Why do you think the Host  proposes the storytelling contest in Canterbury Tales?   Why do you think the Host  proposes the storytelling contest in Canterbury Tales?    

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

The host quite simply devised this plan for entertainment and to pass the time on the long journey.  The journey would have taken four days there and four days back.  That's a long time to spend with a group of strangers with nothing to talk about!  He proposed that each pilgrim tell two tales in the way there and two on the way back.  Of course Chaucer never finished all these tales.  He would be the judge and the winner would get a free meal.

Of course, we also have to remember that these tales are the whole point of work.  Chaucer used the Host to set up the whole story for him. 

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team

We’ll help your grades soar

Start your 48-hour free trial and unlock all the summaries, Q&A, and analyses you need to get better grades now.

  • 30,000+ book summaries
  • 20% study tools discount
  • Ad-free content
  • PDF downloads
  • 300,000+ answers
  • 5-star customer support
Start your 48-Hour Free Trial