The Wife of Bath.

The Wife of Bath.

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  • Date Submitted: 02/14/2009 2:40 AM
  • Category: English
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Ray Canada
Eng. 632

Monks are spiritual leaders that dedicate their lives to finding the truth. Unlike most religions, they

do not focus on God. They believe that individuals are responsible for their own lives. Monks do not

interact with the outside world so many live separately in monastery’s. They take a vow of

abstinence and their lives revolve around meditation and prayer. Chaucer portrays monks as a religious

group that failed to live up to their own expectations.

When you think of a monk, you should have a picture in your mind of a being that is spiritually

advanced. Unlike many people who follow religion, monks do not wish to do good because there is a

reward in the end. They follow truth because that is what they seek and they are always in search of a

higher reality. They have a reputation for staying secluded from society. They wish to stay amongst

themselves because they are more enlightened than those in the natural world. Monks do not wish to

become tainted with the evils that exist outside of monastary walls. According to Mayank Chhaya’s book

Dalai Lama, “…Buddha reasoned that all the world are essentially born out of selfish desires or thirst”

(42). Monks believe that no individual can reach nirvanna (ultimate truth) if they are controlled by their

own personal desires.

When analyzing various generations of monks, historically they gave up all of their worldly possessions

before they joined the monastery. So traditionally, monks have always been apart of societies lower

class or poor people. However, Chaucer viewed monks quite differently. He believed they were

priviledged. In the General Prologue Chaucer wrote, A monk ther was, a fair for the maistrie” (332). The

monks that he saw wore better clothing than the common people. Chaucer also pointed out

that the monks enjoyed hunting. However, this seems strange because these spiritual guides respect all


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