Essay on Hamlet: Marriage and Wife

Submitted By saccomorgan
Words: 990
Pages: 4

Do As you Please
Many people shy from doing certain things because they are worried about what is and what is not socially acceptable. In The Wife of Bath, the woman does whatever she pleases to make herself happy, not having a care in the world of what other people think about her. There are many things that the woman in The Wife of Bath does, that would not normally be socially or morally acceptable. In the time period that the story took place, the husband would be the dominant in a marriage and the wife would do whatever the husband pleased. The Wife of Bath, on the other hand, manipulates and deceives her multiple husbands in order to have control in her marriages. She lies to her husbands, marries for all the wrong reasons, and goes against the norm in this period of time. The moral that The Wife of Bath wants us to draw from the tale is that you shouldn’t care what others think about you, and that you should do what makes you happy. Although the woman in this tale does many things that even today are not socially or morally acceptable, she did what made her happy which is a good moral lesson. One subject that The Wife of Bath talks about in her tale is her opinion on having multiple marriages. In the beginning of her prologue she says that she has wed five husbands, and how someone brought to her attention that god on wed once (Chaucer 258). This is a good representation of her moral lesson because in the time period of this tale, it was not socially acceptable to have been married to more than one man. It also was not religiously acceptable in this time period to have more than one husband in one’s lifetime. The Wife of Bath went against this norm and married 5 different men because that is what made her happy regardless of what others thought about her. She then continues to make her point by using examples of men who have had multiple wives. “Take wise King Solomon of long ago; We hear he had a thousand wives or so.” (Chaucer 259). This quote is a good representation of her moral lesson because she gives examples of others who have married multiple times, but not a thing was said about it. The Wife of Bath is speaking out against the expectations of marrying only once and is letting others know that she thinks that it is okay to have multiple husbands and that she does not care why others think about it. Another topic that The Wife of Bath voices her opinion on is a woman’s virginity. In the time period that the tale takes place it is expected for a woman to be a virgin until marriage. The woman begins by questioning where God commanded virginity. She continues to say, “And certainly if seed were never sown, How ever could virginity be grown?” (Chaucer 260). In this quote the woman says that if everyone were to stay virgins, how could more virgins be created? This is a great example of her moral that you shouldn’t care what others think about you because she speaks out against virginity and says that it is okay to not be a virgin. Other women would be afraid to admit that they are not virgins because they would be afraid of what others thought about her. The Woman in Bath does not care what others think, she clearly and proudly states that she was not a virgin before marriage and that she believes that it is okay no matter what others thought about her. The Wife of Bath also talks about how she lies to her husbands in order to get what she wanted and to be the dominant in the marriage. “But as I had