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Word Count: 1,841
Throughout Chaucers Canterbury Tales the marriages in the stories are as different and as intertwined as the pilgrims themselves who told of these tales The diversity amongst the marriages was well illustrated by the following tales The Wife of Bath Alisouns departure from the standard beliefs whose principle was that the wife should rule the husband for a happy marriage The Clerk Walter showed the accepted and traditional view of the husband as the master over the wife The Merchant as depicted by January showed personal bitterness towards women and in the Franklins Tale Arveragus and Dorigen idealized mutual love and honor between husband and wife The Wife of Bath Of husbands at church door have I had five 311 welcome the sixth whenever come he shall 312 Alisoun was thought to be a loose woman almost trampish but her feelings were so I am free to wed in Gods name where it pleases me 312 She had three good husbands all of which were old and rich who treated her well and she picked them clean her other two husbands were bad Her fourth husband had a mistress so Alisoun pretended to be unfaithful as well an sent him to his grave But certainly I showed so gay a soul that in his own thick grease I made him fry for anger and for utter jealousy By God on earth I was his purgatory 324 The fifth husband though she loved him the best was the one that beat her After striking her for tearing out a page in his cursed book seeing how she lay so helpless he said O my dear sister Alison so help me God Ill never strike you more 332 My own true wedded wife do as you please the term of all your life guard your own honor and keep fair my state after that day we never had debate 332 Alisoun believed that the woman
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