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What motivates the Franklin in The Canterbury Tales?

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sugie | eNotes Newbie

Posted May 21, 2013 at 11:05 PM via web

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What motivates the Franklin in The Canterbury Tales?

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rrteacher | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted May 22, 2013 at 2:00 AM (Answer #1)

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According to the Prologue, the Franklin is motivated primarily by a love of good food and drink, as well as by entertaining others. We learn that "Delightful living was the goal he'd won/For he was Epicurus' only son." His table was always stocked with "fish and flesh" as well as good wine. While he is also portrayed as a worthy lord, and one who fulfills his duties, above all he values hospitality. This would not necessarily have been viewed as frivolous in Chaucer's day, as hospitality was viewed as an expression of one's power. Indeed, the Franklin's Tale is not a story about worldly delights, but about morality, honor, and marriage. He seems to be an upright, worthy gentleman who enjoys fulfilling his role as an aristocratic entertainer.

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