Wife of Bath

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  • There once was a knight who was riding along the river and came across a young woman sad and alone. He forced himself upon her and stole her virtue.
  • The horrific act of raping the maiden resulted in punishment. In the king's court, the king insists the knight be put to death. However, the queen asks that he is given a chance to prove himself. If he can answer her question correctly in one years time, he will live.
  • The question is: What is the thing that woman most desire?
  • The Knight searched across the land asking many women for the answer to the Queens question. He kept receiving  different answers and after a year of searching he headed back to the castle in defeat.
  • Wealth
  • Honor
  • Treasure
  • As he rode he came upon on old, ugly woman. She asked the knight what he was looking for and he told her. She told the knight that she would tell him the answer, but made him swear that he would do whatever she asked of him.
  • Yes!
  • Do you promise to do as I ask after I tell you the answer?
  • Upon returning to the castle, the knight stood before the queen and an assembly of women, all ready to hear his response. Once he gave his response, all of the women proclaimed that the knight had saved his life.
  • A wife most desires sovereignty over her husband
  • That's correct!!
  • Since the old woman's answer was correct the knight kept his word. Her condition was that they would get married, and the knight was forced to marry her. 
  • Before this court I ask you then, sir knight, to keep your word and take me as your wife
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