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Canterbury Tales- Character List & Assorted Questions
Terms in this set (32)
"But now, to tell you all of his array,/ His steeds were good, but yet he was not gay."
This character is brave and good, but is unhappy because he is in "discolored clothes". He has had to kill a lot of Muslims for the faith.
"So hot he loved that, while night told her tale,/ He slept no more than does a nightingale./ Courteous he, and humble, willing and able,/ And carved before his father at the table.
This character is very young and very ACTIVE. He is the opposite of his father in mentality and stature, and is happily PURSUING life and its many BENEFITS.
A fully-armored forester who is kind of mysterious and has lots of weapons.
"She was right pleasant, amiable- in short./ She was at pains to counterfeit the look/ Of courtliness, and stately manners took,/ And would be held worthy of reference.
This character is supposed to be holy, but is pursuing something she is not. She is very concerned with trying to act in the ways of a mannered noblewoman, but is over the top in doing so.
"What? Should he study as a madman would/ Upon a book in cloister cell? Or yet/ Go labour with his hands and swink and sweat,/ As Austin bids? How shall the world be served? Let Austin have his toil to him reserved. Therefore he was a rider day and night"
This character is supposed to be a holy man, and his job has the connotation of having to live a studious, prayerful, and secluded life. However, this character refuses to live that way and travels about hunting (both animals and women) while living lavishly.
"Well liked by all and intimate was he/ With franklins everywhere is his country,/ And with the worthy women of the town:/ For at confessing he'd more power in gown"
This character is supposed to be a holy man who travels helping the poor and preaching the faith. However, this man spends most of his time socializing with the wealthy men, having affairs with the women, spending time at taverns, and profiting by "absolving" people's sins for a price.
"So well he governed all his trade affairs/ With bargains and with borrowings and with shares./ Indeed, he was a worthy man withal,/ But, sooth to say, his name I can't recall."
This character loves to boast about his many successful trades that come with his position. He speaks only of the great sales he has made, and never speaks of any of his losses.
"And short and quick and full of high good sense./ Pregnant of moral virtue was his speech;/ And gladly would he learn and gladly teach."
This character is very thin and sickly because he spends his small income on books. He is a good man who loves people and knowledge. He is rich in smarts but physically is very poor.
"Because of learning and his high renown,/ He took large fees and many robes could own./ So great a purchaser was never known."
This character is very good at his profession- he is good at writing contracts, winning cases, and all of the things his job requires. However he is full himself and therefore charges high prices for his services.
"At county sessions was he lord and sire,/ And often acted as a knight of shire./" "He had been sheriff and been auditor;/ And nowhere was a worthier vavasor."
This character is rich but is not of noble blood, but he tries very hard to be noble. He is a great host who shares his wealth and helps in the community, but he tries too hard and overdoes it.
5 Workers (Haberdasher, Carpenter, Weaver, Dyer, and Arras-Maker)
These characters are a part of the rising middle class of workers and are new to having money. They live well, but they don't have a lot of class (they don't know how to do things people with money would know to do like hire a good cook).
"But very ill it was, it seemed to me,/That on his shin a deadly sore had he"
This character is very good at his profession, but he has a terrible, unpleasant sore that it seems would interfere with the product of his trade for sanitary reasons.
"And certainly he was a good fellow./ Full many a draught of wine he'd drawn, I trow, / Of Bordeaux vintage, while the trader slept./ Nice conscience a thing he never kept."
This character is very dangerous- he steals goods from those who hire him, and is not afraid to kill to get away with a crime. It is implied that he has killed when it was necessary so that he could get away.
"Ready he was, with his apothecaries,/ To send him drugs and all electuaries;/ By mutual aid much gold they'd always won-/ There friendship was a thing not new begun."
This character appears to be well practiced and very knowledgeable of his profession (even though he doesn't actually know much), but he has very low moral standards. He prescribes drugs without hesitation whether they are needed or not, and charges a lot of money for it. His only goal is to get as much money as possible, not to care for the sick and dying.
Wife of Bath
"She'd been respectable throughout her life,/ With five churched husbands bringing joy and strife,/ Not counting other company in youth"
This character is very BOLD and EXPERIENCED. She wears outrageous clothing, she is slightly old, has a lot of experience with men, and has traveled the world. Competitive, showy, and promiscuous, she is a very flamboyant character.
"poor, I warrant you;/But rich he was in holy thought and work./...And holy though he was, and virtuous,/ To sinners he was not impiteous,/ Nor haughty in his speech, nor too divine"
This character is a religious figure who is actually not corrupt and perfectly fulfills his station in life. He truly cares for his parishioners, his duties of faith, and gives the little income he has to the needy.
"He'd thresh and dig, with never thought of pelf,/ For Christ's own sake, for every poor wight,/All without pay, if it lay in his might."
This character is poor, but a faithful and hardworking man. He is very virtuous and does his labor to the fullest, sometimes not even allowing someone to pay for his efforts out of his generosity.
"But mostly all of sin and ribaldries./ He could steal corn and full thrice charges his fees;/ And yet he had a thumb of gold, begad."
This character is a very large man who, based on description, appears to be a stereotypical Scottish man (red hair, large, bagpipes). He overcharges people for the flour that he grinds, and is known for making crude jokes.
"To learn the art of buying food and drink;/ For whether he paid cash or not, I think/ That he so knew the markets, when to buy,/ He never found himself left high and dry."
This character purchases food and other supplies for wealthy men who hire him. However, he outsmarts and manipulates these very smart people and overcharges them for the products he buys.
"Much better than his lord could he purchase./ Right rich he was in his own private right,/ Seeing he'd pleased his lord, by day or night,/ By giving him, or lending, of his goods"
This character manages the estate of a young, naive, and wealthy lord. However, he steals things from the lord, sells them back to the lord, and the unknowing lord rewards him for the work he does. Ironically, much like his character, he wears fine robes but looks very sickly.
"A better comrade 'twould be hard to find./ Why, he would suffer, for a quart of wine,/ Some good fellow to have his concubine/ A twelve-month, and excuse him to the full"
This character's job is take sinners to church court, but he instead often takes bribes of money or wine and lets people who can pay go. He is a very nasty looking man, and uses fearful children to tell him secrets about people so he can blackmail the people so they pay him not to turn them in. He is truly a "noble rascal" (he is good at being bad).
"But with these relics, when he came upon/ Some simple parson, then this paragon/ In that one day more money stood to gain/ Than the poor dupe in two months could attain."
This character sells pardons to people for their sins, and appears to be very holy to those who are naive (preaches, quotes Bible, etc.). However, he really is not a good man, and he sells fake relics to unknowing country parsons taking the little money they have.
The holy blessed martyr of Canterbury who was killed in 1170 AD
Tabard Inn (in Southwark)
Where all of the pilgrims meet before embarking on the pilgrimage
Canterbury Cathedral of England
Where the pilgrims are going (popular pilgrimage site in 1400 AD)
The host of the Tabard Inn
Leader of the pilgrimage and host of the storytelling contest
Each person must tell 2 stories on the way there and 2 stories on the way back. Whoever the host judges as the best storyteller will have a dinner paid for by all of the other pilgrims at the end of the trip.
What are the guidelines of the story-telling contest?
Who has to tell his/her story first?
Geoffrey Chaucer (wrote Canterbury Tales from 1386-1400)
Who wrote Canterbury Tales?
What season is most popular to go on pilgrimage?
The Parson and the Plowman
Which two characters are brothers?
The Knight and the Squire
Which two characters are father/son?
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