The Character of the Wife of Bath The Wife in the Wife Of Bath's Prologue, written by Geoffrey Chaucer, is a paradoxical character. The descriptions of this Wife in the General Prologue, and also in her own prologue and tale, paint a predicament for Chaucer's audience. It is not clear what Chaucer's aim is when he invents the character of the Wife. His use of humor, and irony in the story makes it hard to condemn the Wife for her opinions and lifestyle. Yet the time period in which these tales takes place offers its own judgments of the Wife of Bath. Despite her wit, and her strong contentions, the Wife of Bath is a manipulative and clever character that knows how to survive in this time period.
In the passages from lines 531-590, it is easy to get the impression that the Wife of Bath is a ruthless and somewhat sinister character.
Keeping in mind that our narrator is rather soft hearted and passive, much of what is being told may not be the whole story. Certain passages that emerge from these lines show that certain statements that the Wife makes have clouded meanings and shady undertones. Questions that enter the mind of the reader are not necessary entering the mind of the narrator, and he appears to report her prologue without investigating her insinuations.
This passage begins with the introduction to her fifth husband. She explains that ascertain, also because of its appearance in other passages, that this Wife usually marries Gallup 2 she married her fifth husband out of love and not for his money. Immediately we can men for their money.
Also early on in the passage the Wife hints at her relationship to religion. She mentions that she has a very close friend...