Why is the Knight a terrible storyteller in The Canterbury Tales? Give two examples of a "rule" he breaks.

The Knight is an underconfident storyteller. He has a long, drawn out tale that takes four parts to tell. He lists off many things he doesn't have time to talk about as he begins his story, which makes us feel cheated.

Expert Answers

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Early in part 1, the Knight admits that he's not a great storyteller. In a rambling fashion, he lists for us all the stories he wishes he had time to tell us but can't. We, therefore, can't learn about what Amazonia was like before Theseus arrived there. And we can't learn about the battle between the Athenians and the Amazonians, nor will we hear about how beautiful Queen Hippolyta was captured. This is a rather irritating way to begin a story. Imagine a friend beginning her story about the weekend by first listing all the things she's not going to tell you about what she did. It certainly gets the Knight's tale off to a rocky start.

You might also say that the Knight is a bit overconfident in his own storytelling abilities. He rides at the front of the group of travelers, and his story is told first after drawing the shortest straw. His story is so lengthy that it must be told in four separate parts, which is significantly longer than the other tales. Why does he keep talking? Why does it take him so long to get to his main point? Does he love to hear himself talk, or does he just not want the other pilgrims to have a turn? The length of his tale certainly presents an obstacle in being able to classify it as thrilling.

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