12th Grade: H.W.#30, 10/24

1. Read the actual tale of the Wife of Bath. Select two words you do not understand and put them, along with their definitions, on an index card.
2. Answer the following questions in writing. Again, copy/paste these questions and fill out the answer on the page. This time, type your answers!
3. Here’s the link to the Canterbury Tales assessment essay. http://files.theschoolsystem.net/stuy/mandlerd/CanterburyTalesAssessment2012.docx

1. In her Tale proper, who is the King of the land where the story takes place? Who is his Queen?
2. What crime has the Knight committed? Who hears his case at court? Is this something 3. the Wife of Bath would approve of? What would the Wife think about the crime (in the original by John Gower, the crime was kidnapping).
4. What sentence does the Queen pass on the Knight? He is given one year to find the answer to a question. What is the question? What is the answer? Is this an answer consistent with what we know about the Wife of Bath and her marriages?
5. Who gives the knight the answer and where does the knight meet her?
6. What has the story of Midas imbedded in the Wife’s Tale have to do with the story?
7. What has the knight promised the Old Hag in return for the answer to the question?
8. When the Old Hag gives the answer in court, how do the Queen and ladies react? What does the knight do when the Old Hag asks for his promise to be fulfilled?
9. The knight is forced to marry the Old Hag and on their wedding night she lectures him on “gentility” (gentilesse in the middle English) and defends her appearance, age, and poverty. What exactly does she say about in this sermon on gentility?
10 After the lecture, the Old Hag gives the knight a choice (in the original it was “Fair by day and foul by night, or foul by day and fair by night) referring back to the issue of appearance and woman’s fidelity. Chaucer changes the choice. What choice does Chaucer’s Old Hag offer? Which does the Knight choose?
11. How does the Old Hag gain sovereignty over the Knight; why doesn’t he choose? How does the Old Hag reward the Knight for allowing her to choose?
12. How does this ending fit the Wife of Bath’s goals (consider her desire to be young and have young men in bed and have control over them).
13. How does the Old Hag’s method of gaining sovereignty differ from the Wife’s? Is one person truly in control of the other in the marriage of the Knight and the Loathly Lady or do they enjoy mutual sovereignty? Does the Tale really support the Wife’s agenda?

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About Dr. Mandler's English Blog

This blog is dedicated to announcements of various kinds to Dr. Mandler's sophomore and senior English students at Stuyvesant High School.
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