How Humor Is Often Exhibited In Tales

1069 words - 5 pages

Through history there have been many funny events and moments. Many of these events and moments have been told in short stories and tales. “The Wife of Bath’s Tale” by Geoffery Chaucer is a prime example of how a tale exhibits such humor. The Wife of Bath, on many accounts, provides the reader with a funny moment or joke. In her tale, majority of the humor can be categorized into three types such as social acceptability, safety valve and social cohesion.
“The Wife of Bath’s Tale” provides the reader with social acceptability which targets unacceptable behavior by in lines 59-64 (Wilhelm, 139) “There was a knight who was a lusty liver. One day as he come riding from the river he saw a maiden ...view middle of the document...

” It is unacceptable behavior because nobody can turn themselves back younger again. It is funny because it shows how a person will try hard to please and satisfy another person. The Wife of Bath gave another illustration of social acceptability in lines 431-434 (Wilhelm, 148) “And she responded in the fullest measure…in perfect bliss.” Which tells about the knight and old woman who turned herself young’s relationship was in perfect bliss. It is funny because nothing can be perfect. A perfect relationship is full of lies. One last exquisite display of social acceptability humor are lines 8-9 (Wilhelm, 134) “You’ll taste another brew before I’ve done; You’ll find it doesn’t taste as good as ale” by from what the Wife of Bath said, the reader can infer that the Pardoner was drinking alcohol when he is not supposed to. She targeted the Pardoner’s actions of drinking alcohol and drinking alcohol is unacceptable behavior because of the church’s guidelines
The second type of humor demonstrated in “The Wife of Bath’s Tale” was safety valve which releases the feelings of hostility, powerlessness or sexuality into a harmless joke. Lines 101-106 (Wilhelm, 137) “Some said that women wanted wealth and treasure…was that we should be cosseted and flattered.” Shows humor because it is hard to please someone. Another prime example of safety valve shown in this tale are lines 167-176 (Wilhelm, 140) “he saw a dance upon the leafy floor of four and twenty ladies, nay, and more…could scarcely be imagined.” This shows humor because as the Wife of Bath tells the story about the perverted knight approaching 24 naked women, the listeners are all probably listening hard and wondering if he is going to try anything but then all of a sudden they all disappear and here appears this extremely old woman. That is the joke of the century. The antepenultimate example in this tale of safety valve are lines 390-392...

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