The Canterbury Tales 24: The Parson's Tale Questions and Answers

Geoffrey Chaucer

24: The Parson's Tale Questions and Answers

Study Questions
1. How is the long sermon of the Parson appropriate to his character?

2. What is the theme of The Parson's Tale?

3. What are the sources Chaucer used in constructing this tale?

4. What kind of story were the Host and the pilgrims expecting from the Parson?

5. What comparison does the Parson make in his prologue?

6. Why does the Parson refuse to tell a fable?

7. In what genre is this tale written?

8. What requirement necessitated the clergy to instruct the laity about penitence?

9. What kind of handbook might The Parson's Tale comprise?

10. At what stage of the journey is The Parson's Tale presented?

Answers
1. He is a very sincere man who cares only about saving souls.

2. The nature of penitence is the theme of this tale.

3. Chaucer used clerical writings on this subject and scriptural quotations as sources.

4. They were expecting a merry tale.

5. Life is like a journey (or, in this case, a pilgrimage).

6. He says he will not hide his message in a lowly fable.

7. It is a sermon.

8. The Church began to require confession, the oral telling of sins to a priest.

9. A handbook for the sinner who wishes to obtain forgiveness.

10. They have almost completed the journey.