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General & Character Prologue

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1 General & Character Prologue
The Canterbury Tales General & Character Prologue

2 The Knight Lines 43-80 The Knight—follows code of chivalry.
Has had long career – fought in the “holy wars” Is modest, considerate, well mannered. Clothing is soiled– this suggests he is plain, honest, modest, cares more about thanking God than making impression on others. Also might not have much $ Embodies the ideal chivalric knight – closest character to perfection in Chaucer’s eyes.

3 The Squire Lines 81-102 The Squire
20 years old. Young, naïve, full of youthful vanity His clothes were flashy which then stress his youthfulness and frivolity Interested in “playing the part” Seems to be a lady’s man (lust vs. love) Embodies the aspect of courtly love of the chivalric code

4 The Yeoman Lines The Yeoman (a manservant above the rank of groom—servant who tended horses) Originally yeomen were knights’ servants, they later became landowners. Dressed in all green; carries bows & arrows and a dagger; neat & orderly, and careful with equipment. Knowledgeable/skilled as a woodsman. He wears a St. Christopher medal (patron saint of travelers)

5 The Prioress (Nun) Lines The nun, a Prioress (prioress was in charge of a group of nuns in a convent– Mother Superior) Lots of irony associated w/her: she leaves convent (as Prioress not supposed to), she swears by St. Loy (ironic b/c Saint was known for his refusal to swear), her French is not good, she’s extremely careful about her table manners, she consciously eats in a supposedly refined way. She puts on the airs of courtly grace, but they seem false. She has pet dogs and feeds them well (nuns not to have pets, instead should spend $ on poor)

6 Prioress (Nun) continued
Note her forehead spans 9 inches (she’s big!) High foreheads were supposed to indicate intelligence and good breeding. Chaucer is probably mocking her pretensions here. She wears coral– this was considered a defense against worldly temptations as well as a love charm (ironic for a nun!)

7 The Monk Lines 169-211 The Monk Not a bit “monkly”
Has a stable full of horses. Doesn’t believe in being cloistered. Ignores rules Is an avid hunter. Has lots of greyhounds, worldly things. Wears rich clothing and jewelry, enjoys good food Is fat (b/c peasants often didn’t have enough to eat, obesity was a sign of success & affluence, thus ironic for a monk

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