The Canterbury Tales Questions and Answers
by Geoffrey Chaucer

The Canterbury Tales book cover
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In The Canterbury Tales, how do the pilgrims respond to the proposal of the host?

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When the host comes up with his idea of helping time pass on their journey by each of the pilgrims telling a few tales, it is clear that this is a suggestion that is met with great approval by the various people that are joining this pilgrimage. Note what the text says about how the pilgrims responded:

To this we all agreed, and gladly swore

To keep our promises; and furthermore

We asked him if he would consent to do

As he had said, and come and be our leader,

And judge our tales, and act as arbiter,

Set up our dinner too, at a fixed price;

And we'd obey whatever he might decide

In everything.

The pilgrims therefore responded very favourably to this suggestion, and in fact were pleased to let the host assume control of both this storytelling competition and also the other arrangements that needed to be dealt with on their journey as they made their way. The host is therefore appointed "leader" of the pilgrims, which involves being the judge of the various stories we are to hear and also organising food for the group of people that have joined this competition.

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