"He sent his captives home by sea, not land" describes what character in Canterbury tales?

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Kristen Lentz | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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The Sailor "sent his captives home by sea, not land" in The Canterbury Tales.  Featured in the Prologue section, the Sailor, also known as the Skipper, is a character of questionable morals and ill repute.  The line "sent his captives home by sea, not land" refers to the act of killing any of his captives and giving them a burial at sea, rather than letting them go home of their own accord.  The narrator pays special attention to the Sailor's physical details and characteristics of dress like riding in a hackney and wearing "thick rough cloth", which reveal that the Sailor was probably very poor and definitely not one of the more illustrious figures in The Canterbury Tales.