The Wife of Bath’s Tale:

The Wife of Bath’s Tale:

The Wife of Bath’s Tale: “‘Thanne have I gete of yow maistrye,’ quod she, / Sin I may chese and governe as me lest?’” / ‘Ye, certes, wyf,’ quod he, ‘I holde it best’”

Do a close reading with a thesis and evidence from the text I will provide. A strong close reading uses textual evidence (passages from the poems) to make a larger argument about one or more of the themes with which the work contends. Your argument must be rooted in textual evidence, i.e., quotes from the poem you have chosen to work with.
Close reading is a two-step process: 1) observe the text, looking for things that stand out to you as strange or odd, such as surprising word choices, striking metaphors or similes, or repeated phrases; 2) analyze those oddities, and use them to tell us something about the poem as a whole.

Choose the following passage and build a close reading from it. While you may certainly look to other passages in the poem to help support your claim, your essay should focus mainly on the lines picked out below. Look closely at the language.

The Wife of Bath’s Tale: “‘Thanne have I gete of yow maistrye,’ quod she, / Sin I may chese and governe as me lest?’” / ‘Ye, certes, wyf,’ quod he, ‘I holde it best’” (Wife of Bath’s Tale, ll. 1236-38).

I will provide two texts on in middle English and another one in middle English with contemporary translation. Use the middle English version for evidence for close reading and for the translation text you can get help to understand the text itself in modern English.
Kindly follow all the instructions mentioned above.

Here is an example of how a close reading should look alike. For example:
In the General Prologue to The Canterbury Tales, the Knight is described as “a verray, parfit, gentil knight” (l. 72). We said that “gentil” is being used to tell us something about what the Knight is like as a person (his character and behavior) and something about his status or birth (he is of “noble” blood). What does it mean, do you think, to have the word “gentil” mean both of these things at once in the text? In what ways are those two concepts linked—or in conflict—in this poem? No matter which passage you work with, you’ll need to put it in context with the work as a whole. For example, you might think about how the Knight is dressed (in armor “bismotered” from a long list of brutal, violent battles); you might think about how he fits in or doesn’t with the other pilgrims; you might compare him to another character in particular, and relate his “gentil”-ness to theirs (or to their lack thereof). What does all of this work reveal about, say, the poem’s treatment of social status? Of religion? Of masculinity? In other words: there are lots of right answers in a close reading. You can go off in lots of different directions. The key is to root your arguments in the text itself.

Answer preview for The Wife of Bath’s Tale: “‘Thanne have I gete of yow maistrye,’ quod she, / Sin I may chese and governe as me lest?’” / ‘Ye, certes, wyf,’ quod he, ‘I holde it best’”

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