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In the poem The Wife of Bath by Geoffrey Chaucer, he defines love in different ways that others might not catch at first until they have taken their time with every line. There are two definitions of how he defines it throughout the poem such as love that is only full of lust and the other is the relationship between two partners that is in the understanding of one another.

At the beginning, it starts with the narrator going through into telling us the tale of the knight as there is a story about Midas as well. First, the story of Midas as there was once a man that had a secret that he had told his wife and told her to keep to themselves. Her love for him had kept her from not telling another soul. But as time went on her heart ached and it made her heart pump faster thinking about it. She goes to a marsh and whispers to it as the marsh flows it tells the village leaving Midas´s secret out. This is one of the ways that Chaucer defines love, love in a way that even though she had felt so betrayed had tried her best to keep it inside but in the end her love could not keep it in leaving her to go mad. One piece of evidence that goes to this claim is, ¨Keeping this secret her heart and she, no doubt, Thought it was on the point of bursting out.¨ (Chaucer, 140-142). Even before this quote, Midas had said that he had trusted her and loved her the most to be able to tell her and know that she would not let it out to anyone else.

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Second definition that Chaucer defined love as when the knight and the old woman had wedded their conversation right after they had sealed it. The knight had wanted her to free him from her. But she refused and told him how even though he may be gentle and caring with or without being watched he should be truly honest. Of course, she had given him the opportunity to decide on what he thinks she should be as his wife. He thought and in the end, gave her the answer to this. ¨My lady and my love, my dearest wife, I leave the matter to your wise decision. You make the choice yourself, for the provision Of what may be agreeable and rich In honor to us both, I don´t care which; Whatever pleases you suffices me.¨ (Chaucer, 405-409). This quote tells us that he understands now that it is not his decision to make for his wife and that he should let her decide what she does in their relationship. Chaucer defines this love as a love that is on both ends of the spectrum having to trust, care, and love your individual with equal sides. Having to understand their point of view on situations and if you think that it is not to your liking then conversate with them.

It is true that there are many ways that love is defined and I may not have fully understood most of the time while reading this poem but in a way, there are times that you should look at what you read thoroughly. The way that Chaucer had defined love is interesting as though if I had to read the original version I would have understood it more and gathered the way that he wants to tell us more about how love is and how you should see it in.

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Informative Essay about ‘Wife of Bath’s Tale’.
(2023, November 20). Edubirdie. Retrieved January 19, 2024, from

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