English Literature: Passage Analysis
In “The Wife of Bath’s Tale,”Geoffrey Chaucer examines the prolog of a womanwho appears determined to live an independent life away from publicscrutiny. She values her independence and protects it ferociously.For instance, she argues that she will not entertain control frommen. She says, “We love no man that taketh kep or charge/Wher that we goon we wol ben at ourelarge (Chaucer Lines 321-322). The narrator is unhappy that otherpeople should have a say on how she lives her life while she does notconcern herself with theirs. She quips, “For, certeyn, olde dotard,by youre leve, / Ye shul have queynte right ynogh at eve (ChaucerLines 331-332). In essence, she chastises those who want to probe hercharacter and way of life, as well as admonishes them to mind theirbusiness.
The tone of the passage is aggressive the narrator is vexed thatother people have fun the way they want while someone wants to probeher lifestyle. The passage has a unique structure, where it isdivided into two parts of seven and fourteen lines. The first sectionsets the tone for the first line, which dismisses all who, want tospy on her. The second part admonishes and advises at the same time.By using proverbs, the narrator comes out as intelligent andwell-informed. For most of the narration, the tone is straightforwardbecause the narrator gives her story without betraying her emotions.However, it is clear that she is unhappy with anyone who wants tohave control over her lifestyle. There is an indicator of conflictbecause the person being addressed appears not to appreciate whatwomen want, which is freedom to do as they wish.
In “Sir Gawain and the Green Knight”, two men are holdinga conversation and the subject of honesty and virtue arise(Anonymous). Apparently, one of the men had played host to the otherbut the wife of the house had teased the visitor with romanticexchanges. In due course, the visitor and the wife of the house hadexchanged kisses and made conduct but the guest remained withoutblame. The poet notes, “And I know of your courtesies, and conduct,and kisses,/ and the wooing of my wife – for it was all my work!/Isent her to test you – and in truth it turns out/ you’re by thefar the most faultless fellow on earth (Lines 3-6).” Therealization puzzles the visitor (Anonymous). He is ashamed that hedid not disclose the source of the girdle that he was wearing, whichhad actually come from the man’s wife. Eventually, he flings thegirdle at the men out of fear and embarrassment.
The tone of the poem is serious because of the gravity of issuesconcerned. The narrator adopts a fantastical tone because the storyappears to be a fairytale. There is the use of exaggeration, which isevident in Line 6 “you’re by the far the most faultless fellow onearth.” Additionally, the poet talks of flames in Gawain’s eyesbrought by blood, which is also an exaggeration. The poet employsalliteration in “so shocked and ashamed that he shuddered inside”(Line 13), “They breed villainy and vice, and destroy all virtue”(Line 17), as well as in “Then he grabbed the girdle, andungathered its knot” (Line 18). The significance of the speaker’sargument is that people should always uphold integrity and actvirtuously regardless of whether other individuals are watching ornot.
Chaucer, Geoffrey. The Wife of Bath’s Tale. Web. Accessed 5October 2016. Poem
(Author Unknown). Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. Accessed 5October 2016. Poem