Questions and Answers for The Canterbury Tales

The Canterbury Tales

What is the moral the Pardoner and Chaucer each wants us to draw from "The Pardoner's Tale"? 

The Pardoner's Tale is an interesting and telling excerpt from Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales. The Pardoner, a member of the clergy of the Catholic church admits in his prologue that he is a...

Latest answer posted November 18, 2015 3:25 pm UTC

3 educator answers

The Canterbury Tales

What Is The Moral Of The Wife Of Bath's Tale

This is sort of a puzzling question because you don't mention which two "morals" you have. Also the consensus is that there are only two morals to The Wife of Bath's Tale, although the Wife...

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

1 educator answer

The Canterbury Tales

What does the old man figure represent in "The Pardoner's Tale"?

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

3 educator answers

The Canterbury Tales

Why is it ironic that the pardoner preaches a story with this particular moral?

Chaucer was a genius of irony. He frequently exposes hypocrisy among all of his characters, especially those in the clergy. "The Pardoner's Tale" is perhaps the most extreme example in the book....

Latest answer posted December 17, 2015 9:04 pm UTC

3 educator answers

The Canterbury Tales

In The Canterbury Tales, what is the Wife of Bath's opinion of marriage (including her five), and how does she...

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

5 educator answers

The Canterbury Tales

How does Chaucer view the monk in 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

2 educator answers

The Canterbury Tales

How does Chaucer use irony and satire in the characterization of the Monk and Friar in the General Prologue to The...

Geoffrey Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales, written in the fourteenth century, is notable for several reasons, one of which is his satirical look at some aspects of English society in his time. One of...

Latest answer posted September 11, 2016 3:43 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Canterbury Tales

Name Chaucer's 3 favorite pilgrims in The Canterbury Tales and explain why they are his favorites.

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

2 educator answers

The Canterbury Tales

In Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales what are some examples of  metaphors, hyperboles, and imagery in the general prologue?

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

2 educator answers

The Canterbury Tales

Where are the pilgrims going in "The Prologue" from 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

2 educator answers

The Canterbury Tales

How does Chaucer find humor in the difference between the ideal and the real in the characters that populate The...

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

4 educator answers

The Canterbury Tales

What is the reason given for the pilgrimage in the General Prologue to 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

4 educator answers

The Canterbury Tales

What is the purpose of the prologue to 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

2 educator answers

The Canterbury Tales

List the members of the clergy in 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

3 educator answers

The Canterbury Tales

How does the Wife of Bath's Tale match her personality in 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

3 educator answers

The Canterbury Tales

What is the main theme of "The Nun's Priest's Tale" in The Canterbury Tales? Discuss it with examples from the text.

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

2 educator answers

The Canterbury Tales

What are the differences and similarities between "The Wife of Bath's Tale" and "The Pardoner's Tale"?

"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

2 educator answers

The Canterbury Tales

How many pilgrims make the journey to Canterbury?

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

4 educator answers

The Canterbury Tales

What is the Doctor's physical description in "The General Prologue" of 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

2 educator answers

The Canterbury Tales

Which pilgrims did Chaucer dislike in the prologue to 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

1 educator answer

The Canterbury Tales

How does the Pardoner personify Death?  What oath did the three men swear?

The Pardoner in "The Pardoner's Tale" personifies death as an "old, old fellow." He meets three drinkers while they are out searching for him--death. The three are drinking in the tavern in the...

Latest answer posted May 2, 2010 11:32 pm UTC

2 educator answers

The Canterbury Tales

Why is The Canterbury Tales an important piece of literature?

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

4 educator answers

The Canterbury Tales

What is the Manciple's personality like in The Canterbury Tales?

In The Canterbury Tales, by Chaucer, the Manciple's job is to purchase food for a group of lawyers, much like a caterer. Although he is illiterate, he is able to bargain shop and spend less on the...

Latest answer posted October 26, 2011 8:14 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Canterbury Tales

Please paraphrase the character sketch of 'The Wife of Bath' in Chaucer's  'Prologue' to "The Canterbury Tales."

The General Prologue introduction of the Wife of Bath in the Canterbury Tales describes her in detail telling her location, most pronounced physical characteristic, occupation, skill, religious...

Latest answer posted November 9, 2009 2:15 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Canterbury Tales

Place each pilgrim in Chaucer's Canterbury Tales within one of these three groups that comprised medieval society:...

[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

2 educator answers

The Canterbury Tales

What is the purpose of the "Pardoner's Tale?"

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

1 educator answer

The Canterbury Tales

What was Chaucer’s attitude toward the Catholic Church as shown in The Canterbury Tales? Is it an institution he has...

Like many elements in Chaucer's contemporary society, the Catholic Church is both mocked and respected in The Canterbury Tales. The frame narrative opens with the medieval Estates Satire, whose...

Latest answer posted November 18, 2019 4:09 am UTC

3 educator answers

The Canterbury Tales

What are three reasons The Canterbury Tales were and are important?  

In addition to the other responses here, we can consider Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales important on a variety of levels. Since this is really a question of value, how we evaluate the importance...

Latest answer posted December 10, 2019 4:48 pm UTC

3 educator answers

The Canterbury Tales

What is the message that is delivered in the Wife of Bath's tale?

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

4 educator answers

The Canterbury Tales

What does Chaucer say that people long to do when spring comes?

Chaucer says that people want to go on pilgrimages in the spring. He begins The Canterbury Tales by describing a time "whan that Aprille with his shoures soote"—that is, when April with its soft...

Latest answer posted October 22, 2018 5:40 pm UTC

2 educator answers

The Canterbury Tales

What is Chaucer's main reason for writing about the pilgrimage in "The Prologue" from 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

4 educator answers

The Canterbury Tales

What are the criteria or rules for winning the tale-telling contest in "The Canterbury Tales"?

It's thought up by the man who runs the Tabard Inn, in Southwark, where the pilgrims meet, who is usually referred to as the "Host". He talks to the pilgrims, about to set off for Canterbury, and...

Latest answer posted February 26, 2009 6:05 am UTC

2 educator answers

The Canterbury Tales

In "The Pardoner's Tale", where does the old man tell the rioters to look for Death, and how do the rioters treat the...

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

2 educator answers

The Canterbury Tales

How does Chaucer use irony in 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

2 educator answers

The Canterbury Tales

How would the Wife of Bath be portrayed in today's society?

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

4 educator answers

The Canterbury Tales

Who or what are the main characters, settings, genre, and theme of "The Wife Of Bath's Tale" in 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

2 educator answers

The Canterbury Tales

What is the moral lesson in 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

4 educator answers

The Canterbury Tales

What is the social class of the Wife of Bath in 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

3 educator answers

The Canterbury Tales

How does the Friar of the Canterbury Tales look?

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

1 educator answer

The Canterbury Tales

What are five interruptions and the reason for them in "The Wife Of Bath's Tale" from 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

5 educator answers

The Canterbury Tales

How did Chaucer view the Oxford Cleric? Positively? Negatively? Neutral? Also, did he show any praise or criticisms?

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

2 educator answers

The Canterbury Tales

How does Chaucer describe the rise of the middle class in his writing?

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

2 educator answers

The Canterbury Tales

What are some adjectives that best describe the Wife of Bath in the story The Canterbury Tales: The Prologue?

A great adjective to describe the Wife of Bath would be independent. As a wealthy widow, she enjoys the kind of independence that was very rare for a woman in those days. Her considerable wealth...

Latest answer posted March 5, 2019 6:15 am UTC

3 educator answers

The Canterbury Tales

What's Chaucer's opinion of the clergy?

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

2 educator answers

The Canterbury Tales

When and why are the pilgrims traveling, and how does the host quickly win their trust?

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

2 educator answers

The Canterbury Tales

Irony In The Wife Of Bath's Tale

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

2 educator answers

The Canterbury Tales

What qualities do the rioters represent in "The Pardoner's Tale" from The Canterbury Tales?

Certainly the three young men Geoffrey Chaucer refers to as "rioters" or "revelers" (depending on the translation) in "The Pardoner's Tale" are suffering from some serious character flaws. The two...

Latest answer posted September 10, 2013 8:44 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Canterbury Tales

Which pilgrims does Chaucer idealize in The Canterbury Tales? 

Chaucer is critical of most of the pilgrims introduced in "The General Prologue" to his Canterbury Tales. "Idealized" is a strong word, implying that Chaucer sees the character as the perfect...

Latest answer posted December 4, 2019 4:54 pm UTC

3 educator answers

The Canterbury Tales

What is the main message of "The Knights Tale"?

The main "message" of The Knight's Tale may well be a concern with the proper ordering of the elements that compose a person's being and soul. While there are clearly more than one theme, with the...

Latest answer posted October 23, 2015 5:23 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Canterbury Tales

What does Chaucer think about the nun?

The place to construct the answer to this question is in the general prologue, the part of The Canterbury Tales where Chaucer introduces the characters. From the outset, it is clear that Chaucer...

Latest answer posted January 28, 2018 12:08 pm UTC

1 educator answer

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