English 1190 18th
• Series of skills program held in the benett center, mentioned in the
first lecture. Lectures from exam preparations, learning strategies,
note making strategies, time management, reading etc. These
sessions are also being held in Scott Library.
• Talk about the humors and talk about “The Wife of Bath’s Romantic
Last week, many examples of ironies were taken, what people seem to
be and what they actually are.
• Importance of Medieval church in the society was spoken about last
class. The faith was exploited with whoever he comes in contact with
• Humorous of the body: is another theme you are going to encounter.
Concept of humor:
Humor comes from Latin and means liquid. There are 4 fluids of body
thought to determine a persons’ temperament.
There are 4 cardinal humors: blood, phlegm, choler (yellow bile) and
melancholy (black bile). These used to help determine their pre-
disposition towards other people. If a person had more of one of these
humors’, therefore that person could be characterized by the excess of
Eg. If more blood, then the person is more sanguain. If more choler,
then the person is easily angered. If more black bile, then the person is
1 • Line 626: His face is somewhat reddish, and this gives us a clue that he
gets easily angered. His pre-disposition towards anger is shown
through his face.
• The word ‘class’ doesn’t really apply to the medieval period. There
were 3 mutually dependant estates.
1) Those who pray (clergy): These were interested in the souls of the
2) those who fight (nobility): To ensure there is peace in the society.
3) Those who work (laborers) : These were responsible for clothing the
4) The Merchants (This has become more important rather late)
Although these 4 estates were supposed to work together for the
common good, in reality this was not always the real case. There was
friction and conflict in these estates shown through characters.
The society is overshadowed by political and social revolutions taking
place at that time. Eg. -France was involved in the 100year war.
- The peasants were ruling against the classes.
- The church had become the target of all this. Church was an
oppressive land owner and thus he was a target of resentment.
- There was criticism of the Church as it was more involved in worldly
matters rather than spiritual matters and the bottom line being
LIFE OF THE BATH PROLOGUE
- She’s raunchy for a English character. She’s sexually oriented.
- a gold digger
-excellent at persuasion
-proud of her lifestyle and her behavior.
- governs her husband. (governs is central theme in her prologue.)
2 • Line 447: About her life:
- She’s deaf since her husband hit her on the ear.
-This also hints at her age.
- Her clothes were very fine, very heavy.
-She’s also a maker of textiles, she’s wearing what part of her
- She falls into the ‘merchant’ category.
-She has a red face.
-Her travelling alone shows she’s very strong willed and
-She is a real talker, loves to gossip.
- She’s been to many pilgrimages. Reason being: Social network.
Another reason: There might be thresidual feeling of guilt. There’s
no hint given as to how her 4 husband died.
- So wife of Bath is lusty suggested by her scarlet leggings, supple
shoes. Her face is ‘bold, fair’ which hints at her amorousness.
• Prologue influenced by antifeminist writings.
• Seems to be a confession but it is not.
• Captivating personality: End of the prologue: it is shown that she
has no intent of changing who she is or what she is as she doesn’t
submit to God or husband. Her character is of a professional wife.
• Her main defense comes by admitting the charges against her, but
refusing to see anything wrong in them.
• Prologue and Tale are misogynistic male texts rewritten from a
female point of view.
Question: Can the text be considered a feminist text? Yes, discuss