Wife of baths Prologue

Wife of baths Prologue - ENGL 2010 Prologue to the Wife of...

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ENGL 2010 Prologue to the Wife of Bath’s Tale Assignment To prepare for Friday’s class, please read the following brief excerpt and come prepared to discuss the following questions: 1. How would Matthew Arnold approach this text? 2. Assuming Bahktin would be interested in the heteroglossia of this text, what different “languages” or kinds of speech can you locate in the excerpt? 3. What is Chaucer doing with these languages? What’s he trying to accomplish by having the wife ventriloquize these dialects? Medieval Sourcebook: Geoffrey Chaucer, d.1400: Canterbury Tales : Prologue to Wife of Bath's Tale [Parallel Texts] From: http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/source/CT-prolog-bathpara.html 1: Experience, though noon auctoritee 2: Were in this world, is right ynogh for me 3: To speke of wo that is in mariage; 4: For, lordynges, sith I twelve yeer was of age, 5: Thonked be God that is eterne on lyve, 6: Housbondes at chirche dore I have had fyve, -- 7: If I so ofte myghte have ywedded bee, -- 8: And alle were worthy men in hir degree. 9: But me was toold, certeyn, nat longe agoon is, 10: That sith that crist ne wente nevere but onis 11: To weddyng, in the cane of galilee, 12: That by the same ensample taughte he me 13: That I ne sholde wedded be but ones. 14: Herkne eek, lo, which a sharp word for the nones, 15: Biside a welle, jhesus, God and man, 16: Spak in repreeve of the samaritan: 17: Thou hast yhad fyve housbondes, -- quod he, 18: -- And that ilke man that now hath thee 19: Is noght thyn housbonde, -- thus seyde he certeyn. 20: What that he mente therby, I kan nat seyn; 21: But that I axe, why that the fifthe man 22: Was noon housbonde to the samaritan? 23: How manye myghte she have in mariage? 24: Yet herde I nevere tellen in myn age 25: Upon this nombre diffinicioun. 26: Men may devyne and glosen, up and doun, 27: But wel I woot, expres, withoute lye, Experience, though no authority Were in this world, were good enough for me, To speak of woe that is in all marriage; For, masters, since I was twelve years of age, Thanks be to God Who is for aye alive, Of husbands at church door have I had five; For men so many times have wedded me; And all were worthy men in their degree. But someone told me not so long ago That since Our Lord, save once, would never go To wedding (that at Cana in Galilee), Thus, by this same example, showed He me I never should have married more than once. Lo and behold! What sharp words, for the nonce, Beside a well Lord Jesus, God and man, Spoke in reproving the Samaritan: 'For thou hast had five husbands,' thus said He, 'And he whom thou hast now to be with thee Is not thine husband.' Thus He said that day, But what He meant thereby I cannot say; And I would ask now why that same fifth man Was not husband to the Samaritan? How many might she have, then, in marriage?
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This note was uploaded on 03/18/2009 for the course ENGL 2010 taught by Professor Winokur during the Spring '07 term at Colorado.

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Wife of baths Prologue - ENGL 2010 Prologue to the Wife of...

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