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The Canterbury Tales

Character List

Mackenzie Hill

on 18 September 2013

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Transcript of The Canterbury Tales

The Canterbury Tales
The Prologue

By: Geoffrey Chaucer
The Squire
The Squire is the son of the Knight. He is a handsome boy who is good at poetry, dancing, and songs. He is strong and nimble.

"He could make songs and poems and recite, knew how to joust and dance, to draw and write." (P101)

The Squire is very talented but courteous, like his father, so the narrator respects him.
The Yeoman
The Yeoman was an experienced hunter. He carried a bow and arrow and was knowledgeable about woodcraft.

"He was a proper forester I guess." (P101)

The narrator neither dislikes nor favors the Yeoman, he is simply indifferent towards him.
The Nun
The Nun was a Prioress who lived in an abbey. She was faithful to the Lord and taught his word. She was known as Madam Eglantyne and she was described with elegant facial features.

"As for her sympathies and tender feelings, she was charitably solicitous..." (P102)

The narrator likes the Nun because he describes her with compassion.
The Nun and Three Priests
The other Nun and Three Priests were only mentioned by the narrator.

They probably were not important enough to the narrator so he left them out.

The Friar
The Friar was a happy man who was most commonly know as a con artist or beggar. He could smooth talk rich men and single women. He was referred to as Hubert.

"He lisped a little out of wantonness to make his English sweet upon his tongue." (P105)

The narrator does not particularly like the Friar. He calls him a Puppy in a negative way.
The Merchant
The Merchant was a pretender. He was in debt but he was pretending to be rich in appearance. He was well trained in money exchange.

"He was an excellent fellow all the same..." (P106)

The narrator is indifferent about the Merchant he talks about him being high on his horse and motly, but also an excellent fellow.
The Oxford Cleric
The Oxford Cleric is very poor. He is a common mooch; he takes money from his friends to buy books. He is very studious because all he does is read.

"Whatever money from his friends he took he spent it on learning or another book..." (P106)

The narrator likes this character because he does not depict him as annoying or disrespectful.
The Franklin
The Franklin was a cheerful, old man who had an abundance of food and wine.

"He lived for pleasure and had always done..." (P107)

The narrator seems to like the Franklin. He says that he is an example of a gentleman.
The Monk
The Monk was not really portrayed as a monk. He was an achieved horseman and enjoyed hunting. He is a large, loud, bald-headed man dressed in hunting boots and furs.

"... Hunters are not holy men and that a monk uncloistered is a mere fish out of water..." (P103)

The narrator is indifferent toward the Monk because he does not express dislike or favor for him.
The Sergeant of the Law
The Sergeant of the Law was very wise. He was very knowledgeable of every court case. He earns a good amount of money writing deeds of defenses.

"...Discreet he was, a man to reverence, or so he seemed..." (P106)

The narrator does not really like the Sergeant. He says the he is wise or so it is seemed.
The Haberdasher, Dyer, Carpenter, Weaver, and Carpet-maker
The Haberdasher, Dyer, Carpenter, Weaver and Carpet-maker are all married men who are well dresses and skilled in workmanship. They were all wise.

"Their wisdom would have justified a plan to make each one of them an alderman." (P108)

The narrator respects these characters because they are smart and respect their wives.
The Cook
The Skipper
The Skipper is from Dartmouth. He is a bit of a rascal, and is well-known for stealing wine while the ship’s captain sleeps. He was good at fighting the enemy.

""If, when he fought, the enemy ship sank, he sent his prisoners home: they walked the plank." (P108)

The narrator is indifferent towards the Skipper. He does not give any dislike or favor.
The Doctor
The Doctor was very knowledgeable in medicine, surgery, and astronomy. He was articulate in his speech. He did not read the Bible very much. He loved gold.

"No one alive could talk as well as he did on points of medicine and of surgery..." (P109)

The narrator questions the Doctor's spiritual health because he rarely reads the Bible and has an unhealthy love for gold.
The Parson
The Parson is a very religious man. He is poor, but rich with the Lord's word. He is very generous to other poor people and works for himself.

"He sought no pomp or glory in his dealings..." (P111)

The narrator likes the Parson because he is good and true. He says that there was no better priest than him.
The Plowman
The Plowman was the brother of the Parson. He was also good-natured and kind. He worked as a plowman, he picked up manure and dug ditches.

"...Living in peace and perfect charity, and, as the gospel bade him, so did he, loving God best with all his heart and mind..."(P112)

The narrator favors the Plowman because he is good, like his brother.
The Miller
The Manciple
The Manciple, although he is illiterate, is very smart. He is in charge of provisions at a college.

"...Isn't it a marvel of God's grace that an illiterate fellow can outpace the wisdom of a heap of learned men?" (P113)

The narrator is indifferent towards the Manciple because he knows that he cannot read but he is smart.
The Reeve
The Reeve was a very skinny man. He was a skilled carpenter and he liked to be alone.

"...His legs were lean, like sticks they were, no calf was to be seen..." (P113)

The narrator respects the Reeve because he earns his own money and keeps to himself.
The Summoner
The Miller was big in stature. He was a good wrestler and would rip the doors off of their hinges for no reason. He could play the bagpipes.

"Broad, knotty and short-shouldered, he would boast..." (P112)

The narrator dislikes this character because he is a show-off and a bit annoying.
The Summoner has red hair and bad, pimply skin. He is a drunk and tends to show-off by saying words that he knows in Latin. He brings people accused of violating Church law to court.

"...And drinking strong wine till all was hazy, then he would shout and jabber as if crazy, and wouldn't speak a word except in Latin..." (P114)

The narrator does not seem to like this character because he is a drunk and he is arrogant.
The Woman is deaf in one ear and has a gap between her front teeth, she is pretty but also fat. She has been married five times and had many other affairs in her youth. She presents herself as someone who loves marriage and also takes pleasure in rich attire, talking, and arguing.
She has traveled on pilgrimages to Jerusalem three times and elsewhere in Europe, so that makes her very rich.

"In company she liked to laugh and chat and knew the remedies for love's mischances." (P110)

The narrator does not express dislike or favor for the Woman, she is beautiful and rich, so why wouldn't he like her?
The Pardoner
The Pardoner has long, greasy, yellow hair and is beardless. He sings and preaches whenever he finds himself inside a church. He collects profit for himself and carries a bag of fake relics to sell.

"And with these relics, any time he found some poor up-country parson to astound..." (P116)

The narrator does not like this character because he is a fraud and a liar.
The Host
The Host a large, loud, and happy man. He has good food and a nice place to stay. He is a main leader of the group because he suggests that all the pilgrims tell a story.

"Bold in speech, yet wise and full of tack, there was no manly attribute he lacked, what's more he was a merry-hearted man." (P117)

The narrator likes the Host because he is kind and wise.
The End
The Knight
The Knight is honorable, chivalrous, generous, and courteous.

"...And ever honored for his noble graces." (P100)

I believe that the narrator likes this character because he describes him positively. He says that the Knight is wise and modest, a perfect gentle-knight.

Created By: Mackenzie Hill
A Character List
The Woman
The Cook was very good at making tasty food, but he had an ulcer on his knee.

"He could roast and seethe and broil and fry, make a good thick soup and bake a tasty pie." (P108)

The narrator likes the Cook because he makes good food, but he feels bad for him because he has an ulcer on his knee.
Full transcript