'I have a wyf, the worste that may be' - The representation of marriage in the Canterbury Tales: The representation of marriage in the Canterbury Tale by Anne Thoma

'I have a wyf, the worste that may be' - The representation of marriage in the Canterbury Tales…

byAnne Thoma

Kobo ebook | March 4, 2004

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Seminar paper from the year 2004 in the subject English Language and Literature Studies - Literature, grade: 66 (A-), University of Warwick (Department of English), course: Medieval to Renaissance English Literature, 7 entries in the bibliography, language: English, abstract: 'I have a wyf, the worste that may be,' says the merchant in his prologue of Chaucer's Canterbury Tales (E.1218). However, in the beginning of the Franklin's Tale, the narrating voice speaks of 'the joye, the ese, and the prosperitee / That is bitwixe an housbonde and his wyf' (F.804-05). This example shows how little unanimity there is among the characters of the Canterbury Tales when it comes to marriage, be they the pilgrims or be they the characters within the pilgrims' tales. The aim of the present paper is to show the various ways in which Chaucer represents marriage in the Canterbury Tales. I will refer to The Miller's Prologue and Tale, The Wife of Bath's Prologue and Tale, The Merchant's Prologue and Tale and to The Franklin's Tale. The first three chosen tales show marriage in a deformed shape, as a relationship over which predominance of one sex over the other and / or a strong economic interest are hovering and lead to unpleasant incidences. The fourth tale depicts wedlock as an ideal kind of marriage, a state of mutual connectedness in which values like patience, fidelity, generosity and nobility can be explored (lecture). I will support those claims with an analysis of the tales taken each by its own. I will also examine them as interrelated elements of what is considered a 'marriage debate' (Hussey 135). According to this theory, the Franklin's Tale is seen as the solution and final element of a debate which begins with the Wife of Bath and runs through The Clerk's Tale and The Merchant's Tale.
Title:'I have a wyf, the worste that may be' - The representation of marriage in the Canterbury Tales…Format:Kobo ebookPublished:March 4, 2004Publisher:GRIN PublishingLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:3638258572

ISBN - 13:9783638258579

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