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The Canterbury Tales
Transcript of The Canterbury Tales
The Canterbury Tales
The Canterbury Tales
The Nun (Prioress)
The Clerk of Oxford
The Sergeant at the Law
Wears a tunic
Suit of armor stained by rust
The Knight's Tale
Two knights in prison, Palamon and Arcite, fell in love with the same woman. She was a princess of Athens named Emily. One day, a duke named Perotheus petitions for Arcite’s freedom. Arcite comes back to the city and takes on a job as a page in Emily’s chamber. Palamon escapes from the prison and finds Arcite in the woods. They confront each other and challenged each other to a dual the next day. Theseus, out on a hunt, finds the two knights hacking away at each other. Palamon reveals their identities and love for Emily. He asks the duke to decide their fate, suggesting that they both deserve to die. Theseus is about to respond by killing them, but the women of his court, especially his queen and Emily intervene, pleading for Palamon and Arcite’s lives. The duke consents and decides instead to hold a tournament where they will be fight against one another, each with a hundred of the finest men he can gather. The winner will be awarded Emily’s hand.
"The Knight’s Tale is a romance that encapsulates the themes, motifs, and ideals of courtly love."
The main theme of the tale is the instability of human life—joy and suffering are never far apart from one another, and nobody is safe from disaster.
A Roman statue
like a meadow full of red and white flowers
Talented (sing, dance, write poetry)
"The Squire's role in the General Prologue is probably to represent both youthfulness and femininity."
The Knight's only servant
Dressed in all green
Tries to be dainty
Wants to seem courtly
Speaks incorrect French
Sings through her nose
Very elegantly dressed
String of coral beads attached to a pendant that reads
The Nun's Tale
priests rode with the Prioress.
The Monk is all sorts of things. A short, fat, bald little man that should probably not be a religious figure but is a hunter, overfed, expensively-dressed in fur and gold jewelry, and a cultivator of expensive habits. But the Monk is willing to admit that he doesn't live a traditional religious life of hard work, study, and fasting,
The monk tells of many different stories of many different tragedies. He starts with the fall of Lucifer who fell from the heavens and Adam the man who created original sin. He also told of Hercules who was defeated by a poison shirt.
Like the Prioress and the Monk, the Friar is a not-so-pious religious figure. He would earn money off peoples' confessions. Another stereotype of the friars is that they would go around seducing women.
On the way to extort money from a widow the summoner encounter a yeoman.The two swear brotherhood to each other and share secrets of their respective trades. The yeoman than revealed that he was a demon. The Summoner was not surprised and continued to ask about Hell. When they come upon a man with his horses stuck the yeoman refuses to take the horses but when they see the widow and she damns the summoner to hell the yeoman takes his body and soul.
We know the merchant is the fashionista of the group because he's wearing a cloak of "motley" (variegated, colorful pattern), a Flemish beaver hat, and has a forked beard, all of which were current fashions at this time period. All he cares about is money. Although he appears prosperous, we know that the Merchant is actually in debt. He manages to keep his head above water by borrowing more and more.
The Merchant's Tale
His tale tell about a man named January, a knight of sixty years from Lombardy, who wanted to take a woman as a wife. He chose a girl named May. Damian, one of January's servants is immediately taken by May and falls ill due to the thought that he may not have her. May feels the same way about Damian, they begin to write each other secret letters. Shortly after May and Damian begin their affair, January loses his sight. Due to his jealousy and paranoia, he insists that May be constantly by his side and will not go anywhere without his hand on her. This makes it more difficult for May and Damian to communicate, but they manage through their continuing use of letters. Within the letters, Damian and May begin to plot a day in which their love may be manifested in a tree in January's beloved garden. The day comes and January goes into the garden with May, under the pretense of wanting to enjoy each other. May decides she wants fruit from a tree above, and asks January to lift her into the tree, where Damian is waiting. While they were in the tree, one of the fruit falls on January and gives him his sight back. He see's them in the tree and gets angry. May comes down and explains that once January regained his sight, he was not seeing clearly and merely hallucinated May and Damian in the tree. To this, January could not respond in anger and instead forgave her and moved past the event.
The Clerk is a poor student of philosophy. Having spent his money on books and learning rather than on fine clothes, he is threadbare and wan. He speaks little, but when he does, his words are wise and full of moral virtue.
The Clerk's Tale
The Clerk's tale talks about a man in Italy who works really hard and studies all the time. He is dissatisfied with his studies and lacks confidence in himself. One day another man came to the school, he was really smart and knew every question that was asked in class. He never studied, he felt he didn't need it. The first man however studies night and day, preparing for the big test day coming up. Their tests were more of a dual, where two people were put up against each other. to answer questions. The first man and the new smart man were competing against each other. In the end the man who studied night and day beat the so called know-it-all.
The Clerk's story reflects who he is characteristically.
The Sergeant at Law is an expert lawyer and a man of considerable importance. He was highly renowned for his knowledge and knew all the statutes by heart. The Sergeant at Law is also very discreet and cautious in his speech. He was a very busy man but he always pretended to be busier than he really was.
The Prioress calls on the Virgin Mary to guide her tale. In an Asian city, a Christian school is located at the edge of a Jewish ghetto. An angelic seven-year-old boy, a widow’s son, attends the school. He is a devout Christian, and loves to sing Alma Redemptoris. Singing the song on his way through the ghetto, some Jews hire a murderer to slit his throat and throw him into a latrine. The Jews refuse to tell the widow where her son is, but he miraculously begins to sing Alma Redemptoris, so the Christian people recover his body, and the magistrate orders the murdering Jews to be drawn apart by wild horses and then hanged.