In interpreting the character of the Squire as presented in the “General Prologue” to Geoffrey Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales, it is important to remember not only that he is the son of the Knight but also that the description of the Squire immediately follows the description of the Knight. The two characters can be read as symbolic opposites in many ways and, of the two, the Knight seems by far the better role model. Some traits of the Squire include the following:
- He is “yong” (79). It was often assumed in the Middle Ages that young people were more likely to be passionate and unreasonable than older people. This was by no means always the case, of course, but it does seem to be the case with the Squire, especially in contrast to his extremely wise father.
- He is described as a “A lovere and a lusty bachelor” (80), a phrase that suggests quite explicitly his passionate nature; his love seems to be worldly love, and his lust seems to be for things of this world (particularly...
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