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  • Friar: Madame, what did the light show?

  • Expostulation.

  • But surely only a preamble, I trust?

  • Impressive, isn't he?

  • A friar dedicated to poverty, begging.

  • Do you he's even been known to stump

  • up a girl's dowery out of his own pocket so she can get married nice and quick?

  • It seems the church has got its hands on all the

  • serious studs. [inaudible]

  • Wife of Bath: That's why wives end up like church's candles.

  • Summoner: What's all this?

  • What a [inaudible].

  • You don't like it. Why don't you boil your bum?

  • He hauls people off to court, a summoner by rank.

  • Summoner: Oi, what's a fly got in common with a friar?

  • They both got their snounts in your lunch.

  • [laughing]

  • Friar: I'll a story or two about summoners, then we'll

  • see who snickers.

  • Wife of Bath: If nobody minds, Sir Friar.

  • Friar: We'd be honored.

  • Wife of Bath: Thank you.

  • Summoner: [belches]

  • Wife of Bath: Back in the good old days of King Arthur there was

  • spirits everywhere you looked.

  • Nowadays with all the friars going 'round, they're all gone.

  • At King Arthur's court there was

  • a strong, lusty, knight bachelor, and one day

  • he was riding down by the river.

  • He was all alone

  • and he saw this virgin lass.

  • [screams]

  • [neighing]

  • Of course there was an absolute outcry.

  • Arthur gave him over to Guinevere.

  • She should choose whether to save his blood, or spill it.

  • Guinevere: I'll spare you if you can tell us

  • what do women most desire?

  • Wife of Bath: But can the knight speak up?

  • Guinevere: An answer to that will keep

  • your neck bone safe from this hard iron.

  • Knight: [stammering, whimpering]

  • I don't know.

  • Guinevere: I suppose if you can't tell us now

  • we'll let you have twelve months and a day.

  • Go!

  • Wife of Bath: He went to every door in every town

  • where he could hope to unearth the answer, but everyone had a different idea.

  • Knight: Could you tell me what does a woman most desire?

  • Man: Her place in society.

  • Knight: My good man, what do women most desire?

  • Man: Money.

  • Fancy clothes.

  • A real good singing to. [laughing]

  • Wife of Bath: The day had come that he must turn homeward.

  • His spirit was broken. His hopes bitter ashes.

  • His route took him through a forest, and there

  • he saw four and twenty dancing ladies.

  • Knight: Maybe they'll have the answer.

  • Maybe.

  • [gasps]

  • Old Woman: No way through here, sir.

  • Tell us what you're looking for.

  • Knight: What do women most desire?

  • If you can tell, I'll make it worth your while.

  • Old Woman: Give your oath you'll do the

  • very next thing I'll ask of you, and before

  • sunset you'll have your answer.

  • Knight: My oath! You have it. Anything.

  • Old Woman: Your life is safe.

  • Listen.

  • [crowd chatting, laughing]

  • Guinevere: Silence!

  • Well?

  • Knight: My Lady Queen.

  • Apparently women desire sovereignty over husband and lover.

  • They desire the upper hand at all times.

  • Now do with me as you will!

  • Wife of Bath: None of them, not wife, nor virgin, or widow, could argue with that.

  • He had his life.

  • Old Woman: Sovereign Lady Queen?

  • I gave him that answer.

  • In return he swore he'd do the first thing I asked.

  • Take me as your wife.

  • [crowd laughing]

  • Knight: Take all my worldly goods, if you must.

  • Let my body alone!

  • Old Woman: I want to be your wife, and your love.

  • Knight: My love? My damnation!

  • Sovereign, should someone of my rank be brought so low?

  • Wife of Bath: He had no choice but to marry her.

  • To take the old woman into his bed.

  • And as for all the rejoicing, and all the arrangements for the wedding feast, there wasn't any.

  • No joy. No feast.

  • He became her husband in a private ceremony, and spent the day

  • hidden like an owl.

  • Old Woman: Darling husband, are all Arthur's knights

  • so hard to please?

  • I saved your life. What have I done wrong?

  • Tell me. I'll change.

  • Knight: Change! Wonderful. Change?

  • You're so hideous, so old, and so common.

  • Old Woman: I can try, if only you'd behave

  • a little more courteously to me.

  • Knight: Are you surprised at me?

  • Old Woman: All your talk of nobility. Arrogance!

  • The man who attempts the noblest deeds, he's the noblest man.

  • Knight: You will always be old. Always ugly.

  • Old Woman: Then you need never fear a rival.

  • You have a choice.

  • Plane and old, but your faithful, obedient wife.

  • Or young and beautiful, and danger whenever

  • friends visit our house.

  • Whatever you prefer.

  • Knight: [exclaims]

  • I put myself in your hands.

  • Whatever you want, my wife, pleases me.

  • Old Woman: Do I have the upper hand then?

  • Do I make all the choices? All decisions?

  • Knight: That is best.

  • Old Woman: No more arguments.

  • I will be beautiful and true.

  • Look at me.

  • Kiss me.

  • [both laughing]

  • Wife of Bath: May Christ send us all husbands as meek, and young, and hard

  • and the grace to break them.

  • Man: I should say so. And a swift exit for those who won't be broken.

  • Man 2: Well, I'll give a barrel of ale to have my wife

  • hear that story. Talk about upper hand? [laughs]

Friar: Madame, what did the light show?

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B1 UK knight wife bath woman friar desire

The Wife of Baths Tale - animated (captioned)

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