Lines 234-248: What is the knight’s response to this request?
He asks her to think of another request—tells her to take his goods, but not his body
He refers to marrying her as “damnation”
Lines 249-258: What tortures the knight the most about the old woman?
He wants his body and reputation
Lines 270-279: The old woman sees how unhappy the knight is and asks him to reveal why. She will refute each of his complaints. What are his reasons that he’s unhappy?
She’s old, plain, poor, low-class
Lines 274-279: Is the knight’s reaction to the old woman an example of direct or indirect characterization? What does it reveal about his character?
Indirecthe is egotistical & shallow. He places too much emphasis on rank & appearance
Lines 280-352: Explain how the old woman refutes the knight’s claim that she is not of “gentle birth.”
Gentle birth is gentleness/kindness; it doesn’t come from social rank, but it comes from God. It’s kindness and virtuous—the way one treats another. It’s based on how one acts, not on who the parents are
Lines 353-382: How does the old woman respond to the knight’s claim that she is poor?
God lived in poverty & we all follow him; There’s no shame in poverty if the heart is “right;” those who whine, fret, covet are poor; the poor has nothing to tempt a thief; Poverty strengthens one’s relationship with God
Lines 383-394: How does the old woman refute his claim that she is too old? What is a potential benefit of being old?
Men have been taught to respect old age=honorable
At least she won’t cheat on him; she’ll remain faithful
Lines 395-403: Ultimately, what two choices does the old woman give the knight?
To have her old & ugly until she dies, but loyal, true & humble & won’t displease him
Young, pretty (in which people come visit them b/c of her)
Lines 404-411: What is the knight’s response? What is significant about line 407?
*He’ll let her decidehe learned a lesson of what women want; he’s become less arrogant; he says, “whatever pleases you suffices me.” (line 411)
Lines 412-425: Is the old woman happy about his answer? Explain.
Yes! She’s very pleased—she says she’s honorable and faithful
Lines 426-432: What happens to the “old” lady?
She tells him to move the curtain & there in light, she was young & lovely!
Lines 433-440: What is ironic about the Wife of Bath’s ending to this story? Is there any irony here?