Friday, February 28, 2020

MEG 01 British Poetry Canterbury Tales Summary


Canterbury Tales Summary


General Prologue
At the Tabard Inn, a tavern in Southwark, near London, the narrator joins a corporation of twenty-nine pilgrims. The pilgrims, just like the narrator, are traveling to the shrine of the martyr Saint Thomas Becket in Canterbury. The narrator gives a descriptive account of twenty-seven of those pilgrims, including a Knight, Squire, Yeoman, Prioress, Monk, Friar, Merchant, Clerk, Man of Law, Franklin, Haberdasher, Carpenter, Weaver, Dyer, Tapestry-Weaver, Cook, Shipman, Physician, Wife, Parson, Plowman, Miller, Manciple, Reeve, Summoner, Pardoner, and Host. (He doesn't describe the Second Nun or the Nun’s Priest, although both characters appear later within the book.) The Host, whose name, we discover call at the Prologue to the Cook’s Tale, is Harry Bailey, suggests that the group ride together and entertain each other with stories. He decides that every pilgrim will tell two stories on the thanks to Canterbury and two on the way back.


Whomever he judges to be the simplest storyteller will receive a meal at Bailey’s tavern, courtesy of the opposite pilgrims. The pilgrims draw lots and determine that the Knight will tell the primary tale.

The Knight’s Tale
Theseus, duke of Athens, imprisons Arcite and Palamon, two knights from Thebes (another city in ancient Greece). From their prison, the knights see and fall crazy with Theseus’s sister-in-law, Emelye. Through the intervention of a lover , Arcite is freed, but he's banished from Athens.
He returns in disguise and becomes a page in Emelye’s chamber. Palamon escapes from prison, and therefore the two meet and fight over Emelye. Theseus apprehends them and arranges a tournament between the 2 knights and their allies, with Emelye because the prize. Arcite wins, but he's accidentally thrown from his horse and dies. Palamon then marries Emelye.

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The Miller’s Prologue and Tale
The Host asks the Monk to inform subsequent tale, but the drunken Miller interrupts and insists that his tale should be subsequent . He tells the story of an impoverished student named Nicholas, who persuades his landlord’s sexy young wife, Alisoun, to spend the night with him. He convinces his landlord, a carpenter named John, that the second flood is coming, and tricks him into spending the night during a tub hanging from the ceiling of his barn. Absolon, a young parish clerk who is additionally crazy with Alisoun, appears outside the window of the space where Nicholas and Alisoun lie together. When Absolon begs Alisoun for a kiss, she sticks her buttocks out the window within the dark and lets him kiss it.


Absolon runs and gets a Kniphofia praecox , returns to the window, and asks for an additional kiss; when Nicholas sticks his bottom out the window and farts, Absolon brands him on the buttocks. Nicholas’s cries for water make the carpenter think that the flood has come, therefore the carpenter cuts the rope connecting his tub to the ceiling, falls down, and breaks his arm.

The Reeve’s Prologue and Tale
Because he also does carpentry, the Reeve takes offense at the Miller’s tale of a stupid carpenter, and counters together with his own tale of a dishonest miller. The Reeve tells the story of two students, John and Alayn, who attend the mill to observe the miller grind their corn, in order that he won’t have an opportunity to steal any. But the miller unties their horse, and while they chase it, he steals a number of the flour he has just ground for them. By the time the scholars catch the horse, it's dark, in order that they spend the night within the miller’s house.
That night, Alayn seduces the miller’s daughter, and John seduces his wife. When the miller wakes up and finds out what went on , he tries to beat the scholars . His wife, thinking that her husband is really one among the scholars , hits the miller over the top with a staff. the scholars take back their stolen goods and leave.

The Cook’s Prologue and Tale
The Cook particularly enjoys the Reeve’s Tale, and offers to inform another funny tale. the story concerns an apprentice named Perkyn who drinks and dances such a lot that he's called “Perkyn Reveler.” Finally, Perkyn’s master decides that he would rather his apprentice leave to revel than stay home and corrupt the opposite servants. Perkyn arranges to remain with a lover who loves drinking and gambling, and who features a wife who may be a prostitute. the story breaks off, unfinished, after fifty-eight lines.

The Man of Law’s Introduction, Prologue, Tale, and Epilogue
The Host reminds his fellow pilgrims to waste no time, because lost time can't be regained. He asks the person of Law to inform subsequent tale. the person of Law agrees, apologizing that he cannot tell any suitable tale that Chaucer has not already told—Chaucer could also be unskilled as a poet, says the person of Law, but he has told more stories of lovers than Ovid, and he doesn’t print tales of incest as John Gower does (Gower was a up to date of Chaucer). within the Prologue to his tale, the person of Law laments the miseries of poverty. He then remarks how fortunate merchants are, and says that his tale is one told to him by a merchant.


 In the tale, the Muslim sultan of Syria converts his entire sultanate (including himself) to Christianity so as to influence the emperor of Rome to offer him his daughter, Custance, in marriage. The sultan’s mother and her attendants remain secretly faithful to Islam. The mother tells her son she wishes to carry a banquet for him and every one the Christians. At the banquet, she massacres her son and every one the Christians apart from Custance, whom she sets adrift during a rudderless ship. After years of floating, Custance runs ashore in Northumberland, where a constable and his wife, Hermengyld, offer her shelter. She converts them to Christianity.
One night, Satan makes a young knight sneak into Hermengyld’s chamber and murder Hermengyld. He places the bloody knife next to Custance, who sleeps within the same chamber. When the constable returns home, amid Alla, the king of Northumberland, he finds his slain wife. He tells Alla the story of how Custance was found, and Alla begins to pity the girl. He decides to seem more deeply into the murder. even as the knight who murdered Hermengyld is swearing that Custance is that the true murderer, he's struck down and his eyes burst out of his face, proving his guilt to Alla and therefore the crowd. The knight is executed, Alla and lots of others convert to Christianity, and Custance and Alla marry.
While Alla is away in Scotland, Custance gives birth to a boy named Mauricius. Alla’s mother, Donegild, intercepts a letter from Custance to Alla and substitutes a counterfeit one that claims that the kid is disfigured and bewitched. She then intercepts Alla’s reply, which claims that the kid should be kept and loved regardless of how malformed. Donegild substitutes a letter saying that Custance and her son are banished and will be sent away on an equivalent ship on which Custance arrived. Alla returns home, finds out what went on , and kills Donegild.
After many adventures stumped , including an attempted rape, Custance finishes up back in Rome, where she reunites with Alla, who has made a pilgrimage there to catch up on killing his mother. She also reunites together with her father, the emperor. Alla and Custance return to England, but Alla dies after a year, so Custance returns, once more, to Rome. Mauricius becomes subsequent Roman Emperor .
Following the person of Law’s Tale, the Host asks the Parson to inform subsequent tale, but the Parson reproaches him for swearing, and that they fall to bickering.
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The Wife of Bath’s Prologue and Tale
The Wife of Bath gives a lengthy account of her feelings about marriage. Quoting from the Bible, the Wife argues against those that believe it's wrong to marry quite once, and she or he explains how she dominated and controlled each of her five husbands. She married her fifth husband, Jankyn, for love rather than money. After the Wife has rambled on for a short time , the Friar butts in to complain that she is taking too long, and therefore the Summoner retorts that friars are like flies, always meddling. The Friar promises to inform a tale a few summoner, and therefore the Summoner promises to inform a tale a few friar. The Host cries for everybody to calm down and permit the Wife to commence her tale.

In her tale, a young knight of King Arthur’s court rapes a maiden; to catch up on his crime, Arthur’s queen sends him on a search to get what women want most. an unsightly old woman promises the knight that she is going to tell him the key if he promises to try to to whatever she wants for saving his life. He agrees, and she or he tells him women want control of their husbands and their own lives. they are going together to Arthur’s queen, and therefore the old woman’s answer seems to be correct. The old woman then tells the knight that he must marry her. When the knight confesses later that he's repulsed by her appearance, she gives him a choice: she will either be ugly and faithful, or beautiful and unfaithful. The knight tells her to form the selection herself, and she or he rewards him for giving her control of the wedding by rendering herself both beautiful and faithful.

The Friar’s Prologue and Tale
The Friar speaks approvingly of the Wife of Bath’s Tale, and offers to lighten things up for the corporate by telling a joke a few lecherous summoner. The Summoner doesn't object, but he promises to pay the Friar back in his own tale. The Friar tells of an archdeacon who carries out the law without mercy, especially to lechers. The archdeacon features a summoner who features a network of spies working for him, to let him know who has been lecherous. The summoner extorts money from those he’s sent to summon, charging them extra money than he should for penance. He tries to serve a summons on a yeoman who is really a devil in disguise. After comparing notes on their treachery and extortion, the devil vanishes, but when the summoner tries to prosecute an old wealthy widow unfairly, the widow cries out that the summoner should be taken to hell. The devil follows the woman’s instructions and drags the summoner off to hell.



The Nun’s Priest’s Prologue, Tale, and Epilogue
After seventeen noble “falls” narrated by the Monk, the Knight interrupts, and therefore the Host calls upon the Nun’s Priest to deliver something more lively. The Nun’s Priest tells of Chanticleer the Rooster, who is carried off by a flattering fox who tricks him into closing his eyes and displaying his crowing abilities. Chanticleer turns the tables on the fox by persuading him to open his mouth and brag to the barnyard about his feat, upon which Chanticleer falls out of the fox’s mouth and escapes. The Host praises the Nun’s Priest’s Tale, adding that if the Nun’s Priest weren't in holy orders, he would be as sexually potent as Chanticleer.

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