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The Wife Of Bath Is A Genius At Getting Her Own Wa

1033 words - 4 pages

The Wife of Bath is a genius at getting her own way. What strategies does she use and how does she employ them? The Wife of Bath lives in a very male dominated society and she has to do all she possibly can to get round the misogynist men of her era. Woman in general became very crafty, but none more so than the infamous Wife Of Bath. It helps that she chooses weaker men to take advantage of and manipulate to her own advantage, but her confidence helps her win a lot of battles and therefore she can get more material pleasures, and get away with her controlling behaviour.The most obvious form is blackmail. If the Wife Of Bath wants to have some more clothes or money for the household, she manipulates her old husband; by claiming she will not give him any sex if he does not pander to her needs."Now wherwith sholde he make his paiement, If he ne used his sely instrument?" The Wife Of Bath expects a 'payment' for still being with him - she expects her old husband to be grateful to have such a young, vibrant and sex-hungry wife. If he cannot use his 'sely instrument' and pleasure her whims that way, then she should receive gifts such as a new dress or money, or freedom. This way she always has one up on the old men she marries, because they feel indebted to her because they cannot satisfy her in bed.The Wife of Bath readily admits on line 211 that "But sith I hadde hem hoolly in myn hond" and she made them work hard for what she gave them. She hardly ever repented from her constant nagging."They were ful glad whan I spak to hem faire, For, God, it woot, I chide hem spitously" Her husbands were very glad when she spoke to them nicely, even if it was only a brief respite from her irritating chidings. This would make them pay her more attention, and give her more gifts to keep her sweet. This was futile because the next time that this artful manipulator wanted something, she would kick up another fuss. This was quite a common form of deception; it was the only way women could get what they wanted.Another ploy she tells us is how she would accuse the poor old men of something that they have never done in their lives, and then swear blind that they have done it."Thus sholde ye speke and bere hem wrong on honde; Foe half so boldely kan ther no man Swere and lyen, as a womman kan." The Wife Of Bath uses her womanly powers to confuse and basically shout down the old men. She can argue extremely well and is very well educated for a woman of that time. The poor husband was so busy defending himself that he didn't have time to defend himself, however, whatever the poor aged husband tried to argue against, she would have a superior answer to him. She would also back up her arguments with biblical...

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