This piece was a difficult read because of the wording. To completely comprehend the read I read certain parts over. It begins with a rather long prologue introducing her tale but also to establish credibility and prove that with experience makes you pundit. She argues that a women shouldn’t be looked down upon because of 5 marriages. She uses important figures in the bible such as King Solomon and St. Paul to persuade by reason. This information also brings that she is also intelligent as experience can heighten intelligence.
The tale presents her several marriages and how she deemed ‘sovereignty’ over her lover. Now, reading this tale seemed rather risque due to her need of a sex and promiscuity. She is not afraid of sexuality, yet she is a scandalous women by rudely seeking a suitor at her 4th husbands funeral. By the use of several sly tactics she gains control.
Her youth gone, she pursues the knight who is a rapist. Knights are deemed high in society but his crime, to me, makes him extremely low and she lowers her standards by pursuing him but it is very cunning. His crime was death and she used his moment of weakness to have an upper-hand.
The wife of bath, yes used her intelligence to become the dominant one in her several relationships. Since she became dominant in all relationships proved that with experience comes wisdom and hierarchy but why didn’t she use her dominance for good. She selfishly uses a criminal to her own pleasure instead of being ethical and making him pay for his crime or giving back.
Could it be that his punishment was her ? Follow me on this hunch- maybe since she is viewed differently and is not accepted by society, she is his punishment because she isn’t “pure(pertaining to that era).”