Chaucer’s Wife of Bath entertains us with a tale about the question, What does every woman most desire? Plot spoiler: To rule her man. Shakespeare’s comedies respond to this desire.
His comedies portray cunning and attractive women who win the object of their desires and fend off evil that threatens their love (Portia in The Merchant of Venice). The plot could easily lead to tragedy (Romeo and Juliet), but instead powerful will, aided by chance, enables the perfect matches to take place (Midsummer Night’s Dream).