The Man of the Law aka the lawyers tale is the fifth of the Canterbury tales. It was written by Geoffrey Chaucer around 1387. Chaucer based his tale on an Anglo-Norman story by Nicholas Trivet. Chaucers tale The Man of the Law is divided into three parts.
Merchants from Syria came to Rome hearing of the beauty of Constance, the emperors daughter. The merchants returned to Syria reporting to the sultan who had much curiosity for Constance. The sultan sent for Constance's hand in marriage, which her father approved. The day Constance was set to leave she was over come with sorrow because she had to leave her friends and family to marry someone she has never met. The sultan and all Christians were killed at a dinner that was held at the sultans house after he took her hand in marriage. Only Constance survived. Constance was then place on a ship where she eventually arrived on the shores of Northumberland. The warden of a near by castle gave her shelter where she never revealed her identity. Constance soon converted the wife of the warden to Christianity. After an encounter on the beach where a blind man identified Constance the man converted to Christianity. The lord of the castle that Constance had stayed in was King Alla. A young knight fell in love with Constance but she did not return these feelings. The knight then tried to stage Constance for murder. After this Constance was then taken to face King Alla. Constance fell to her knees in front of him praying for help. The knight swore on the book swearing Constance was guilty but as this was happening a hand struck him and he fell to the ground. The King and others were then converted to Christianity. The king
then decide that he would marry Constance. The knights mother, Donegild, was very upset about the wedding. Eventually they were wed and Constance gave birth to a baby boy named Maurice, while Alla was is Scotland fighting. The messenger relayed the news to the King and the Queen insisted he stay that night. While the King was sleeping Donegild replaced the letter to Constance with an order to banish Constance and her child from the land on the same boat they arrived in. Alla returned home and learned what happened and murdered his mother for her cruelty. Constance already set sail and a warden came on board her ship and told her that he would be her lover whether she liked it or not. Her and her child cried but the virgin Mary came to her aid. The warden fell over board and drowned in the sea. The emperor of Rome had sent an army after hearing of the slaughter of Christians by the sultaness. The senator in charge of the army met Constance in her ship and brought her home to Rome. King Alla had come to Rome to seek forgiveness from Christians. Alla sat at a feast across from Constance's son and he didnt recognize it was his son too. The senator sent for Constance and Constance then stood before her husband Alla, Allan explained to her what had happened. Allan and Constance kissed and were then happy. The emperor granted Alla permission to dine with him and Constance explained to him who she was. There was much joy between the three of them. Later, Constance's son, mauricius was made emperor by the pope. Constance and Alla went to England to live in joy and peace, but sadly just one year after they became reunited death took Allas life. Constance became widowed and made her way home to Rome again to find her father and praise god.
In the prologue the host asus the man of the law to tell his tale after the millers and the asus for him to not waste any time. The man of the law apologizes, stating he cannot tell a tale as well as Chaucer but he would make the attempt. He tells a tale that explains the miseries of poverty. He also tells of how fortunate merchants actually are and therefore, tells his tale through the eyes of a merchant
The Man of the Law o(o(Sergeant of law) a lawyer and one of the high justices of the court. oHoHe is cautious. suspicious and wise. oHoHe is one of the more cultivated men among the pilgrims Lady Constance oYoYoung roman catholic oEoEndures years of pain and family loss but is always true to her faith oToTrue Christian through her many exploits
Warden and wife/ Dame Hermengild o Private pagan worshipers o Hermengild became a Christian out of fear o Warden became a Christian because he witnessed a miracle Knight o Fell in love with constance o Influenced by satan o She didnt love him back o wanted revenge and framed her for murdering hermengild when he did it. o Sentenced to death when the truth was discovered
King Alla of Northumberland o Married Constance o Had a child with her o Converted to Christianity Donegild o While Alla was is Scotland she forged letters between him and constance o Banished constance to a foreign kingdom o Alla murdered her for what she had done
Constance and Allas child, Maurice o Was made emperor by the pope o Lived in England with Alla and Constance after they were reunited.
And so far did she our sweet faith declare that she the constable, before twas eve, converted, and in Christ made him believe Through this quote we capture the theme to be having faith in something larger than yourself. Constances faith in god and Christianity help her get through all her hardships and help others along the way.
1. How did the sultan hear of the beauty of constance? 2. Why did Constance feel so much sorrow when she had to leave to be married? 3. How was the king converted to Christianity? 4. Why did the emperor of Rome send an army?
1. The merchants that report back to him told him of her beauty 2. She had to leave her friends and family to marry someone she doesnt know that was also a Muslim 3. When Constance went in front of king alla for being set up for murder. The knight who committed the murder was struck and he fell after he swore on the book 4. He heard of the slaughter of Christians by the sultaness