Wife of Bath Quotes
A set of Wife of Bath quotes that are important to keep in mind.
Terms in this set (98)
"weyden ten pounds [...] Hir hosen weren of fyn scarlet reed, Ful streite yteyd, and shoes ful moiste and newe."
"Gat-tothed was she, soothly for to seye."
Experience against authority
"Experience though noon auctoritee [...] is right ynogh for me"
Expert in Marriage
"To speke of wo that is in mariage."
"Housbondes at the chirche dore I have had five."
Christ one Wedding
"That sith Crist ne went nevere but onis to wedding, in the Cane of Galilee."
Challenging authority about marriage
"How manye mighte she have in mariage?
Disagrees with men
"Men may glosen up and doun, But wel I woot, expres, without lie."
Authority used to justify birth
"God bad us to wexe and multiplye."
"Lo, heere the wise king, daun Salomon; I trowe he hadde wives mo than oon."
Speculating authorative figure
"To be refresshed half so ofte as he! Which yifte of God hadde he for alle his wives!"
"He seith that to be wedded is no sinne; Bet is to be wedded than to brinne."
Abraham and Jacob
"And each of hem hadde wives mo than two"
Assertive towards authority
"Or where comanded he virginitee?"
"Men may conseille a womman to been oon, But conseilling is no commandment."
"He putte it in oure owene judgement."
Marriage and virginity
"For hadde God comanded maidenhede, Thanne hadde he dampened wedding with the dede."
Viriginity a target
"The dart is set up of virginitee: cacche whoso may, who renneth best lat see."
St Paul pure
"I woot wel that th'apostal was a maide"
"I have noon envie."
"For wel ye knowe, a lord in his houshold, He nath nat every vessel al of gold."
Positivity towards Virginity
"Virginitee is greet perfeccion."
"But Crist, that of perfeccion is welle, Bad nat every wight he sholde go selle Al that he hadde, and give it to the poore."
Desires in Marriage
"I wol bistowe the flour of al myn age In the actes and in the fruit of mariage."
"Telle me also, to what conclusion were membres maadof generacion, And of pafit wys a wight ywroght? Trusteth right wel, they were nat maad for nought."
Difference between female and male
"Were eek to knowe a femelefrom amale, And for noon oother cause, - say ye no?"
"That man shal yelde to his wyf hire dette?"
Christ was pure
"Thanne sholde men take of chastitee no cure.Crist was a maide,and shapen as a man."
Lat hem be breed of puredwhete-seed, And lat us wives hoten barley breed."
She isn't chaste
"I am nat precius."
"In wyfhood I wol use myn instrument As frelyas my Makere hath it sent."
Monetary imagery dette
"Whan that him list come forth and paye his dette."
"I have the power duringe al my lyfUpon his propre body, nd noght he."
"Up stirte the Pardoner, and that annon: 'Now,Dame,' quod he,'byGod and by Seint John! Ye been a noble prechour in this cas."
Reiterating that she's an "expert"
"Of which I am expert in al myn age."
"They were bounden unto me."
Monetary Imagery: profit
"But it were for my profit and myn ese?"
"If that I walke or pleye unto his hous."
Poor and rich wives
"To wedde a povre womman, for costage;And if that she be riche, of heigh parage,Thanne seistow that it is a tormentrie To soffre hire pride and hire malencolie."
"Shemay no while in chastitee abide,That is assailled upon ech a side."
Men want from women
"Thou seist som folk deisren us for richesse, Somme for oure sha, andsomme for oure fairnesse, And som for she kan outher singe or daunce, Some for hirhandes and hir armes smale;"
"Tou seist men may nat kepe a castel wal, It may so longe assailled been overal."
"For as a spaynel she wol on him lepe"
"Ne noon so grey goos gooth ther in the lake."
"With wilde thonder-dynt and firy levene."
Husband taking control
"Be maister of my body and of my good."
"Of alle men is his wisdom is the hyeste That rekketh nevere who hath the world in honde."
"Thou seydst this, that I was lyk a cat; for whoso wolde senge a catte skin,"
Cat imagery two "slik"
"And if the cattes skin be slik and gay, She wol nat dwelle in house half a day."
"Thou liknest it also to wilde fyr;The moore it brenneth, the moore it hath desir"
"And yet in bacon hadde I nevere delit."
Admitting that she is stubborn
"Stibourne andstrong, and joly as a pie."
Married for love
"Whiche that I took for love, and no richesse,"
"I holde a mouses herte nat worth a leek."
"He was, I trowe, a twenty winter oold, And I was fourty, if I shal seye sooth."
"Gat-toothed I was, that bicam me weel;"
"Venus me yaf my lust, my likerousnesse; And Mars yaf me my sturdy hardinesse."
Ripped a page
"For that I rente out of his book a leef, That of the strook myn ere wax al deef."
"To reden on this book of wikked wives."
"Wommen may go nowsaufly up and doun."
"And so bifel it that king Arthour hadde in his hou a lusty bacheler."
Knight commiting sin
"By verray force he rafte hire maydenhede."
Knight did a bad deed
"That dampned was this knight for to be deed."
Queen given authority
"And yaf to the queene at hir wil tochese whiether shewolde him save or spille."
"What thing is it that wommen moost desiren."
Flattered and pleased
"Whan that we been yflatered and yplesed."
Freedom and in control
"For to be free, and do right as us lest, And that no man repreve us of oure vice"
Keep within limits and not sin
"For, be we neverso vicious withinne, We wol been holden wise and clene of sinne."
Keep husband's secrets
"And nat biwreye thing that men us telle."
Protecting her husband's pride
"She nolde do that vileynie or sinne, to make hir housbonde han so foul a name."
"Hir thoughte it swal so soore aboute hir herte."
Speaking to the earth
"Myn housbonde hath longe assese eris two! Now is myn herte al hool, now is it oute. I mygthe no lenger kepe it, out of doute"
respectful toward the knight
Respectful toward the hag
"My leeve mooder"
"The queene sittinge hirself as justice"
"with manly vois"
Knight being respectful toward the queen
"My lige lady"
Wommen desiren to havesovereigntee as wel over hir housbondeas hir love, and for to been in maistrie him above. This is youre mooste desir, though ye me kille. Dooth as yow list; I am heer at youre wille."
"Ne widwe, that contraried that he saide,"
Knight's heightened emotions
"Allas and weilawey!"
knight was to free himself
"Taak al my good,and lat my body go."
Old wive describing herself in three words
"For thogh that I be foul, and oold, and poore"
" 'My love? Nay, my dampnacioun! Allas that any of my nacioun sholde evere so foule disparaged be!"
Married the old woman
"And taketh his olde wyf, and gooth to bedde"
Knight in sorrow
"For prively hewedded hire on the morwe, And alday after hidde him as an owle."
Old wife smiling
"He walweth and he turneth to and fro. His olde wyf lay smilinge evermo"
Wife saved his life
"I am she which tht saved hath youre lyf."
Arrogance isn't worth anything
"Swich arrogance is nat worth a hen."
Nobility in the age of Chivarly
"Crist wole we claime of him oure gentillesse, Nat of oure eldres fr hire old richesse."
Change of time
"But temporal thing, that man may hurte and maime."
A lordes sone do shame and vileyne"
choice of lifestyle
"The hye God, on whom that we bileeve, In wilful poverte chees to live his lyf."
Jesus chose a simple life
"May understonde that Jhesus, hevene king, ne wolde nat chese a vicious living. Glad poverte is an honest thing, certeyn."
Poor people, more freedom
" 'The pove man, whan he goth by the weye, Bifore the theves he may singe and pleye' "
Wife given sovereingty
"My lady my love, and wyf so deere, I put me in youre governance; cheseth youreself which may be moost pleasance, and moost honour to yow and me also."
Obeyed her husband
"And that she obeyed him in every thing tht mighte doon him pleasance or liking."
"Jhesu Crist us sende Housbondes meeke, yonge, and fresh abedde."
give husbands short lives
And eek I praye Jhesu shorte hir lives
God sende hem soone verray pestilence.
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