The basic assumption of this type of story or fabliau is that, if an old man is fool enough to marry someone much younger, the old fool deserves to be fooled. (A fabliau is a story, most often in verse, which has rather bourgeois characters involved in an often obscene plot narrated rather realistically.) Another characteristic of this standard plot is that the old husband is domineering and jealous and often locks up his young bride or keeps her under such close scrutiny that there is no chance of being deceived. Therefore, the delight of this type of story lies in the clever methods the wife uses to deceive the husband or, in some cases, the "poetic" justice involved in having a domineering husband brought to his knees.The seducer is always much younger than the husband, much better looking, and always more sexually virile. The position of the seducer can vary widely: a boarder in the old man's house, a
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old man, Alison, young wife, delicate young man, virile young student, fabliau