1) The season that is described in the opening passage of The Canterbury Tales is spring. According to the narrator, when the season comes the people long to go on pilgrammages. 2) English people want to go down to Canterbury to seek the holy martyr, St. Thomas a Becket. 3) The narrator claims he meets some twenty nine pilgrims. 4) The Knight has fought in Alexandria, Prussia, Lithuania, Granada, North Africa, and Anatolia. 5) If the Knight beats his opponents in the tournament ring, he kills them. 6) According to the narrator, the Knight’s conversation and speech is honest. The Knight never said a boorish thing in all his life and he was true. 7) In appearance, the Knight’s armor is sort of raggedy. The Knight wore a fustian tunic that was stained and dark with smudges where his armor had left marks. 8) The pilgrim that is the son of the Knight is a fine young Squire. 9) The Squire’s appearance contrasts with that of the Knight because he was dressed well. The Squire wore a short gown with long and white sleeves, while the Knight wore armor. 10) The Squire was some twenty years of age.
11) The Squire’s talents are riding a horse properly, make songs, poems, and recite, draw, write, dance and joust. The Squire’s talents contrast with the Knight because all the Knight did was joust and kill. 12) The Squire sleeps so little because he loved so hotly that until dawn, he grew pale. 13) A Yeoman in the medieval world is an attendant in a noble household. 14) The Yeoman is sun-tanned because he is always outside. This suggests that he is an environmental person and loves to spend his time in the forest as a forester. 15) The Knight would want a servant who is good with a bow to have someone to hunt and trap game. Also, the Knight is always travelling and he needs somewhat of a bodyguard to secure him. 16) A prioress is a nun ranking just below the abbess of convent. The name of the particular prioress that joins the pilgrimage company is Madam Eglantyne.
17) The foreign language the Prioress speaks is French. According to her accent, Madam Englantyne learned to speak French in Stratford-atte-Bowe. This detail reveals that she lived near the Prioress’s convent. 18) The Prioress eats her food clean and neat. The Prioress did not let a drop fall from her mouth and wiped every spot of grease gently. Madam Englantyne never dipped to deep into the sauce and she always used etiquette. This suggests about her background that she was raised well off and taught proper manners. 19) The Prioress’s attitude towards animals felt sentimental about animals and would cry if a dog died. This suggests that Madam Englantyne is a very caring person and also sensitive. 20) The Prioress’s golden brooch has “Amor vincitomnia” written on it. It means “Love conquers all things” in Latin. It could also me that through love, anything is possible. 21) Four people that accompany the Prioress are the Nun, who is the secretary at her cell and three priests. 22) In a monastery, a monk is the person who is in charge of the outlying property.
The monk rode the country hunting and was known as the Abbot and Prior of the cell. 23) As the Monk rides past them, people hear jingling in the whistling wind as clear. 24) The Monk’s attitude toward the Benedictine Rule or the Mauritian Rule is that he should ignore it because it wasn’t a worthy rule. 25) The Monk thinks that the argument that holy men shouldn’t hunt animals is not right. The Monk felt he could hunt for fun and at no expense. The Monk also felt hunting didn’t make him any less holy. 26) The Monk didn’t like reading books because he was an outdoor person and he would rather spend his time hunting. 27) The Monk thinks Saint Augustine’s Rule is ignorant. Saint Augustine’s rule suggests that monks be subject to hard labor, while the Monk feels St. Augustine can do the labor himself. 28) When the Monk rides, greyhounds follow him around.
29) The sleeves of the Monk’s habit are garnished at his hands. This seems strange for a monastic habit because the Monk has gray fur on the sleeves of his cope. 30) The Monk wears a gold pin on his habit. The gold pin with a love knot at the end of the hood is strange because it indicates that he is not religious because instead of the gold pin, he should have a rosary.
The Friar pg 149
31) The Friar’s name is Hubert.
32) The Friar frequently arranges marriages for young women, giving each of his women what he could afford. You can interpret his generosity as being flirtatious, or you can assume that he is a genuinely nice man. 33) The absolution the Friar grants to sinners is his absolution is pleasant since he easily grants pardon whenever he is certain of a good offering. He argues that many hard-hearted men could not weep even if they are truly repentant for their sins. 34) He knew Taverns well in every town and he knew Franklins and worthy women in the country very well. 35) Two ways of interpreting the phrase “love-days” is that it is a day to help people who need it or you can interpret “love-days” as a scheme the Friar participates in to make himself look good to the public.
The Merchant pg 148
36) The Merchant wears a Flemish beaver hat.
37) The Merchant always talk about capital, and exchanges, basically money. 38) The narrator refers to the Merchant as “he” therefore his name is unknown.
The Oxford Clerk pg 148
39) In medieval times the word “clerk” means a student preparing for priesthood. 40) The Oxford Clerk physical build was not too fat, his clothes were in poor condition, this suggest than clerk doesn’t care about appearance or that he is poor. 41) The clerk apparently spends all his money on learning or another book. 42) The clerk wasn’t talkative but when he did talk the traits that characterize his speech are formal, respectable, short, to the point, and lofty in theme. 43) The Clerk would gladly learn and gladly teach.
The Lawyer pg 149
44) The lawyer is capable of quoting every judgment, case and crime, ever recorded since King William’s time. The lawyer wasn’t very busy.
The Franklin pg 149
45) The Franklin’s beard is very white, his cheeks were red, and he resembled Santa Clause. 46) The text “was Epicurus’ very son” means someone who pursues pleasure as the chief goal in life. Epicurus was an ancient Greek philosopher. 47) The Franklin is compared to Saint Julian this is an appropriate comparison because they both have great hospitality. 48) Inside his house it “snowed” meat and drink and all the dainties that a man could think.
The Guildsmen pg 150
49) The guildsmen all have eating utensils made of silver. They are carrying items of metal because they watch to display that they are worthy of burgess. The hired help the guildsmen bring with them is the cook.
The Cook, pg 150
50) The Cook apparently works for the Guildsmen in the pilgrimage company. 51) The cook has an ulcer on his shin this indicates that the Cook’s hygiene and health is poor. 52) The normal color of his sweet blancmange is black, this is gross because we know that the Cook isn’t a clean man and he doesn’t care about his health.
The Skipper pg 150
53) The sailor is from Darmouth.
54) The sailor keeps a dagger on his lanyard hanging around his neck under his arm and down. He keeps these items there so he can remain protected. 55) The sailor steals wine while the traders are sleep. 56) If the sailor gets involved in a naval battle he sent his prisoners home, to walk the plank, which means they die. 57) The name of his vessel is The Maudelayne.
The Physician (Doctor of Physic) pg 151
58) The stars are important to the doctor for medical treatments because he used his horoscopes to give diagnosis. 59) The stuff about the “humor” of “hot or cold, of moist or dry” are the 4 basic qualities in medieval science that were thought to combine to form both the 4 elements of the world (fire, air, water, and earth) and the 4 humors of the human body. 60) A profitable business arrangement the Doctor has with the apothecaries is that the apothecaries are ready with drugs he would prescribe to make money from the others guile. 61) The physician is well versed in Aesculapius and what Hippocrates and Rufus knew and Dioscorides, now dead and gone, Galen and Rhazes, Hali, Serapion, Averroes, Avicenna , Constantine, Scotch Bernard, John of Gaddesden, Gilbertine. 62) The physician does not know the Bible very well. He did not read the bible very much. 63) Gold stimulates the heart or so we’re told, he therefore had a special love of gold.
The Wife of Bath
64) The Wife of Bath has the physical disability of being deaf. 65) The Wife of Bath wears her kerchiefs on her head. They weigh about a good ten pounds and I think she wears this because they are fine pieces of art. 66) Her stockings were of the finest scarlet red.
67) The Wife of Bath has had five husbands.
68) The line “not counting other company in youth” can be interpreted as not looking out for anyone but yourself. Just being selfish and not caring about any other needs. 69) The Wife of Bath had thrice been to Jerusalem. The Wife of Bath has also been to Rome, Boulogne, St. James of Compostella and Cologne. This suggests that she is very rich and loves to travel. It also tells us that she is very adventurous. 70) 70. The Wife of Bath had gap-teeth, widely set.
71) 71. She wears a buckler or a shield when she rides her horse. This just shows the different styles and it shows how progressed the years has. 72) I think the speaker is referring to she learned the old way in order to understand the new ones.
73) Instead of going with the “curse to get a tithe” the Parson gives his own income and goods to poor parishioners round about both from church offerings and his property. 74) The narrator notes that the Parson’s parish was wide with houses far asunder before describing the travel because he wanted to show that he already neglected his self when he was at home. This shows that the Parson likes to be alone and maybe doesn’t like people. 75) Before the parson teaches is flock he pays a call on the remotest, when he was in sickness or grief, upon his feet and in his hand a stave.
76) This means if gold could do it all by itself then why iron there is. So if you can do it all by yourself then you don’t anyone else. 77) When the narrator speaks of “shitty shepherd, shepherding clean sheep” it means a priest must lead by giving a good example. If he wants his followers to have clean, honorable thoughts, then he must have them too. You cannot have a dirty shepherd leading a clean flock of sheep. Uphold your standards and others will follow you. 78) The parson refused the promotion to London or Saint Paul’s Cathedral because he did not see his benefice to hire meaning pay someone to perform his parish duties for him.
79) The Plowman was the Parson’s brother. He carted through the morning dew. 80) The Plowman wore a tabard smock and rode a mare, which is a short loose jacket made a heavy material.
81) The Miller was a chap of sixteen stone, a unit of weight equal to 14 pounds, a great stout fellow big in brawn and bone. 82) The Miller didn’t have a technique for removing a door from its hinges. The book just states that he could heave any door off hinges and post. 83) The Miller’s beard was red. The narrator compares him to a sow or a fox. 84) The unusual thing about the Miller’s nose was his nose displayed a wart on which there stood a tuft of hair. His nostrils were as black as they were wide. 85) It doesn’t say what he compares it to.
86) The speaker means, when he says the Miller had a “gold thumb”, that there is no such thing as an honest Miller. 87) He liked to play bagpipes up and down and that was how he brought us out of town.
88) A Manicple is officer or steward of a monastery, college, etc., authorized to purchase provisions.
89) In terms of bodily humors that is Reeve is choleric it means the Reeve is having a temperament in which yellow bile predominates and therefore prone to outbursts of anger. 90)
The Reeve (Oswald)
91) The Reeve’s bodily build is like small, thin, frail, and fragile also he possibly maybe sickly based off his bodily humor and judging off the description giving by the narrator about his legs. 92) Two ways of interpreting “Yet no man ever found him arrears” which is about the Reeve’s skills in managing are he was never in debt another interpretation could be he was good at managing so things so he wouldn’t have to repay others. 93) Business agents are more afraid of the Reeve than they are afraid of death because the Reeve knows all their dodges and he knew every trick of theirs. 94) Before Oswald was a Reeve he was a carpenter.
95) The Reeve comes from the eastern region of England in a country called Norfolk near Bald swell. 96) The position that Reeves always rides in as he travel with the pilgrimage company is the hindmost. He probably rides there because he rode the stallion-cob at a slow trot. The Summoner
97) 9 A summoner is someone whobrings persons accused of violating Church law to ecclesiastical court. 98) The skin problems that Chaucer’s Summoner has is pimples basically he was described as having carbuncles which are big pimples. 99) The foods that the Summoner likes best is garlic which he loved and onions too and leeks also he drank strong red wine. 100) The Summoner’s mastery of Latin is limited to the two or three brief quotations that he had memorized when he was drunk. 101) The narrator thinks of Summoner as a generous, friendly fellow because he was a kind and noble varlet. The two grammatical ways of reading that line about “suffer for a quart of wine,/ Some good fellow to have his concubine”, is that people were willing to suffer pain to have the chance to get some wine and he would allow good man to have something/someone that he couldn’t have, even though he wanted it/her.
102) “Ful prively a finch eek koude he pulle meansto trick, but also to seduce a young girl. 103) The Summoner gained power over all the boys and girls of the diocese by 104) The Summoner is wearing a garland set on his head and he carries a large holly-bush upon a stake and he had a cake, a round one, for a shield. This might be a parody of scripture (Ephesians 6:16) because it says to make up the shield of faith and the Summoner uses holly to cover his shield. 105) The pilgrim in particular that is a buddy to the Summoner and also sings love-songs with him is a Pardoner.
106) A pardoner is someone who offered indulgences or pardons. A pardon or indulgence is previously written document for particular sins, to people who repented of the sin they had committed. 107) The Pardoner’s hair is as yellow as wax and it hung down smoothly like a hank of flax in driblets fell his locks behind his head, down to his shoulders which they overspread and thinly they fell. The “Veronica” that the Pardoner has sewed to his cap is a holy relic, which was revered for it association with a holy person. 108) The documents that are stuffed full into the Pardoner’s wallet are pardons. 109) The Pardoner’s voice sounds like a goat.
110) The thing unusual about the Pardoner’s beard is that he had no beard. 111) The speaker meant by stating, “I think he [The Pardoner} was a gelding or mare”is that a mare is a female horse, and a gelding is a male horse which has been neutered before reaching puberty, which means the Pardoner had a face as smooth as if he had just shaved or before he a boy puberty. 112) The Pardoner’s claim he makes about the pillow-case he carries is the kerchief of the Virgin Mary. 113) The Pardoner’s claim he makes about his bottle filled with pig bones is it protected you from evil or against the devil. 114) The other fake relics the Pardoner carries to sell is a gobbet of the sail and a cross of metal set with stones. 115) The Pardoner seeks to win silver because the more precious coins were often made of silver and it was a better chance of receiving silver than gold. He doesn’t seek gold because gold was not easily available to common folk in those days, it was too valuable. 116) The narrator apologizes about for any possible offense the reader may take from his tales clarifying that he feels that he must be faithful in reproducing the characters’ words
The Host (Harry Bailey)
117) The traits that distinguish the host are his eyes were bright, his girth was a little wide, he was bold in his speech but wise and full of tact
and he was a merry-hearted man.
General Prologue Continued:
118) The sport or entertainment that the Host suggests for the pilgrim company is telling stories to each other on the journey to Canterbury and on the way home. 119) The rules of the game the Host establishes are each pilgrim must tell two stories from the days of old on the way to Canterbury and on the way home tell two stories from the days of old, the man whose story is told best to the fullest measure of good morality and general pleasure shall receive a paid supper. Each pilgrim will tell two stories on the way to Canterbury. Each pilgrim will tell two stories on the way back to London. 120) The two criteria used to determine the best tale is one that gives the fullest measure and of good morality and general pleasure. The prize the best storyteller will receive is they will be given supper paid in all. The winner will receive this prize at the tavern they are in. The rest of the pilgrims who do not win will pay for the prize.
121) Harry Bailey (The Host) will judge the contest. According to The Host if anybody “gainsays” or questions his rule, that person will have to pay for what is spent along the journey. 122) Harry Bailey (The Host) determines the order of the story tellers by who draws the shortest cut and so on. It is suspicious that the Knight “happens” to draw first and “happens” to win because it is clear that the Host has a very great respect for the Knight, calling him “my master and my lord.” This form of address hints that choosing the Knight to draw first was not random but rather an acknowledgment of his higher standing. Though it’s meant to seem random, the Knight draws first and tells his story first because he is of the highest class in the group of pilgrims.