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Unformatted text preview: The Wife's prologue is unique in that it is longer than the tale itself. The Wife of Bath uses the prologue to explain the basis of her theories about experience versus authority and to introduce the point that she illustrates in her tale: The thing women most desire is complete control ("sovereignty") over their husbands. Because she has had five husbands, the Wife feels that she can speak with authority from this experience, and, in the prologue, she tells how she got the upper hand with each of them. In Chaucer's time, the antifeminism of the church was a strong controlling factor. Women were frequently characterized as almost monsters; they were sexually insatiable, lecherous, and shrewish, and they were patronized by the church authorities. Women were not allowed to participate in church doctrine in any way. Likewise, in Chaucer's time, a second marriage was considered suspect, so the doctrine in any way....
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This note was uploaded on 12/05/2011 for the course ENGLISH 101 taught by Professor Staff during the Fall '11 term at Texas State.
- Fall '11