Geoffrey Chaucer ‘The Canterbury Tales – The Wife of Bath’s Tale’ ctd.

The Friar interrupts the Wife, complaining that this introduction is getting to long. He is in turn interrupted by the Summoner who accuses him of being interfering as friars always are. They start to quarrel and promise to tell some very nasty stories about friars and summoners respectively. The Host intervenes and asks the Wife to tell her story. Her story takes places in the times of King Arthur, when there were a lot of elves and fairies in the land. Now they are gone, because there are too many friars in the land who keep on blessing every building they come across. So women are quite safe nowadays, because there are no incubuses (incubi?) in the bushes lying in wait for them, only friars and they can only take away their honour. BURN. The story begins with a knight going out to hunt with his hawk and casually raping a girl on his way. The dark side of medieval knighthood. The knight is sentenced to death, but the queen and her ladies plead for him (WHAT?) and King Arthur leaves the knight’s fate to the decision of the queen. She gives him a task to find out what women really want. He has twelve months and one day to look for the answer or he is going to be beheaded, and he has to give his word of honour to return for the final judgement. Funny thing about this knightly honour, strong enough to make you return to your possible execution but not strong enough to keep you from raping random girls.



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