Who are the important characters in The Canterbury Tales?

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sciftw eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Chaucer's Canterbury Tales has a lot of important characters.  Choosing which character is the most important is made extremely difficult because the narrative contains stories within stories.  The general idea is that there is a group of travelers that are filling the time by telling each other stories.  This means that some characters are members of the traveling band and that some of the other characters are the characters within a particular traveler's story.  I will list some of the more frequently studied characters that are traveling together.  

  • The narrator—He is important because he is the guy telling readers the entire story in the first place.  It is important to note that this narrator is one of the travelers as well. 
  • The host—He is the leader of the traveling group.  His main function is to decide who gets to tell a story next. 
  • The knight—He is the first character to tell a story. 
  • The squire—He is the knight's son. 
  • The Wife of Bath—She has been married five times. 
  • The Miller—This guy is loud, rude, and drunk. 
  • The Friar.
  • The Prioress—She tells a story about a murdered schoolboy.
  • The Nun's Priest.
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The Canterbury Tales

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