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Unformatted text preview: The Wife of Bath's Tale and The Clerk's Tale express diametrically opposite views concerning marriage and the function or duties of the wife and husband. Basically and simply put, the Wife of Bath feels that the woman should hold complete sovereignty over her husband; only then can a marriage be happy. Her tale is an exemplum of this belief. At this point no one dare disagree with the Wife's unassailable logic. We do not know until the next morning, when the modest Clerk is summoned to give his tale, that he has been dreadfully upset by the Wife's prologue and tale. We discover that the Clerk is astonished and horrified by the Wife's advocacy of the dominance of the wife over the husband. The Clerk then offers his own tale about a wife who is patient and obedient, whose steadfast devotion to her husband makes her completely subservient to him even so far as to...
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- Fall '11