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Warm-up 09/26. “Satire is a sort of glass wherein beholders do generally discover everybody’s face but their own, which is the chief reason so few are offended by it .” –Jonathan Swift Reflect on the above definition, and in your own words, explain satire.

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warm up 09 26
Warm-up 09/26

“Satire is a sort of glass wherein beholders do generally discover everybody’s face but their own, which is the chief reason so few are offended by it.” –Jonathan Swift

  • Reflect on the above definition, and in your own words, explain satire.
  • Name three examples of satire (real in the media or made-up) in modern day. Explain the satire in each of these.
  • How old was she when she first wed?
  • Which husband did she love most, and why?
  • Why is she deaf in one ear?
  • Why does the knight have to go on a quest to find what women want most?
  • What is the secret, and who ultimately tells him the secret?
  • What price does the knight have to pay the old woman?
  • What happens in the end? Be specific.
warm up 09 30
Warm-up 09/30
  • Write a sentence for each of your vocabulary words.
  • When you are finished, review for your quiz.
  • In the US, refers mainly to cabaret dancers.
  • In satire, is an umbrella term that refers to the kind of satire that creates a discrepancy between subject and style.


-Mockery of something serious -Imitation of an author


chaucer vs church
Chaucer vs. Church
  • The views of the church fathers are incredibly black and white and very rigid, which make them either:
    • A) Easy to criticize and satirize because they are so extreme.
    • B) To be taken very seriously because of how strict they are and how influential they were.
      • Some evidence even suggests that a woman’s submission to her husband was written in medieval law.
who s talking
Who’s talking?
  • Chaucer the Pilgrim
    • The character who is on the journey, traveling with the group.
    • He can be blamed for anything controversial he says.
    • The narrator of the story.
  • Chaucer the Poet
    • The man behind all of the tales.
    • Which of his pilgrim’s views can we assume are his own?
    • He can hide behind “Chaucer the Pilgrim”
guiding question
Guiding question

Is the Wife of Bath an object of satire or an instrument of it?

  • Object: Antifeminist View
    • Warning against what happens when women gain power; a monster is created. Women will use their sexual powers for nothing but harm.
  • Instrument: Feminist View
    • Exposes the absurdity of the strict views of marriage, sex, and gender roles held by the “authorities” of the time; exposes the absurdity of their fear of women taking power through an extreme, unrealistic example
wob according to chaucer the pilgrim
WOB: According to Chaucer the Pilgrim
  • Somewhat deaf.
  • Skilled in cloth-making.
  • 1st to offering at church.
    • Would get angry if someone went ahead; lost charity for her neighbor.
  • Other women scared of her.
  • Flashy dress
    • Heavy head cover; huge hat; scarlet red stockings; new shoes; sharp spurs
  • Bold facial features
  • Red coloring (hair and skin, fair)
  • Widely set apart teeth
  • Large hips; skirt covering
  • Married 5 husbands.
    • Not counting other company in her youth.
  • 3 religious pilgrimages.
    • Jerusalem
  • Traveled many exotic places
  • Knew how to laugh and chatter; sociable
  • Knew about love’s remedies
questions to consider
Questions to consider
  • Has Chaucer created a monster by bringing the antifeminist tradition to life in The Wife of Bath? Or, does Chaucer refute that tradition by showing the absurdity of the antifeminist fear?
  • The Wife of Bath claims that “experience” is a better guide to truth than learned “authorities.” Is there any evidence that Chaucer believes this and is thereby giving us reason to question the authorities?
  • Has he assembled all the authorities cited in the “Prologue” in order to demonstrate their shortcomings? Or does the Wife expose her own moral deficiencies in her effort to dismiss them? (In other words, is this a caution against not taking the authorities seriously? Or is this an affirmation that there ARE problems with their thinking?)
the wife of bath is she convincing
The wife of bath: is she convincing?
  • With a partner, you will read and analyze The Wife of Bath’s arguments in her prologue. You should locate 8 arguments of the Church Fathers and 8 counter-arguments of The Wife of Bath. Cut out the 8 arguments of each and glue them in the appropriate categories. Then you will summarize the argument and decide who you think is more convincing.