The Canterbury Tales: Comparison and Contrast of the Wife of Bath and the Knight


In the Canterbury Tales written by Geoffrey Chaucer, the Knight and the Wife of Bath are similar and also different. The Knight represents the nobility and military estate while the Wife of Bath represents the middle status. Both the Knight and the Wife of Bath are fearless. The Knight was a fearless worthy man who fought in the crusades while the Wife of Bath was fearless about her opinions on love, she was outspoken.
The Knight and the Wife of Bath were similar in many ways. They both were best in their talents. The Knight was best knight in all nations in Prussia, “Aboven alle nacions in Pruce”(line 53). The Wife of Bath was the best housewife around, “In al the parisshe wif ne was ther noon”(line 449). The Knight and the Wife of Bath were both skilled. The Knight was skilled in defeating his enemies, “In lystes thries, and ay slayn his foo”(line 63). The Wife of Bath was a talented cloth-maker, “Of clooth-making she hadde swich an haunt”(line 447).
The Knight and the Wife of Bath were well-mannered individuals. The Knight was never rude to anyone “He nevere yet no vileynye ne sayde”(line 70). The Wife of Bath was a respectable individual, “She was a worthy womman al hir lyve”(line 459). The Knight and the Wife of Bath were both worthy individuals, “A Knyght ther was, and that a worthy man” (line 43).
Both the Knight and the Wife of Bath have been to many different places. In Lithuania, the Knight ridden on raids in Russia, “In Lettow hadde he reysed and in Ruce”’(line54), “At Alisaundre he was when it was wonne”(line 51), “In Grenade at the seege eek hadde he be”(line 56), “Of Algezir, and riden in Belmarye”(line 57), “At Lyeys was he and at Satalye”(line 58), “Whan they were wonne , and riden in the Grete See”(line 57), “And foughten for oure feith at Tramyssene”(line 62). The Wife of Bath journeyed three times to Jeruseleum, Rome, Bouglon, Spain, and Cologne, “And thries hadde she been at Jerusalem; At Rome she hadde been, and at Boloigne”, In Galice at Seint-Jame, and at Coloigne”(lines 463, 465-466).
The Knight and the Wife of Bath had remedies for other people. The Knight’s remedy for peoples faith was war, “And foughten for oure feith at Tramyssene”(line 62). The Wife of Bath knew remedies for love sickness, “Of remedies of love she knew per chauce”(line 475). She learned tricks of the trade in the game of love, “For she koude of that art the oulde daunce” (line 476). Both the Knight and the Wife of Bath were wise. The Knight was worthy and wise, “And though that he were worthy, he was wys” (line 68).
Even though the narrator does not say much about the Knights physical appearance, we can assume that the Knight and the Wife of Bath were not identical. The Wife of Bath was a bold face woman with a red hue complexion, “Boold was hire face, and fair, and reed of hewe”(line 458). She was also gapped tooth, “Gat-tothed was she, smoothly for to seye”(line 468) with large hips, “A foot-mantel aboute hir hipes large”, (line472).

The Wife of Bath loves to laugh and chatter, “In felawshipe wel koude of that art the olde daunce” (line 476). The Knight was as quiet as a maid, “And of his portas meeke as is a mayde” (line 69).
The narrator gives off the impression that the Wife of Bath is a poor woman, “That to the offrynge bifore hire sholde goon; And if ther dide, certeyn so wroth was she, That she was out alle charitee, (lines 450-452). It was possible that the Knight was also poor since he fought for his lords wars, “Ful worthy was he in his lordes were”(line 47).
The Wife of Bath was deaf through one ear, “But she was somdel deef, and that was scathe”(line 446). She had five churched husbands, “Housbondes at chirch dore she hadde five”(line 460). It seems as if the narrator mentions that the Wife of Bath had many boyfriends when she was a teenager, “Withouten oother compaignye in youthe-”(line 461). She wore a skirt and sharp shoes, “
The Knight and the