The Canterbury Tales Plot Summary The Canterbury Tales begins with the General Prologue, a detailed introduction and description of each of the pilgrims journeying to Canterbury to catch sight of the shrine to Sir Thomas a Becket, the martyred saint of Christianity, supposedly buried in the Cathedral of Canterbury since They each bring a slice of England to the trip with their stories of glory, chivalry, Christianity, villainy, disloyalty, cuckoldry, and honor. Some pilgrims are faithful to Christ and his teachings, while others openly disobey the church and its law of faithfulness, honor, and modesty.
This becomes the launching point for their mile, four-day religious journey to the shrine of St. Great blessing and forgiveness were to be heaped upon those who made the pilgrimage; relics of the saint were enshrined there, and miracles had been reported by those who prayed before the shrine.
Many of them simply enjoy social contact or the adventure of travel. As the travelers are becoming acquainted, their Host, the innkeeper Harry Bailley, decides to join them.
He suggests that they pass the time along the way by telling stories. Each pilgrim is to tell four stories—two on the way to Canterbury, and two on the return trip—a total of stories.
He will furnish dinner at the end of the trip to the one who tells the best tale. Chaucer, the Narrator, observes all of the characters as they are arriving and getting acquainted. He describes in detail most of the travelers which represent a cross-section of fourteenth-century English society.
All levels are represented, beginning with the Knight who is the highest ranking character socially. Several levels of holiness and authority in the clergy are among the pilgrims while the majority of the characters are drawn from the middle class.
A small number of the peasant class are also making the journey, most of them as servants to other pilgrims. As the travelers begin their journey the next morning, they draw straws to see who will tell the first tale.
The Knight draws the shortest straw. He begins the storytelling with a long romantic epic about two brave young knights who both fall in love with the same woman and who spend years attempting to win her love.
Everyone enjoys the tale and they agree that the trip is off to an excellent start.
Insulted by the Miller, the Reeve retaliates with a tale about a miller who is made a fool of in very much the same manner as the carpenter in the preceding rendition. After the Reeve, the Cook speaks up and begins to tell another humorous adventure about a thieving, womanizing young apprentice.
Chaucer did not finish writing this story; it stops almost at the beginning. When the dialogue among the travelers resumes, the morning is half gone and the Host, Harry Bailley, urges the Man of Law to begin his entry quickly.
Being a lawyer, the Man of Law is very long-winded and relates a very long story about the life of a noblewoman named Constance who suffers patiently and virtuouly through a great many terrible trials.
In the end she is rewarded for her perseverence. Harry Bailley then calls upon the Parson to tell a similar tale of goodness; but the Shipman, who wants to hear no more sermonizing, says he will take his turn next and will tell a merry story without a hint of preaching. Indeed, his story involves a lovely wife who cuckolds her husband to get money for a new dress and gets away with the whole affair.
Evidently looking for contrast in subject matter, the Host next invites the Prioress to give them a story. Graciously, she relates a short legend about a little schoolboy who is martyred and through whose death a miracle takes place. After hearing this miraculous narrative, all of the travelers become very subdued, so the Host calls upon the Narrator Chaucer to liven things up.
However, the Host is very impressed by the serious moral tone of this inferior tale and is hightly complimentary. Since the myth just told involved a wise and patient wife, Harry Bailley takes this opportunity to criticize his own shrewish wife. He then digresses further with a brief commentary on monks which leads him to call upon the pilgrim Monk for his contribution to the entertainment.The Canterbury Tales is the last of Geoffrey Chaucer.
Essays for The Canterbury Tales. The Canterbury Tales is considered one of the greatest works produced in Middle English.
Geoffrey Chaucers The Canterbury Tales English Books Essay Geoffrey Chaucers The Canterbury Stories English Books Essay Chaucer's Canterbury tales helped readers see the darker part of society, whereas those do whatever they can to make it through and for happiness, neglected who they have an effect on along the way.
In Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales, the Franklin's Tale and the Wife of Bath's Tale represent marriage in different ways. The most striking contrast is the role of power in .
The Canterbury Tales begins with the General Prologue, a detailed introduction and description of each of the pilgrims journeying to Canterbury to catch sight of the shrine to Sir Thomas a Becket, the martyred saint of Christianity, supposedly buried in the Cathedral of Canterbury since The.
Despite huge differences in plot and subject matter, there are many striking similarities between “The Canterbury Tales” and “The Decameron” by Geoffrey Chaucer and Giovanni Boccaccio respectively.
The Canterbury Tales; Suggested Essay Topics; The Canterbury Tales by: Geoffrey Chaucer Summary. Plot Overview Suggested Essay Topics. 1. Compare the Miller’s Tale with either the Reeve’s Tale or the Summoner’s Tale.
Is there a difference in the way the female characters act in the two tales? 4. How does Chaucer conceive of.