The Canterbury Tales Pilgrim Study Guide. Block 7. The Knight. Physical description: “A most distinguished man” (line 43) Clothing: “He wore a fustian tunic stained and dark With smudges where his armor had left a mark” (77-78)
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With smudges where his armor had left a mark” (77-78)
Physical description: Chaucer describes him as “embrouded as if he we a meal all ful of fresshefloures, whyte and feede” (80-90) with locks as curly as if hey had been pressed.
Occupation: A squire is like an indentured servant learning the trade on how to be a knight. He makes songs, and poems and recites them, shield or armor bearer of a knight.
Modern counterpart: An apprentice.
Representative line: “Courteous he was, lowly and serviceable and curved to serve his father at the table”
I think that the squire is a servant that spends years learning his trade so he can be the best Knight possible when he is older.
Clothing: ‘short was his gown, the sleeves were long and wide” (95)
Physical description: “His head was like a nut, his face was brown.”(line 111-112)
Clothing: “wore a coat and hood of green, and peacock feathered arrows, bright and keen”(line 105-107)
Occupation: A forester, he takes care of the forest on the knight’s land, protecting it from outlaws and so nobody poaches in them
Representative line: “He was a proper forester”(line 121)
My Opinion: He seems to be trustworthy, loyal, and a strong person.
Modern counterpart: Park Ranger
A Nun who is a religious figure but tries too hard to be perceived a certain way.
FriarPhysical Description: A wanton(cruel)one and merry (212)Clothing: Threadbare robes and stuffed tippet with pins for curls and pocket knives. (237-238) (268)Occupation: A Limiter, a very festive fellow (has girls confess their sins to him, and then helps them find marriage)Representative Line: He was the finest beggar of his batch (256) (the best of his type-a scoundrel; tricky)My Opinion: He seems to be a player, charming, and respected by many people. (charms people to take advantage of them)Modern Counterpart: ABishop
MerchantPhysical Description: A forking beard and motley dress (280)Clothing: Upon his head a Flemish beaver hat and on his feet daintily buckled boots ( 282-283)Occupation: He was an expert at dabbling in exchanges (288) (knew how to bargain, to the outside he was part of a powerful, affluent class, but no one knew he was in debt)Representative Line: He was an excellent fellow all the same (293)My Opinion: A short man that seems really confident and works hard to earn money.Modern Counterpart: ATrader
Physical Description: *None
Description of Clothing: Trim and Fresh,
Knives made of silver
Occupation: They all create, fix, or sell products
Representative Line: “Their wisdom would have justified a plan, to make each one of them an alderman.” (Line 381-382)
Opinion: I’m assuming they all must be friends since they travel with each other and they must be important because they each have a special skill.
Modern Counterpart: Handyman
Physical Description: Ulcer on his knee
Description of Clothing: *no info in book
Occupation: Cooked food for the travelers, Representative Line: “They had a cook with them who stood alone”(line 389)
Opinion: He was a great cook, and created many delicious meals, however he was old and had some physical problems. (his ulcer makes some people turned off by his food)
Modern Counterpart: Cook
Physical Description: “The summer heat had tanned his colour
And certainly he was an excellent fellow.” (lines 404-405)
Clothing: “He rode a farmer’s horse as best he could,
In a woollen gown that reached his knee.
A dagger on a lanyard falling free
Hung from his neck under his arm and
down.” (lines 400-403)
Occupation: A skipper that fights enemy vessels at sea
Representative Line:“Hardy he was, prudent in undertaking;”(line 415)
My opinion: He seems to be a relentless and shrewd captain who was a hard worker and felt no sympathy. (tough, knowledgeable of the geography of the sea)
Modern Counterpart: A ship captain
-Physical Description: “He came from Dartmouth, so I understood. “He rode a farmer’s horse as best he could.”
Description of Clothing: “He rode his farmers horse as best he could in a wooden gown that reached his knee.”
Occupation-He was a fighter and when he fought his enemy vessel sank.
Representative line- “He sent the prisoners home; they walked the plank.”
Opinion- I think the skipper is a good person at what he does and knows what he’s doing each time he fights someone.
Modern Counterpart- A Pirate
Physical Description: “No one alive could talk as well as he did
On points of medicine and of surgery,” (lines 422-423)
Clothing: “”In blood-red garments, slashed with bluish
And lined with taffeta, he rode his way:” (lines 448-450)
Occupation: A self-sufficient physician that prescribes medicines for his patients as well as cares for them
Representative Line:“He was a perfect practicing physician.” (line 432)
My opinion: He appears to be an intelligent business man who is rather wealthy with gold. (good dr., physically healthy, but spiritually lacking)
Modern Counterpart: A Pediatrician
Physical description: “Bold was her face, handsome and red in hue.” (line 468) deaf, gap in her teeth
Clothing: “The ones she wore on Sunday, on her head. Her hose were of the finest scarlet red and gartered tight; her shoes were soft and new.” (line465-4670
Occupation: Knows remedies for love mischances
Representative line: “In company she liked to laugh and chat”
My opinion: Very well off and has seen the world
Modern counterpart: trophy wife
Physical description: Male
Clothing: Old clothes that are not extravagant
Occupation: Parish priest who spreads Christianity and teaches virtuous and holy living.
Representative line: “Christ and His Twelve Apostoles and their lore, He taught, but followed it himself before.” (537-538)
Opinion: He is a very selfless man (he lives in poverty) who takes his job as a parish priest very seriously. (ideal portrait of what a parish priest should be among superficial religious characters on this pilgrimage)
Modern Counterpart: Priest
“He wore a tabard smock and rode a mare.” Line 555
He wore a tabard smock.
He was a friar or priest. (works picking up manure in the fields)
“He was an honest worker, good and true,
Living in peace and perfect Charity,” Line 543
He seems like a good hearted priest or friar that just wants to make others happy and to give all he can. (brother of the parson)
A modern day priest.
Physical Description: “A great stout fellow big in brawn and bone.” (Line 562) “Broad, knotty and short shouldered” (Line 565) “His beard, like any sow or fox, was red and broad as well” (Line 568-569) (red hairs coming from the wart on his nose made him look intimidating)
Clothing: “He wore a hood of blue and a white coat.” (line 582)
Occupation: A store owner that buys and sells grains.
Representative line: “His mighty mouth was like a furnace door.” (line 575)
My opinion: He seems like a large, hairy, greedy man that uses muscle over brain, except when he’s cheating people out of their money.
Modern counterpart: A street vendor.
- “ A great stout fellow, big in brawn and bone” (563) “Broad knotty and short shouldered” (565)
- “He wore a hood of blue and a white coat” (582) “He had a sword and a buckler at his side” (574)
- A strong Miller, with the uncanny ability to identify any grain.
- “His was a master hand at stealing grain. He felt it with his thumb, and thus he knew its quality….” (578-580) “He could heave any door off hinge and post” (566)
- The Miller seems to be extremely strong, and he also seems very skilled at his profession.
- A professional wrestler or a master baker.
- “ An illiterate fellow can outpace the wisdom of a heap of learned men?” (line 592-593)
- In charge of purchasing/preparing food for the Inner Temple a law school
- “In buying victuals he was never rash, whether he bought on credit or paid in cash”(line 88-89)
- He seems to be a smart and sensible person. (would outsmart the “well-educated lawyers by keeping a sum of money for himself)
swindle their money from them)
- Business agent or Caterer
He was a skilled carpenter with a horse. He would take care of his master’s animals. (manager of a large estate; cheats his lord by lending him what was already his own)
Occupation: A mendictant friar who travels about preaching and gaining his living by begging. (paid to take sinners to court)
My opinion: He seems to be frightening, unappealing, and repulsive. (people hated getting summons from him bc he was so gross, but could easily be bribed-Chaucer ironically calls him a good fellow for that)
Physical description- “hair as yellow as wax” line 695
Clothing- “he wore no hood on his head, for fun” line 700, “but for a little cap his head was bare” line 703 “he’d sewed a holy relic on his cap” line 705
Occupation- a pardoner in the middle ages was a clerk of the Catholic Church that raised money for the church by selling indulges
My opinion-I think he is a pretty chill dude. He seems to care a lot about the church and is really religious Despite his work with the church, his “flatteries and prevarication” make him sound like he’s not an entirely genuine character.
Modern Counterpart- Catholic priest that hands out penance after confessions
Physical description: hair yellow as wax(line 695) bugling eye-balls(line 704)
Clothing: he wore no hood upon his head (lines 700-705)
Occupation and what it entails: noble ecclesiast in church(729), told stories
A representative line: He’d have to preach and tune his honey tongue (line 732)
Your Opinion of Character: well spoken preacher, rich, well accomplished man (through trickery; makes his money preaching about greed, but he is greedy himself.)
Modern counterpart: Christian rap artist