Presentation Title: Evading Mortality with Humor: Falstaff and the Wife of Bath
Section: Ethical Complications III
Location: McCardell Bicentennial Hall, 303
Date & Time: Friday, April 19, 2013 - 2:30pm - 2:45pm
William Shakespeareâ€™s Falstaff and Geoffrey Chaucerâ€™s the Wife of Bath are two of the greatest and most-discussed literary characters in the English language. Critics often connect the two, citing the Wife as a possible inspiration for Falstaff. In my research, I argue that the charactersâ€™ dual nature is what makes them so appealing to us as readers. Both Falstaff and the Wife of Bath embody two elements at the core of human nature: they live their lives as pleasure-seekers and they are deeply afraid of their own mortality. We enjoy and laugh at their humor, wit, and larger-than-life personalities, while we empathize with their fear of death. I discuss how the intricate weaving of perhaps the greatest dichotomy of human nature has caused these characters to become two of the most recognized names in Shakespeare and Chaucerâ€™s works.
Type of Presentation: Individual oral
Presentation Area: English & American Literature
Number of presenters:
Presenter(s): Berry, Jessica Kelly (Jess)
Major(s): English and American Literature
Class Year(s): 2013
Sponsor(s): Bertolini, John A.
Dept(s): English and American Literature