In Canterbury Tales, what are the 4 complaints that the knight and the old woman say about each other?

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mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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After he agrees to marry the old woman who promises to aid him in his quest for the answer to what women most desire, there are some complaints that the knight and old woman have about each other.

1. She pleads to the court that the young knight has agreed to marry her for her help. The knight replies, "Alas! and well away!/I can't deny it..." But, he offers to give her gold or silver. Still the old woman holds him to his agreement because she wants to be his wife.

2. The knight does not feel that he, a nobleman, should be "thus fouled in high disgrace/But all for naught." He complains that he has been trapped.

3.  On their wedding night, the knight tosses and turns in agony; his wife is at peace. She tells him she is the one who has saved his life, and she has done him no wrong. "Just why are you so weak, when you should be strong?" She complains that he is like a man who has lost his mind. She asks him what she has done that he should complain.

4. The knight then complains that she is not nobility as he is; she has been born "To peasant parents. How can you even wonder/At my sorrow?" She argues that he has not show that he is a gentleman: "Nobility, says the Lord, should be based on our souls/Not claimed because of what our fathers owned."

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