Where is the the narrator at the beginning of the General Prologue to Canterbury Tales? Who joins him and for what purpose?

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Payal Khullar eNotes educator| Certified Educator

At the very beginning of the General Prologue to The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer, we find that the narrator is present at the Tabard inn, which is located at a place called as Southwark in London.

In Southwark at the Tabard, as I lay

While the narrator is resting at the inn, he is joined by a group of about twenty-nine pilgrims. All of the pilgrims, like the narrator, are getting themselves prepared for their pilgrimage to the shrine of Saint Thomas Beckett in Canterbury. After meeting the pilgrims, the narrator tells them that he will also join them in this sacred journey.

Ready to start upon my pilgrimage
To Canterbury, full of devout courage,
There came at nightfall to that hostelry
Some nine and twenty in a company

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The Canterbury Tales

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