Wife of Bath part 2

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  • Wommen desiren to have sovereyntee As wel over hir housbond as hir love, And for to been in maistrie hym above
  • Thou art so loothly, and so oold also
  • I put me in youre wise governance; Cheseth youreself which may be moost plesance
  • All the women in the court agree that having authority over their lovers is a woman's greatest desire, and the knights life is spared. And so, before the court the old woman asked the knight to take her as his wife. The knight begged that she take material possessions instead but the woman declined; and so they marry.
  • The wife asked the knight what she had done wrong and why he was so upset, to which he replied that he couldn't bear her ugliness. The wife took no offence but asked whether he would rather an ugly but faithful wife or a beautiful wife who may not be faithful.
  • The knight gives the woman what she most desires: authority over her husband by letting her make her own decision; and so she becomes both beautiful and good. The two have a happy marriage thereafter.
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