The Canterbury Tales 16: The Merchant's Tale Summary and Analysis

Geoffrey Chaucer

16: The Merchant's Tale Summary and Analysis

Commenting that his wife is absolutely nothing like Griselda, the Merchant reveals that he is very unhappily married. The Host, who can sympathize, begs the Merchant to tell more. Saying he would prefer not to go on about his own troubles, the Merchant begins his story.

January is an Italian knight who has remained a bachelor for 60 years. However, he has recently become convinced that the married state is the happiest and has, therefore, decided that he will take a wife.

January calls in all of his friends and brothers and lectures them all on the bliss of the wedded state. He then begs them to help him find a young wife because he wants to marry right away. Some advise him...

(The entire section is 968 words.)