In the Canterbury Tales, what was the prize for telling the best tale? A. a horse B. a dinner or C a book?

3 Answers

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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The answer is B.

The pilgrims all meet at an inn in London before they go to make their way to Canterbury to worship at the shrine of Thomas a Becket.  The owner of the inn is going to be going along also.  He proposes a contest to help pass the time.  He says that they will each tell tales.  They will each tell two on the way down and then two more on the way back.  Whoever tells the best one gets a free dinner at the inn when they return.

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M.P. Ossa | College Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

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The pilgrims agreed to tell their tales, which will be judged by the Tabard Inn's innkeeper. The prize was a dinner, for which the rest of the pilgrims would pick up the tab.

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estoverl | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Assistant Educator

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The Canterbury Tales were written in 1386 by Geoffrey Chaucer. 

In the original language, the portion about the prize for the best tale reads: 

Tales of best sentence and most solas,
Shal have a soper at our aller cost
Here in this place, sitting by this post,
Whan that we come agayn fro Caunterbury.
Therefore, in the second line above, Chaucer writes that the inn keeper promises the person telling the best tale will have a dinner at no cost there in the Inn. The tales are told by a diverse group as they travel together. The inn keeper suggested that they tell the tales to pass the time, then suggested the prize for the best tale. As they travel together to Canterbury, each is to tell two tales and on the return trip, two more tales. Once back at the inn, the inn keeper will decide the winner.