Glam and Jam: The Wife of Bath

Coming to Berkeley as an English major was a daunting thing, especially when I picked up my copy of The Canterbury Tales in all its glory. At 1254 pages, I was ready to throw it to the side and SparkNote the whole thing.

 

Somehow, I gathered the strength to read it. Considering how difficult it is to read Middle Englsih, Chaucer’s wit surprisingly transcends the language barrier. You’d expect some haughtiness from him, but then you get to the Miller’s Tale and realize it’s all a dirty joke. Imagine walking into the first day of class and sitting next to a super uptight guy just to realize he’s really obnoxious and slightly immature. That’s how I felt after digging deeper into the Canterbury Tales. Despite how much I appreciate Chaucer coming off as childish in his humor, the Wife of Bath goes above and beyond.

 

The Wife of Bath is the queen of all manipulative bitches. At the age of forty, she continues to find ways to take advantage of her husbands, most recently going for a fresh 20 year old for husband number five. Props to her, that’s not a challenge easily accomplished. She’s on an entirely different level. The art of seduction must have been a totally different game without iMessage and Tinder. Ah, the days of the 15th century…simpler times.

If I were a man, I’d be entirely too terrified to even approach the Wife of Bath. However, as a fellow woman, I’m terrified at the thought of befriending her. Her fearlessness and brutal honesty paired with her intentions and desires are traits often desired these days. We’re all about being authentic and true to ourselves. But – to what extent? Obviously, most people wouldn’t want to be friends with her either because she’s a bit too honest and open – or maybe it’s because her honesty and openness shows us the worst sides of her.

Fortunately, she’s a fictional character, so we’ll never really have to deal with her. But to try and bring myself as close as possible to her, I thought of the Wife of Bath’s modern wardrobe and a playlist she’d jam to. She’s scary as hell, so naturally The Wife of Bath would sport a genuine leather bomber jacket with shoulder spikes. In The Canterbury Tales she wears spurs. Spurs. Who wears spurs? Following with the spikes theme, she’d own a pair of intense suede booties with spikes going up the heels. She’s intimidating. She won’t hide that from anyone. Her outer presentation of herself would match her personality, and she’d find no reason to mask it.

Playlist

  1. Run the World (Girls) // Beyoncé
  2. How to Be a Heartbreaker // Marina and the Diamonds
  3. The Fear // Lily Allen
  4. Bad // The Cab
  5. One Minute Man // Missy Elliot

 

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