Who wins the first prize in the contest for telling the tale in the Canterbury Tales and why?

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Payal Khullar | College Teacher | (Level 2) Associate Educator

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Well, Geoffrey Chaucer gives no answer to this question in Canterbury Tales. There are 30 pilgrims and each one is supposed to tell two stories on the way and two stories after coming back from the pilgrimage. This means that there should have ideally been 120 stories in total. But Canterbury Tales is a collection of just 24 stories. Besides, a lot of stories are incomplete. So questions like what exactly were the remaining stories about, and who won the tale telling competition remain unanswered in the end.  And of course the host cannot declare the winner without everyone telling their story. Well, this kind of end with unfulfilled promise doesn’t look deliberate to me. But whether this makes for an unfinished work is debatable.