The Chaucer Review: An Indexed Bibliography (Vols. 1-30)Return to the Subject List
Meyer, Robert J. "Chaucer's Tandem Romances: A Generic Approach to the Wife of Bath's Tale as Palinode." 18 (1984): 221-38.
The Wife of Bath correctly identifies the young knight as the protagonist of her tale. If readers follow the tale closely, they realize that the tale is also the story of the Wife's quest to understand love. Careful reading suggests that the hag adheres to an ideal of love opposed to that of Guinevere and courtly love. The Wife identifies with the young knight. In the course of the tale, the young knight moves from immature ideals of love to more mature perceptions, and the tale splits into two parts around this difference. In the end, the Wife of Bath presents an ideal vision of love but recognizes that she can never reach it.