The Canterbury Tales 23: The Manciple's Tale Questions and Answers

Geoffrey Chaucer

23: The Manciple's Tale Questions and Answers

Study Questions
1. Another rivalry among the characters is revealed in the prologue to The Manciple's Tale. Between whom is this new rivalry and what is its basis?

2. Into what genre does The Manciple's Tale fall?

3. What is the theme of this tale?

4. Why is it appropriate for the Manciple to tell this particular tale?

5. How is the Cook calmed and persuaded not to argue further with the Manciple?

6. What did Phoebus' crow look like before he was cursed?

7. How was his appearance changed after he was cursed?

8. What specifically did the bird do which so angered Phoebus?

9. How does the behavior of Phoebus' wife relate her to other women in the Tales?

10. What is the Manciple's private commentary about human nature midway through the tale?

Answers
1. The newly introduced rivalry is between the Cook and the Manciple.

2. It is based in myth.

3. The foolishness of revealing all and the wisdom of keeping silent.

4. The Manciple's own wife has made him very unhappy.

5. He is given more wine.

6. He was a beautiful white bird who could talk and sing.

7. He is black. He can no longer talk or sing; he can only "caw."

8. He told Phoebus of the affair Phoebus' wife was having
with another man.

9. There are several unfaithful wives in the various tales.

10. He says that it is nearly impossible to change human nature.