The Canterbury Tales Reading Log
The novel was written for the general public as its audience. It is evidenced through the way the stories in the book were told randomly and not specific to any target audience. The book was successful in reaching the audience because it was written in the vernacular, which was English, and the content was well received. The most important thing was to inform the audience about the existence of Middle English, despite French was common at that time.
Wife of Baths prologue supports marriage because she had married five husbands (Chaucer 103). She supports the notion for marriage by quoting the case of Solomon, who married many wives and the God’s command that people should go and multiply in the world. On the issue of virginity, she asserts that sexual organs have a functional and pleasure purposes. Therefore, she does not support virginity because it prevents an individual from maximizing its role as a sexual organ.
Wife of Baths argument is full of worldview because she believes the experience is better than authority (Chaucer 103). She has stood very strong on the issue of marriage because she believes to be a living example that has all the experience about marriage and virginity. For instance, she quotes from the bible to challenge the authority and affirm her actions. One of the examples she gives is Solomon, who married many wives (Chaucer 103). Secondly, she uses to challenge the authority is God’s commandment to man of filling the earth (Chaucer 103). Therefore, she believes the sovereignty is all women’s needs.
Franklin’s tale offers alternative to typical courtly love relationship in a number of ways as explained in the prologue. For instance, it believes that love is based on mutual consent. Couples or parties agree on what they feel is best for them. Similarly, it believes that love is based on mutual obligation, trust and faith making it a three-way affair (Chaucer 7). Chaucer’s vision coincides with the traditional view of a court of love because women are expected to be submissive and remain loyal throughout the marriage or courtship. This was evident when Dorigen refused to be unfaithful in the absence of her husband or when he was away. On the other hand, the vision does not coincide with traditional views that assume that every wife should have one husband. Averagus sent his wife to Aurelius in order to keep the promise made by the wife. This is contrary to tradition.
Question 1: important fact questions
In the whole novel, where did the story end and was the reward given? What happened to those who refused to narrate their stories? What is the moral lesson of the whole story?
Question 2: cause and effect questions
In the Wife of Baths prologue, what made wives keep on changing or separating from one man to another? What effect did it have on a woman or the husband? What was the societal perception under such circumstance?
Question 3: Moral issues questions
The traditional view assumes that women should play an important role of looking after the welfare of the family and not to take an active part in competing with their husbands. In Wife of Baths prologue, what was the role of wife? What value did wife add in the family? Were there guidelines or values controlling the conducts of a wife?
Chaucer, Geoffrey. Selected Canterbury Tales. New York: Dover, 1994. Print.
The Canterbury Tales Reading Log