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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It is spring, and the narrator says he is staying at Tabard Inn in Southwark (now part of South London) while on a pilgrimage to Canterbury. He is soon joined by 29 people on the same mission.

Though none of them has met before, they soon start chatting, and the...

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It is spring, and the narrator says he is staying at Tabard Inn in Southwark (now part of South London) while on a pilgrimage to Canterbury. He is soon joined by 29 people on the same mission.

Though none of them has met before, they soon start chatting, and the narrator begins to introduce them to the reader one by one. They include Knight, Squire, Yeoman, Prioress, Monk, Friar, Merchant, Clerk, Man of Law, Franklin, Haberdasher, Carpenter, Weaver, Dyer, Tapestry-Weaver, Cook, Shipman, Physician, Wife, Parson, Plowman, Miller, Manciple, Reeve, Summoner, Pardoner, and Host.

The host is the owner of the inn. Impressed at how well the group gets on, he sets out a challenge for them. He says that each person in the group has to tell four stories—two on the way to Canterbury and two on the way back. The host, who has now decided to accompany them to Canterbury at his own expense, will judge what he thinks is the best tale. The person who wins will get a meal paid for by the others.

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At the beginning of The Canterbury Tales, the narrator is on the beginning of a pilgrimage to Canterbury, to honor the martyred bishop of Canterbury, St. Thomas Becket. The beginning of his journey is marked my the arrival of multiple other pilgrims, all of whom are strangers but who become acquainted at an inn the night before they debark for their journey. In all, 29 companions meet him that night at the inn and they decide to leave and venture together on the pilgrimage.

The remainder of the tale is a recounting by the narrator of the various characters' lives—random, unconnected stories about each individual that are used to satirize then-modern English society. The narrator takes the form of a bard and recites their tales of irony, recounting them as if told by the characters on the journey.

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At the beginning of The Canterbury Tales, the narrator notes that a particular time of year—spring—has a tendency to inspire pious fervor in people, such that they are driven to go on pilgrimage. Many of these people will come from all across England to seek "the hooly blisful martir"—that is, St. Thomas Becket—in the hopes that he will help them find what they are looking for.

The narrator himself is about to go to Canterbury for this purpose, when he begins his tale in the Tabard inn at Southwark (now part of London). There are many others who arrive that night at the inn, what he calls a "sondry" company of twenty-nine, who have fallen together because they are all going to Canterbury. The narrator approaches this group and tells them that he, too, is on his way to Canterbury to make a pilgrimage, and suggests that they all get up early to continue on their journey together the following morning.

The narrator lists all 29 pilgrims: a knight, a squire, a nun, another nun and three priests, a monk, a friar, a merchant, a clerk, a sergeant of the law, a franklin, a haberdasher, a carpenter, a weaver, a dyer, a tapestry maker, a cook, a shipman, a doctor, the Wife of Bath, a poor clerk and his brother, the plowman, a reeve, a miller, a summoner, a pardoner, and a manciple.

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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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