The Canterbury Tales Questions and Answers

The Canterbury Tales

Irony occurs when events turn out the opposite of what is expected, while satire pokes fun at social problems. Both the monk and the friar are supposed to live humble lives in service of others and...

Latest answer posted January 20, 2021, 12:53 pm (UTC)

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The Canterbury Tales

While the Pardoner himself would like his listeners to draw the moral that greed leads to destruction, Chaucer implies a more subtle lesson: beware of hypocrisy. The Pardoner's tale is about three...

Latest answer posted May 8, 2021, 6:53 pm (UTC)

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The Canterbury Tales

The Pardoner is a fraud, a cheat, and a charlatan who goes round selling pardons even though he has no authority to do so. Over time, he's developed quite a thriving business, and many people are...

Latest answer posted March 27, 2021, 10:36 am (UTC)

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The Canterbury Tales

Chaucer's "Nun's Priest's Tale" relates the adventures (and misadventures) of the proud rooster Chanticleer. The key word here is “proud,” for the main theme of the tale is pride. Chanticleer is a...

Latest answer posted October 20, 2020, 2:07 pm (UTC)

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The Canterbury Tales

Literary critics cannot agree on the identity of the old man, but there are several possibilities of who this mysterious character may be. First, it's possible that he is Death itself. When the old...

Latest answer posted November 18, 2015, 3:34 pm (UTC)

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The Canterbury Tales

The consensus is that there are only two morals to The Wife of Bath's Tale, although the Wife expresses three primary opinions in her tale; more about her opinions can be read in the answer to...

Latest answer posted November 21, 2009, 10:23 am (UTC)

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The Canterbury Tales

It's so long since I read the Canterbury Tales in full that I wouldn't venture an opinion on this, but I would point out that Chaucer is often very ironical and that, even when he appears to be...

Latest answer posted November 18, 2008, 10:11 pm (UTC)

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The Canterbury Tales

The purpose of the prologue is to give readers a general overview of the characters that are present, why they are present there, and what they will be doing. The narrator begins by telling us how...

Latest answer posted November 14, 2018, 1:12 am (UTC)

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The Canterbury Tales

The main characters in "The Wife of Bath's Tale" are the knight and the hag who saves him. The knight is a young warrior who rapes a young girl and is brought before Guinevere and a jury of women...

Latest answer posted July 10, 2019, 4:03 am (UTC)

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The Canterbury Tales

The Wife of Bath holds a favorable view of marriage. She considers herself an authority on the subject, since she was first married at age twelve and has had five husbands since then. Her views of...

Latest answer posted November 10, 2020, 12:22 pm (UTC)

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The Canterbury Tales

The initial 30 pilgrims are all gathered at the Tabard inn prior to starting their pilgrimage. The end goal of their travels is Canterbury, which seems like a cop out answer. The reason that all...

Latest answer posted February 23, 2016, 12:18 am (UTC)

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The Canterbury Tales

In Geoffrey Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales, the prize for telling the best tale on their pilgrimage was a free dinner, paid for by all who are going on the journey to Canterbury. It is the...

Latest answer posted October 8, 2017, 12:26 am (UTC)

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The Canterbury Tales

At the time Geoffrey Chaucer wrote the General Prologue and the twenty-four stories in The Canterbury Tales, pilgrimages—journeys to sacred places undertaken as an act of religious devotion, an act...

Latest answer posted October 31, 2020, 3:11 pm (UTC)

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The Canterbury Tales

I think Chaucer had multiple purposes in writing the Canterbury Tales, some of which we will never know! He clearly was disenchanted with the Catholic church and uses a lot of satire in his tales,...

Latest answer posted November 8, 2008, 10:20 pm (UTC)

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The Canterbury Tales

When an author writes satire, they use humor, irony, sarcasm, and/or exaggeration to poke fun at the vices, follies, and corruption of individuals, groups, customs, practices, ideas, government,...

Latest answer posted November 7, 2020, 6:25 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Canterbury Tales

Chaucer has a low opinion of the monk, as he does most of the clergy. Chaucer uses a subtle sarcasm to express his dislike. He describes the monk as liking to spend his time hunting and riding...

Latest answer posted October 29, 2008, 2:22 am (UTC)

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The Canterbury Tales

The Wife of Bath's story obviously reveals her own personality and her desire for sex. She is obviously a very lustful woman who has a preoccupation with sex. In that time period, a woman showing...

Latest answer posted November 21, 2019, 7:45 pm (UTC)

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The Canterbury Tales

The message delivered in the Wife of Bath's tale is related to the quest embarked upon by the knight in the story. In order to avoid being put to death for raping a young maiden, the knight has to...

Latest answer posted October 24, 2020, 11:27 am (UTC)

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The Canterbury Tales

The answer to this question is not as straightforward as it first appears. If the question is asking specifically about "pilgrims," then the answer is 30. The narrator makes 1, and he meets 29...

Latest answer posted January 11, 2016, 8:27 pm (UTC)

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The Canterbury Tales

While the three rioters in the Pardoner’s Tale are restlessly looking for death, they meet a poor, old man on the way. An old man, and a poor, with them did meet Although the old man talks to...

Latest answer posted February 20, 2014, 6:02 pm (UTC)

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The Canterbury Tales

The friar doesn't look much like we would probably expect a friar to look. Since friars are supposed to live in poverty, Chaucer's friar is definitely not a typical friar. I'll indicate the...

Latest answer posted November 15, 2010, 11:55 pm (UTC)

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The Canterbury Tales

A metaphor compares two dissimilar things that share the same characteristics, without using "like or as." The following example is a metaphor in the Prologue of The Canterbury Tales. Describing...

Latest answer posted November 7, 2010, 1:35 pm (UTC)

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The Canterbury Tales

First, the Knight and the squire are two people. The squire is the Knight's son. The Knight is the first pilgrim described in the General Prologue and he is described in glowing terms. He...

Latest answer posted January 12, 2009, 9:00 pm (UTC)

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The Canterbury Tales

In The Canterbury Tales, the pilgrims—a group of 29 travelers and the narrator—are traveling with the objective of making a four-day religious pilgrimage to the Cathedral in Canterbury, where the...

Latest answer posted October 26, 2018, 2:45 am (UTC)

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The Canterbury Tales

There wouldn't be anything unusual in today's society about the Wife of Bath. She'd be one of many women of a certain age with the wealth and the independence to lead the kind of life she wants to...

Latest answer posted March 7, 2019, 7:28 am (UTC)

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The Canterbury Tales

The purpose of the "Pardoner’s Tale" is to show greed and corruption within the church. To understand this, one has to be sure to read the prologue to the tale, which gives us real insight into...

Latest answer posted October 24, 2015, 5:26 pm (UTC)

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The Canterbury Tales

[Another way to categorize the pilgrims in The Canterbury Tales is as follows.] Pilgrims who are related to the feudal system include the Knight, the Squire, the Franklin (a "free man" in feudal...

Latest answer posted September 28, 2016, 4:55 pm (UTC)

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The Canterbury Tales

Chaucer's narrative art is most prominently displayed and praised in his epic poem The Canterbury Tales. While many sources cite Chaucer as the father of poetry, he was also keenly observant of...

Latest answer posted September 5, 2017, 4:24 am (UTC)

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The Canterbury Tales

Satire intends to mock social rules and customs the author finds ludicrous or even harmful. Chaucer's work is packed with satire of medieval society, from the church to the ruling classes. While...

Latest answer posted October 17, 2019, 1:28 pm (UTC)

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The Canterbury Tales

This piece of literature is the very first of its kind. It is the first collection/anthology of short stories as we know them today. Chaucer brilliantly gives us an amazingly accurate cross...

Latest answer posted October 22, 2007, 1:10 am (UTC)

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The Canterbury Tales

"The General Prologue" to The Canterbury Tales serves two main functions: to offer context for the text to follow and to introduce all of the pilgrims. In fulfilling both of these purposes, Chaucer...

Latest answer posted December 11, 2019, 2:59 pm (UTC)

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The Canterbury Tales

In the Prologue, Chaucer writes of the Wife of Bath, "At making cloth she had so great a bent / She bettered those of Ypres and even of Ghent" (lines 447-448). The Wife of Bath works in business...

Latest answer posted March 3, 2017, 1:57 am (UTC)

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The Canterbury Tales

In the Friar's Tale, Chaucer exposes the hypocrisy of the clergy as he has the Friar interact with the Summoner. For, the Friar relates a tale about a summoner, then later the Summoner tells a tale...

Latest answer posted October 20, 2016, 4:32 am (UTC)

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The Canterbury Tales

Not surprisingly, quite a lot of clergy embark on the pilgrimage to Canterbury. They include clergy with titles still common to us today: nun, monk, cleric, parson, canon, prioress, and the nun's...

Latest answer posted June 19, 2016, 11:34 pm (UTC)

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The Canterbury Tales

In Geoffrey Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales, 32 characters make the trip to Canterbury. 29 of these are mentioned in line 24 of the “General Prologue.” The narrator joins this group (making 30). The...

Latest answer posted September 20, 2011, 3:57 am (UTC)

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The Canterbury Tales

The Wife of Bath opens her tale by telling of one of King Arthur’s knights, whom the Wife of Bath describes as a “lusty bacheler,” rapes a young girl: “By verray force, he rafte hire maydenhed”...

Latest answer posted November 30, 2014, 8:47 pm (UTC)

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The Canterbury Tales

The Canterbury Tales, most likely composed between 1387–1400 CE, are centered on the journey of 31 pilgrims (including the poet) to visit Canterbury Cathedral to pay homage Thomas a Becket, the...

Latest answer posted November 11, 2019, 3:39 pm (UTC)

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The Canterbury Tales

Perhaps the best insight into the growing middle class from Chaucer's perspective is his description of The Franklin and that of the group of tradesmen that follows it. The Franklin is a very...

Latest answer posted October 22, 2018, 10:15 pm (UTC)

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The Canterbury Tales

"The Wife of Bath's Tale" and "The Pardoner's Tale" are two of the more entertaining stories in The Canterbury Tales. Both have strong, clear morals or lessons. "The Wife of Bath's Tale" conveys...

Latest answer posted November 18, 2019, 2:01 pm (UTC)

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The Canterbury Tales

Irony, in its basic form, is a literary device or technique authors use to demonstrate how events are not always as they seem. In The Canterbury Tales, Geoffrey Chaucer (c. 1343–1400) uses this...

Latest answer posted May 2, 2020, 3:46 pm (UTC)

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The Canterbury Tales

The Wife of Bath interrupts her story to tell the tale of King Midas, beginning by saying "we wommen" can't keep any secrets. To illustrate this point, she begins to recount the story of King...

Latest answer posted October 12, 2018, 7:47 pm (UTC)

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The Canterbury Tales

I'm not actually sure if Chaucer disliked any of the pilgrims per se. One of Chaucer's main goals is to represent people from many different classes and social circles, and so he's trying to...

Latest answer posted October 19, 2016, 4:05 pm (UTC)

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The Canterbury Tales

The Knight is a mostly positive example of the second estate, the nobility. He is an aristocrat, yet he dresses simply and does not abuse his power among the group members. While some critics have...

Latest answer posted October 20, 2019, 4:16 pm (UTC)

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The Canterbury Tales

The Wife of Bath is interrupted several times during her initial introduction to her story. It is an interesting point that people continue to interrupt her and badger her far more than the other...

Latest answer posted November 12, 2019, 4:06 pm (UTC)

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The Canterbury Tales

Overall, one would have to say that Chaucer portrays the Oxford Cleric in a positive light. When one considers Chaucer's scathing portrayal in The Canterbury Tales of the worldliness and corruption...

Latest answer posted March 15, 2019, 10:26 am (UTC)

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The Canterbury Tales

I have always read it as Chaucer, the traveler (he was well-traveled and educated). In addition to the other excellent answers you have received, the prologue serves to introduce the theme of...

Latest answer posted September 18, 2007, 6:23 am (UTC)

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The Canterbury Tales

Details on the physical description of the Doctor in The Canterbury Tales are extremely sparse, at least within the confines of the General Prologue. Most of what is said of the Doctor pertains to...

Latest answer posted December 17, 2014, 6:31 pm (UTC)

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The Canterbury Tales

There is no overall moral lesson for the tales. Each one has something different to say. That's what makes the Canterbury Tales so lasting. Each generation can find something in the characters and...

Latest answer posted August 15, 2008, 8:20 am (UTC)

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The Canterbury Tales

In The Canterbury Tales, Chaucer pays great attention to the clergy. Already in the Prologue, six clerics are described in detail. These are the Prioress, the Monk, the Friar, the Summoner, the...

Latest answer posted September 27, 2019, 2:32 pm (UTC)

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The Canterbury Tales

This is a doubly subjective question, since the answers rest both on how one perceives Chaucer's character and how one regards the celebrity. However, here are some of my selections, with short...

Latest answer posted November 13, 2019, 7:12 pm (UTC)

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