Week 6 Discussion

Reading the assigned portions of The Canterbury Tales was extremely difficult. Even though the translations for certain words were listed at the side of the pages, interpreting the concepts within the plot was grueling. Re-reading the text several times still did not ease any confusion and uncertainty.

From my perspective, the season spring, played an integral role in the character’s journey to Canterbury. The initial lines “Whan than April with his showres soote the drought of March hath perced to the roote” (lines 1-2) indicated the specific type of season. When the equinox shifts and the climatic changes set in, spring appears. With its’ arrival, the sense of new beginnings and changes come to mind. During spring, the lives of plants become anew, but in my opinion, it is not just only inclusive to nature, but to humans as well. Since spring represents new beginnings and changes, perhaps the characters saw it as a way of making a change in their lives. This coincides with the fact that they are “pilgrimes” (line 26). Pilgrimage is a religious journey and in religion, repenting is common. The pilgrims journeyed to Canterbury in order to visit “The holy blissful martyr” (line 17), who was “murdered in Canterbury cathedral”. Since the pilgrims were going “To Canterbury with ful devout courage” (line 22) with regards to the martyr “St. Thomas Becket”, the notions of repenting for sins and seeking help arises.

There were feminist aspects in “The Wife of Bath”. First of all, for a woman to “have had five” (line 6) husbands during that period reveals a lot about her character. The society belittled women who were like that but the opinions of others and upholding social conventions did not matter to the Wife. Her mentality was interesting and empowering since she thought that women can be the main person in the household to have authority. The wife was not the typical submissive woman, she had her own power, especially at such a young age.

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