The Canterbury Tales Questions and Answers
by Geoffrey Chaucer

The Canterbury Tales book cover
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What is the genre of each of the tales within The Canterbury Tales?

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Dolly Doyle eNotes educator | Certified Educator


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Seeing as the other answer has done a good job in laying out the individual genres for each story, I would like to give more attention to the Man of the Law's Tale, which is a tough one to classify.

The Man of the Law's Tale could be classified as a saint's life story, since Constance's perils and passivity resemble certain virgin-saint stories. She depends on God while she is adrift at sea and at the mercy of potential rapists. She is so good and pious that she is able to easily convert devout Muslims to Christianity.

However, this is a secularized saint's life story in some ways, since Constance does not remain a virgin: she marries a...

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linda-allen eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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