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Canterbury Tales: Manciple

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Megan Menapace

on 5 October 2012

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Transcript of Canterbury Tales: Manciple

Canterbury Tales Manicple Physical Description Personality/Character Flaws The Manciple's Prologue Background Info Role in Medieval Society Manciple's Tale Not much of a physical description
He wore a tunic like most of the other pilgrims
Middle aged
Came from the Inner Temple (One of the four legal societies in London composing the Inns of Court) Wise and intelligent
unscrupulous or conscienceless
makes fools out of the upper classes In Medieval society, the Manciple was apart of the lower middle class. However, he was at the higher end of his class. A Manciple's role in Medieval society was to be an officer of a college, monastery or law firm. In the Canterbury tales, the Manciple worked for a law school but was not a lawyer. He was a purchasing agent for 30+ lawyers. The Prologue of the Manciple begins with the Host encouraging the Cook to begin his tale. However, the Cook is so drunk that he could not tell his tale. Because he is so drunk, the Manciple begins to mock the Cook and his actions. However, the Host warns the Manciple that the angry Cook could punish the Manciple for his mockery. So to seek forgiveness, the Manciple offers the Cook more wine in hopes that he will be too drunk to remember his actions. And so, with the Cook happily drunk, the Manciple begins to tell his tale. Phoebus The Manciple's tale is about a noble and attractive God named Phoebus. Phoebus had both a beautiful crow and a wife that he cherished very much. His crow was,"...As white as a snow-white swan..."(Line 133), could imitate a man's speech and could sing beautifully and merrily. His wife was the love of his life, and he would do anything to please her. However, he was very jealous and overbearing. He wanted to protect his wife and keep her to himself. Little did Phoebus know that his wife had a secret lover who was, "...unworthy all around to be compared with Phoebus" (Line 199-200). So one day while Phoebus was gone, his wife cheated on him, and the crow was a witness. When Phoebus returned, his crow sang an unfamiliar song to him. He soon figured out that the crow had witnessed his wife's lechery. Out of pure heartbreak, Phoebus murdered his wife, destroyed his bow and arrows, and all of his instruments. He then blamed his rashness and the murder of his wife on the crow. To punish the crow, Phoebus took away his ability to sing and speak. He also plucked out all of his white feathers, turning him black (said to be the origin of the crow). God of light, prophecy, poerty, music and healing
Son of Zeus and Leta
Also known as Apollo
Known as the most attractive man
Portrayed as inferior
Archer, can sing and play a variety of instruments The analysis of the Manciple's tale explains how destructive the tale is. It takes a God Of poetry,music and healing, and turns him into a jealous murderer. It portrays doom of reality through the destruction of the beautiful, white crow. It is highly possible that the Manciple told this tale to chastise his own actions against the Cook. The main moral behind this tale is to know when to not speak, and when not to tell. In the Manciple's case, the Manciple should not have spoken about the drunken Cook. His mocking could lead to his punishment like that of the crow. His actions can also classify him as hypocritical after listening to the moral of his tale. Analysis The Manciple's Tale tells us alot about the Chaucer's thoughts. Chaucer used the Canterbury Tales to indirectly express his feelings and beliefs of his own government system and class structure. The Chaucer can be represented by the crow because like the crow, he can speak for everyman during his time period and their thoughts on society. This tale also shows thesignificance of "holding your tongue" because in Chaucer's case, he has to refrain from speaking his own mind because he knows punishment would result. Analysis of the Author's Opinion This tale coincides with the class structure that the Manciple is in because the Manciple tells the tale through how he is perceived but the upper class. When Phoebus's wife commits adultery, he "lover" is of less nobility. The Manciple brought in this principle to portray that the lower middle class is either overlooked, or used to the benefit of the upper class. What Does the Tale Imply About Class Structure? "Quizlet." Canterbury Tales. N.p., n.d. Web. 03 Oct. 2012. <http://quizlet.com/1505312/canterbury-tales-character-traits-flash-cards/>. Work Cited "Phoebus Apollo." The Free Dictionary. Farlex, n.d. Web. 03 Oct. 2012. <http://www.thefreedictionary.com/Phoebus Apollo>. "The Canterbury Tales Study Guide." Study Guides & Essay Editing. N.p., n.d. Web. 03 Oct. 2012. <http://gradesaver.com/the-canterbury-tales/study-guide/>. "The Canterbury Tales." The Canterbury Tales. N.p., n.d. Web. 03 Oct. 2012. <http://www.ronaldecker.com/ct.htm>. "The Canterbury Tales." The Canterbury Tales. N.p., n.d. Web. 03 Oct. 2012. <http://academic.brooklyn.cuny.edu/webcore/murphy/canterbury/>. Barwick, Susan, and C. Wilborn. WiseGeek. Conjecture, n.d. Web. 03 Oct. 2012. <http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-a-manciple.htm>.
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