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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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The canterbury tales pilgrim study guide

The Canterbury Tales Pilgrim Study Guide

Block 7

The knight
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)

  • Occupation: A knight, fighting for the lord he trained under as a page and squire

  • Representative line: “He was a true, a perfect gentle-knight” (74)

  • My opinion: He seems to be a brave, skilled, experienced crusader for Christianity

  • Modern counterpart: A Navy SEAL

  • The ideal; most socially prominent member of the journey



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

Prioress perceived a certain way.

  • Physical Description: “Her way of smiling very simple and coy.” (123) “Her nose was elegant, her eyes glass-grey; Her mouth was very small, but soft and red, Her forehead, certainly, was fair of spread, Almost a span across the brows…” (156-159)

  • Clothing: “Her veil was gathered in a seemly way.” (155) “Her cloak, I noticed, had a graceful charm. She wore a coral trinket on her arm, a set of beads, the gaudies tricked in green, where hung a golden brooch of the brightest sheen.” (161-164)

  • Occupation: A nun who spoke French

  • Representative Line: “And to seem dignified in all her dealings” (145)

  • My Opinion: She seems well educated, well mannered, and very compassionate Worries about appearance, which is unusual for a nun.

  • Modern Counterpart: A nun

The canterbury tales pilgrim study guide
Monk perceived a certain way.

  • Physical Description: “His head was bald and shone like looking-glass; so did his face, as if it had been greased. He was a fat and personable priest; His prominent eyeballs never seemed to settle.” (203-205) “He was not pale like a tormented soul.” (209) “His palfrey was as brown as is a berry.” (211)

  • Clothing: “I saw his sleeves were garnished at the hand, With fine grey fur, the finest in the land, And on his hood, to fasten it at his chin, He had a wrought-gold cunningly fashioned pin;” (197-201)

  • Occupation: A monk who studied religious scripts, who also took care of horses and hunted

  • Representative Line: “Where my lord Monk was Prior of the cell.” (176)

  • My Opinion: I think that he has a wild personality because he hunts and kills animals, yet studies religious texts that disapprove of these actions

  • Modern Counterpart: A monk (Phil Robertson)

The canterbury tales pilgrim study guide

Friar perceived a certain way.Physical 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

The canterbury tales pilgrim study guide

Merchant perceived a certain way.Physical 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

Franklin perceived a certain way.

  • “White as a daisy petal was his beard,” “sanguine (positive),” “high coloured and benign”

  • Dagger and silk purse hung from his girdle

  • Occupation: “As sheriff he checked audit, every entry”

  • Line: “He lived for pleasure, and had always done” (enjoyed good food and always had his table laid out; wealthy land owner, but not of noble birth)

  • Modern counterpart: heir to “new money” business

The canterbury tales pilgrim study guide

Harberdasher perceived a certain way., Carpenter, Weaver Dyer, Carpet-Maker

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

The canterbury tales pilgrim study guide

Cook: perceived a certain way.

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

The shipman
The Shipman perceived a certain way.

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

The skipper

The Skipper perceived a certain way.

-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

The doctor of medicine
The Doctor of Medicine perceived a certain way.

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

Wife woman of bath

Wife/Woman of Bath perceived a certain way.

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

Parson perceived a certain way.

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

Plowman perceived a certain way.

Physical Description:

“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)

Representative line:

“He was an honest worker, good and true,

Living in peace and perfect Charity,” Line 543

My Opinion:

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)

Modern Counterpart:

A modern day priest.

Miller perceived a certain way.

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.

The miller

The Miller perceived a certain way.

- “ 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.

The miller1
The Miller perceived a certain way.

The manciple

The Manciple perceived a certain way.

- “ 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

The manciple1
The Manciple perceived a certain way.

Reeve perceived a certain way.

  • Old, choleric (irritable), and thin. Legs were skinny, thin beard.

  • Wore a blue overcoat. Had a rusty blade at his side. His coat was tucked under his belt.

    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)

  • Line 623: “Feared like the plague he was, by those beneath.” (bad temper to those who worked under him, rode alone because he was suspicious of others on the pilgrimmage)

  • I think this character is like a rich grumpy old man who is skilled in his job.

  • Modern Counterpart: A mayor

Summoner perceived a certain way.

  • Physical Description: Narrow eyes and black, scabby brows, thin beard, smelled like garlic and onions, pimples sitting on his cheeks.

  • Clothing: No detail

    Occupation: A mendictant friar who travels about preaching and gaining his living by begging. (paid to take sinners to court)

  • Representative line: “Garlic he loved, and onions too, and leeks, and drinking strong red wine till all was hazy.”

    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)

  • Modern counterpart: A drunk

Summoner perceived a certain way.

  • Ugly, had carbuncles (skin disease), children would run when they saw him.

  • Wore a robe and a hat, usually carrying a sword along with him.

  • He would transport letters to people that he was ordered to summon.

  • Lines 662-663: “But had you tried to test his wits and grope for more, you’d have found nothing in the bag.”

  • I think this person doesn’t have a very important job and to make it worse he has very disgusting aspects. He also likes gross things such as garlic and onions.

  • Modern Counterpart: Court Summoners

The pardoner

The Pardoner perceived a certain way.

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 perceived a certain way.: 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


Pardon picture
Pardon picture perceived a certain way.

The canterbury tales pilgrim study guide
Host perceived a certain way.

  • Physical Description: “A very striking man, had bright eyes, his girth a little wide” (lines 772-773)

  • Clothing: No detail

  • Occupation: Inn Keeper – “Our Host gave us great welcome; everyone was given a place and supper was begun” (lines 667-668) “He shall be given a supper, paid by all, here in this tavern, in this very hall” (lines 819-820)/ Judge – “Serve as guide, I’ll be the judge” (lines 824-825) “Become our Governor in short, judge of our tales and general referee” (lines 833-834) He will judge the stories that are told while on the journey.

  • Representative Line: “Bold in his speech, yet wise and full of tact, there was no manly attribute he lacked, what’s more he was a merry-hearted man” (lines 775-777)

  • My Opinion: He seems to be a merry-hearted man who is looking to provide fun for and have camaraderie with others. He seems to enjoy planning and executing the storytelling competition as well as providing a reward.

  • Modern Counterpart: Hotel Manager

The canterbury tales pilgrim study guide
Host perceived a certain way.

  • Physical description: bright eyes, wide grin (lines 773) fit to be a marshal (line 772) very striking man (lines 771)

  • Clothing: modern but slightly holy (lines 701-705)

  • Occupation and what it entails: governor in short and be judge of our tales(line 833) sets a price for the supper (line 835)

  • A representative line:Judges of our tales and general referee(line 834)

  • Your Opinion of Character:adventurous man, kind, and rich

  • Modern counterpart: homeowner

The host
The Host perceived a certain way.