In the Merchant's Tale, who are the characters and what are some important details on them?Need most info on January, May, Damien, and Placebo

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linda-allen eNotes educator| Certified Educator

You can find this information in the eNotes study guide on The Canterbury Tales in the summary of "The Merchant's Tale." I've pasted a link to this article below, but here are some excerpts from it that may help you:

January is an Italian knight who has remained a bachelor for 60 years. However, he has recently become convinced that the married state is the happiest and has, therefore, decided that he will take a wife....

January imagines all the town's eligible women and considers their virtues and attractiveness. His choice finally rests on May, a girl of 20 who is poor, but very beautiful....

...January's handsome young squire, Damian, is so in love with May that he is nearly overcome with passion. He writes a love poem to the bride, puts it in a silken purse, and wears it next to his heart until the opportunity presents itself to give it to May....

The following description of Placebo comes from the Masterplots summary of the tale. You can find this summary at eNotes at the link below.

Prior to choosing a mate, January solicits his friends and brothers for advice but listens only to the advice from Placebo (whose name is Latin for “I will please”), which concurs with January’s own desires to marry.

Read the study guide:
The Canterbury Tales

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