Characters Discussed (Cyclopedia of Literary Characters, Revised Third Edition)
The Knight, a courtly medieval fighting man who has served king and religion all over the known world. Modest in dress and speech, though the highest in rank of the pilgrims to Canterbury, he rides with only his son and a yeoman in attendance. He tells a metrical romance, the first of the stories in the series related by the various pilgrims. His is a tale of courtly love, the story of the love two young Theban noblemen, Palamon and Arcite, have for Emily, the beautiful sister-in-law of Duke Theseus of Athens. The young men compete in a tourney for the girl’s hand. Palamon wins but is killed in an accident, so that Arcite eventually has his love rewarded.
The Squire, the Knight’s son. A young man of twenty years, he has fought in several battles. Like his father, he is full of knightly courtesy, but he also enjoys a good time. He tells a story of adventure and enchantment in a distant land. The story he leaves unfinished tells of three gifts sent to Canacee, daughter of King Cambuscan. Each of the gifts has magic powers: a ring that enables the bearer to talk to birds, a brass horse that will take its rider anywhere, and a mirror that shows the truth and the future. The ring enables Canacee to learn the story of a lovelorn hawk for the mate who has deserted her.
The Yeoman, the Knight’s attendant, a forester who takes excellent care of his gear. He...
(The entire section is 1453 words.)
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