ENGLISH HONS- 2ND YEAR
BIBLICAL AND MYTHOLOGICAL REFERENCES IN THE WIFE OF BATH'S PROLOGUE Comment by DUndergroundMaN: 6/10
Geoffrey Chaucer's The Canterbury Taleswas written at the end of the 14th century. It is set up as many stories within a story, the main frame being a group of pilgrims telling stories to each other. At the time he was writing, Chaucer's England was dominated by the Catholic Church. Therefore, many of the metaphors are based on the Old and New Testaments of the Bible. Among the group of pilgrims, the Wife of Bath or Alisoun is the most interesting character. She uses the Biblical references so that she can question the validity, intent, or interpretation of the Bible. Alisoun thinks of herself as a pious person and attends church regularly in her parish. She gives to charity and is dutiful; however, she has her opinions on how things should be in her church.
There are several instances that shed light on the wife's interpretation of the Bible. She comes across a lady preacher, and excellent orator who can even twist the real message of Bible to suit her own purpose.
The first incident comes in line 11 where she talks about the wedding in Cane of Galilee. In John 2:1, Jesus attends a wedding in Cana and turns six pots of water into wine. This was his first public miracle. She uses this reference to take a dig at people who look down upon her because of her five marriages. She implies that many people have criticized her for her numerous marriages, most of them on the basis that Christ attended only one wedding in his life, at Cana. Though the Church Fathers frowned on second marriages, they were frequent in practice. She raises the...