Medieval English law maintained that it was impossible for a man to rape his legal spouse. Yet across literature of the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, medieval writers fixated upon the figure of the spouse who was unwilling to have sex with his or her partner. This marked attention suggests that while marital consent was a closed discussion in the realm of medieval law, it remained open and alive in the literary imagination. In the Canterbury Tales, Chaucer presents a range of unwilling spouses, from saint’s life to romance to fabliau. As Chaucer remixes theories of consent across genres, the Canterbury Tales makes its most radical statement on marital consent in the fabliau. In the Shipman’s Tale, the wife’s negotiation of her own multiple sexual relationships denaturalizes the basic assumptions of marital consent, opening up the imaginative space necessary to theorize marital rape.