The View of Marriage in The Wife of Bath Essay

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The View of Marriage in The Wife of Bath

The Wife of Bath has her own perception of marriage, which Chaucer shows in both the
Wife of Bath's Prologue and Tale. Marriage itself was defined by Webster's Dictionary as the state of being married, a wedding ceremony and attendant festivities, or a close union. Marry or married is said to be joined as husband and wife according to law or custom, or to take as husband or wife, says Webster's Dictionary. In both the Prologue and Tale of the Wife of Bath we see the institution of marriage used as control over money and sexual powers. Chaucer's
Wife of Bath displays a complete sense of mockery toward marriage as a holy institution. The
Prologue and Tale of the Wife of Bath clearly
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Now you can tell me where, in any age, almighty God explicitly forbade all marrying and giving in marriage? (220) She talks of Apostle Paul, being of a saintly churchman his words mean its God's word for people to marry. Then Abraham and Jacob have more then one wife, not following a monogamous way of life, where you have one wife. The Wife of Bath uses it to justify her five marriages, saying if they were not monogamous and people did not condemn them then why should I care. Also that without such marriages then there would be no procreation to produce more virgins.
This Prologue was more her autobiography about her life and her husbands and why she married them. She would have been conceived at that time in the medieval Church as a bad woman, deceitful in her actions and reasons for marriage. The Wife of Bath clearly states that she is proud of her five marriages:

Blessed be God that I have married five! Here's to the sixth, whenever he turns up. (220)
This shows that she does not have any concern for what the clergymen feel.
It is explained in the Prologue that her first three husbands were good and the other two bad: Three were good husbands, two of them were bad.

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