do not be scared. She whispered in his ear.

They arrived at court with his answer. Wives, the queen, virgins and many widows (for they are wise) gathered to hear answer. He said hat women desire dominion over their husbands. They all agreed.

The old lady stood up and asked the queen for justice. She reminded knight of his oath and asked him to agree to marry her, opt honour call her a liar. He conceded that he did promise it, but begged for her to take property and not body. She says she doesn't want any property, just wants to be his beloved. He exclaims she is his damnation and bemoans the social shame this will bring on his family.

The queen decides he must marry.


Wife of bath take section 4

They got married. In case you think I'm being lazy for not telling you the details, there was no festivity or joy. They were married in secret in the morning, he hid away all day as unhappy as an owl that she was old.

When hey went to bed he tossed and turned. She smiled at him and asked if all Arthur's knights were this standoffish with their wives. She asks what she has done wrong, she is his wife and saved his life and he is acting like a mad,an. If he tells her she can put it right.

He laughs and says she can't put it right as she is old and if such base stock he wishes his heart could break.

She replies that nobility is bestowed by Christ and attained by noble behaviour, it is not passed down hereditarily otherwise like a fire continues to burn, the heirs would continue to behave nobly and she knows many instances when that is not the case, her family make unsophisticated but she automatically becomes a noble woman by acting nobly.
Dante - rarely does nobility descend from a family as God wants us to recognise that our nobility is from him.
Only inherit damaging earthly goods from ancestors.

Valerius mentions how tullius rose out of poverty to high rank of being a noble.
Seneca - noble person is one who performs noble actions.

Do not despise me for my poverty. Christ lived in voluntary poverty and he would not have chosen a wicked means of life.
Juvenal - poor man walking along a road with thieves can sing.
He who always covets more is pauper, he who is content with nothing is rich.

Poverty encourages improvement, relationship with God, wisdom, lens to see true friends.


Wife of bath tale - section 5

Chide me for being old BUT
- noble should treat elderly kindly
- you have no fear of me being cuckolded for dirt and old age are powerful keepers of chastity. But I will fulfill your sexual desires

You have a choice
- keep me old but faithful
- make me beautiful but fear your friends aren't coming to see you.

Knight thought and then sighed, my beloved, my very dear wife, I place myself under your wise authority, whatever you think will bring us both the most pleasure and honour to both of us.

Wife: I have gained supremacy over you?

Knight: I consider it best

Wife: kiss me, we are not angry anymore. I shall be both beautiful and loyal as any wife. If I am not beautiful by tomorrow morning you can choose whether I live or die.

knight lifts up curtain and sees that she is beautiful and moreover young, so happy leaps in and hugs her, gave 1000 kisses and she obeyed him in every way that gave him pleasure.

They lived in bliss


Wife of baths closing comments

May god send us all husbands who are you and lively in bed, obedient and let us outlive them. Shorten their lives who refuse to be ruled and plague on old, peevish and tight.