Analysis The primary function of these opening lines is to provide a physical setting and the motivation for the Canterbury pilgrimage. The Host at the Tabard Inn, Harry Bailly, proposes that instead of marching toward Canterbury in boring silence, the pilgrims tell each other amusing tales on the way there and back.
The fox agrees, and when he opens his mouth to speak, Chaunticleer makes his escape and flies to the top of a high tree. Not only does the narrator of the story become one of the characters in it, he also makes the reader aware of his presence as an author: Appius persuades a churl named Claudius to declare her his slave, stolen from him by Virginius.
He would rather have books than fine clothes or money. Among this group of pilgrims are the Manciple, who profits from buying food for the lawyers in the Inns of Court, and the vulgar Miller, who steals from his customers.
As the pilgrims tell their stories, though, they turn out to be talking not just about fairytale people in far-off lands, but also about themselves and their society. The Shipman breaks in and tells a lively story to make up for so much moralizing.
Having the Knight go first gives one the idea that all will tell their stories by class, with the Monk following the Knight. Finally, the Host turns to the last of the group, the Parson, and bids him to tell his tale. The Host decides to accompany the party on its pilgrimage and appoints himself as the judge of the best tale.
Active Themes A Merchant with a forked beard is also among the company. The archdeacon has a summoner who has a network of spies working for him, to let him know who has been lecherous.
Here, the condition of peril is as prominent as that of protection. Chaucer begins a story about Sir Topas but is soon interrupted by the Host, who exclaims that he is tired of the jingling rhymes and wants Chaucer to tell a little something in prose.
The Squire is so passionately in love that he sleeps no more than a nightingale. The Host is very pleased with the tale and asks the Parson to relate another one just as good.
Why do we tell stories? The person who tells the best story will be awarded an elegant dinner at the end of the trip. Theseus takes them back to Athens and imprisons them for life. Greed, the Pardoner reminds the pilgrims, is the root of all evils. He wears modest clothes, and his mail is stained with rust.
He then remarks how fortunate merchants are, and says that his tale is one told to him by a merchant. Arveragus returns home and tells his wife that she must keep her promise to Aurelius.
As so often happens when you really get to know someone, what you find out in The Canterbury Tales is that people, even the ones we think we have figured out, are never one-dimensional and always worth getting to know better.
Medieval friars were mendicants: A diverse company of twenty-nine other pilgrims enter the inn, and the narrator joins their group. Following this class are pilgrims whose high social rank is mainly derived from commercial wealth. They draw straws to see who will tell the first tale, and the Knight——the most noble of the company——happens to draw the straw to go first.
It is unclear whether Chaucer would intend for the reader to link his characters with actual persons. She believes she sings well, but she intones in straight through her nose.Summary One spring day, the Narrator of The Canterbury Tales rents a room at the Tabard Inn before he recommences his journey to Canterbury.
That evening, a group of people arrive at the inn, all of whom are also going to Canterbury to receive the blessings of "the holy blissful martyr," St. Thomas à Becket. Get all the key plot points of Geoffrey Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales on one page. From the creators of SparkNotes.
The Host, whose name, we find out in the Prologue to the Cook’s Tale, is Harry Bailey, suggests that the group ride together and entertain one another with stories. He decides that each pilgrim will tell two stories on the way to Canterbury and two on the way back.
The pilgrims go to dinner, during which the owner of the tavern, or Host, makes a proposal to the group: on the way to Canterbury, says the Host, each pilgrim will tell two tales, followed by two on the way back.
The Host will accompany the group and serve as a judge of their tales. Use our free chapter-by-chapter summary and analysis of The Canterbury Tales: General Prologue & Frame Story.
It helps middle and high school students. As the party nears Canterbury, the Host demands a story from the Manciple, who tells of a white crow that can sing and talk. Finally, the Host turns to the last of .Download