Stack Exchange Network

Stack Exchange network consists of 174 Q&A communities including Stack Overflow, the largest, most trusted online community for developers to learn, share their knowledge, and build their careers.

Visit Stack Exchange

Questions tagged [the-canterbury-tales]

For questions regarding The Canterbury Tales, a collection of 24 stories written in Middle English by Geoffrey Chaucer. Use with the [geoffrey-chaucer] tag.

4
votes
1answer
95 views

Was Hardy's “A Few Crusted Characters” based directly on the Canterbury Tales?

I've just been reading Thomas Hardy's A Few Crusted Characters (full text available online), which is essentially a collection of short stories or vignettes loosely bound together by a framing story. ...
2
votes
1answer
173 views

Why does the Reeve ride at the end of the procession?

In Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales, we're told that the Reeve always rides at the end of the procession of pilgrims going to Canterbury: And evere he rood the hyndreste of oure route. (line 622; ...
7
votes
2answers
85 views

Why do translations of the line “Now have I told you soothly in a clause” ignore the word soothly?

I personally prefer to read The Canterbury Tales in the original English, but over the course of asking questions on this site I've come across several modern English translations. One thing that I'...
2
votes
1answer
61 views

Is this a joke about the length of the General Prologue?

At the end of the descriptions of all the characters in the general prologue of The Canterbury Tales, the text reads: Now have I told you soothly in a clause (The word soothly means truly; "in a ...
2
votes
0answers
41 views

Significance of the Pardoner's hair style

The General Prologue of The Canterbury Tales spends a lot of time talking about the Pardoner's hair: This Pardoner hadde heer as yelow as wex, But smothe it heeng as dooth a strike of flex; ...
2
votes
0answers
35 views

Why is the Reeve's hair cut like a priest's?

In the general prologue of The Canterbury Tales, we're introduced to the character of the Reeve. The Reeve is described as having his hair cut like a priest's: His berd was shave as ny as ever he ...
11
votes
2answers
114 views

Why is the month of Aprill masculine?

In the first line of the General Prologue of The Canterbury Tales, the month of April is given a masculine pronoun: Whan that Aprill, with his shoures soote Why is this?
4
votes
1answer
84 views

How much French does Madame Eglentyne know?

In the General Prologue of The Canterbury Tales, we're introduced to Madame Eglentyne, a prioress (a nun). On lines 124-126, there's a confusing passage where we're told that she speaks elegant French,...
6
votes
2answers
135 views

What is a “Cristopher”?

In the General Prologue of The Canterbury Tales, Chaucer describes a character who is a yeoman in service of a knight. It's mentioned on line 115 that the yeoman has a shiny silver "Cristopher": A ...
22
votes
1answer
325 views

Looking for a poem about the (fictionalized) writing of The Canterbury Tales Prologue

A friend of mine used to quote a poem that told the fictionalized story of Chaucer writing the first lines of the Prologue of The Canterbury Tales: "Whan that Aprill with his ... ". When he ...