illustration of a clergyman with Canterbury cathedral behind him

The Canterbury Tales

by Geoffrey Chaucer

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1: General Prologue Questions and Answers

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Last Updated on October 26, 2018, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 263

Study Questions
1. How many pilgrims are making the journey to Canterbury?

2. Why are all these people going to Canterbury?

3. List the members of the middle class in the group.

4. List the members of the clergy.

5. Which members of the clergy appear to be corrupt or sinful?

6. What plan for the group does the Host propose?

7. How does Chaucer himself fit into the group?

8. By what devices does Chaucer reveal his characters?

9. How many of the tales did Chaucer actually complete?

10. What weaknesses within the Church do the pilgrim clergy represent?

1. There are 30 characters including Chaucer and the Host.

2. They are going to the Shrine of St. Thomas à Becket at Canterbury. They hope to receive special blessings.

3. The middle class group consists of the following: the Merchant; the Man of Law; the Franklin; the Haberdasher; the Carpenter; the Weaver; the Dyer; the Tapestry-Maker; the Shipman; the Physician; the Wife of Bath; the Miller; the Manciple; the Reeve; and the Host.

4. The clergy members are as follow: the Prioress; the Monk; the Friar; the Nun; the Priest; the Cleric; the Parson; the Summoner; and the Pardoner.

5. The Monk; the Pardoner; the Friar; and the Summoner appear corrupt.

6. Each traveler will tell four stories: two on the way to Canterbury and two on the return trip.

7. Chaucer is the anonymous Narrator. He is also one of the pilgrims.

8. Chaucer reveals his characters by direct description, the telling comment, and the tale each traveler tells.

9. There are twenty-three tales, two of which are fragments.

10. The clergy represent corruption, greed, and abuse of power in the Church.

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2: The Knight's Tale Questions and Answers