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Neville Coghill did one of the 4 translations as noted in our book.
Terms in this set (40)
The "Prologue" to Chaucer's Canterbury Tales introduces...
A varied group of medieval people
When were they assembled?
One April evening in 1387
The Tabard Inn in Southwark, across the River Thames from London.
What is the group about to set out on?
A religious pilgrimage
What is their destination?
How far away is Canterbury?
3 or 4 days
How do they pass the time on the slow journey?
The pilgrims tell stories as suggested by the innkeeper
What will be awarded to the teller of the best tale?
A free dinner
The famous ____-line introduction to the "Prologue" sets the stage.
How is it written in?
What does the poet recognize?
"There is... great diversity in English and in writing of our tongue." And that his readers would hopefully not "mismeter" his poems "for default of tongue."
How does one not "mismeter" the meter?
Pronounce the final "e's" as "uh."
When in April the sweet showers fall And pierce the drought of March to the root, and all
When it rains in April
And pierce the drought of March to the root, and all
The veins are bathed in liquor of such power
As brings about the engendering of the flower.
The ribs of the leaf runs with the water which brings about the "power" of making flowers.
a slender rib running through a leaf or bract, typically dividing or branching, and containing a vascular bundle.
the liquid from which a substance has been crystalized or extracted.
When also Zephyrus with his sweet breath
Exhales an air in every groove and heath
Upon the tender shoots, and the young sun
When the West Wind brings warmth to every groove and land (he breathe in life to nature), and the sun
Greek God of the West Wind
The spring rains, winds (Zephyr) and sunlight make everything grow and bloom and the birds sing.
[Actually, the full passage states that when this spring rebirth happens, then we think of making pilgrimages. But Chaucer is teasing us with this satirical observation because the traditional thought pattern even in his time was that spring turns our attention to love and "generating" new life (babies) in imitation of and inspiration from the natural world. FEW PEOPLE, IF ANY, WOULD THINK FIRST OF GOING ON A PILGRIMAGE.]
His half-course in the sign of the "Ram" has run,
The young (bright, lively) sun has his half-course when the star/zodiac of Aries appears. This has come to pass.
March 21st, the Northern Vernal Equinox, the sun enters the sign of Aries. Aries is the Greek god of War and his symbol is the Ram.
And the small fowl are making melody
That sleep away the night with open eye
The small domestic birds are harmonious and laying eggs.
Animals that are awake at night
(So nature prick them and their heart engages)
Nature has an effect on everything: plants and animals. The human hearts are called to seek pilgrimage. We all respond to nature.
Then people long to go on pilgrimages
And palmers long to seek the stranger strands
Off far-off saints, hallowed in sundry lands,
People want to go on religious journeys. And those who return from the Holy Lands (palm branches-tokens) want to visit foreign shores of distant religions that are honored in diverse countries.
And specially, from every shire's end
In England, dow to Canterbury they wend
KEY: from every county in England, they all travelled in the direction down to Canterbury
To seek the holy blissful martyr, quick
To give his help to them when they were sick
To seek Jesus Christ (Died to save our sins and his faith as God); known for being a person turned to in need like illness
It happened in that season that one day
In Southwark, at "The Tabard," as I lay
SETTING: Southwark at "The Tabard" which is an inn during the season of SPRING, the narrator lies
Ready to go on pilgrimage and start
For Canterbury, most devout at heart
The narrator feels prepared to go on the religious journey to Canterbury. He is faithful, religious, and committed at HEART.
At night there came into that hostelry
Some nine and twenty in a company
Of sundry folk happening then to fall
In fellowship, and they were pilgrims all
That towards Canterbury meant to ride.
That night 29 people entered the inn. These people were a diverse mix of folk who all became companions/group in their journey. All of them were religious people heading to Canterbury.
The rooms and stables of the inn were wide;
They made us easy, all was of the best.
The inn was spacious and commodious. The people were easy-going in the welcoming environment. All was good.
And shortly, when the sun had gone to rest,
By speaking to them all upon the trip
I soon was one of them in fellowship
And promised to rise early and take the way
To Canterbury, as you heard me say.
After sunset, the narrator speaks to the pilgrims about the journey. Soon, the narrator becomes their companion and joins their group. He promises to wake early (with the SUN) and go to Canterbury.
How do the pilgrims determine the order in which they tell their stories?
They draw lots.
How does the journey begin?
Enlivened by this entertainment
Describe the storytellers.
"Many and varied"-
knight, miller, nun
Describe the tales.
As varied as their storytellers.
magic; miracles; humorous glimpses of English daily life.
Physician- tragic tale which leaves the party in need of something lighter
Who goes after the Physician?
What does the pilgrims clamor for?
"Something with a moral, something clear
And profitable, and we'll gladly hear."
Does the Pardoner oblige?