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What is the Doctor's physical description in "The General Prologue" of The Canterbury...

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parris | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted October 31, 2009 at 1:52 AM via web

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What is the Doctor's physical description in "The General Prologue" of The Canterbury Tales?

Include clothing and accompaniments (weapons, jewelry, gear, purses, equipment, animal, etc.).

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Karen P.L. Hardison | College Teacher | eNotes Employee

Posted November 5, 2009 at 6:53 AM (Answer #1)

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In The General Prologue of The Canterbury Tales, the narrator gives a very long description of the Doctour of Phisik's (Doctor of Medicine's) credentials and accomplishments but gives only a brief physical description. No mode of transportation is mentioned nor any weapons or other accouterments. All we know of the Doctor is that his clothing is of blue and scarlet and lined with taffeta and sendal. Taffeta is a delicate, crisp silk fabric that lusterously shines and makes a rustling sound in response to movement. Sendal is a thin, soft silk fabric of Medieval fashion. He carried gold with him, earned as fees during the "pestilence" and he was careful about his expenditures. The gold was valuable to the Doctor because it was used medicinally in restorative cordials. (It is interesting to note that gold and silver are again being recommended as health aids.)

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