The Wife of Bath’s Prologue and Tale
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The Wife of Bath’s Prologue and Tale book
The previous chapters have drawn attention to the crucial importance of literary convention and stereotype in the construction of character. Whether the received image be that of Mirth, or of Geoffrey of Vinsauf s ideal woman, or a mystery play representation of Mrs Noah, it is not possible to take the true measure of Chaucer’s creations without considering the interplay between model and innovation. The same holds true for another woman who, to an even greater extent than her counterpart in the Miller’s Tale, has been hailed as one of Chaucer’s most enduring and realistic characters.