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The Canterbury Tales. General & Character Prologue. Pilgrimage= a religious journey made to a shrine or holy place. During Chaucer’s time, people from all classes made pilgrimages. People made the trip to Becket’s shrine because they believed they could be healed there.

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the canterbury tales

The Canterbury Tales

General & Character Prologue

pilgrimage a religious journey made to a shrine or holy place
Pilgrimage= a religious journey made to a shrine or holy place

During Chaucer’s time, people from all classes made pilgrimages.

People made the trip to Becket’s shrine because they believed they could be healed there.

This one is in spring= the archetypal time of new life and awakening.

The pilgrims represent “everyman” – or all of us on our universal pilgrimage through life.

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Setting: The time is April. Place is The Tabard Inn.

Narrator is presumed to be Chaucer himself.

the knight
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.

the squire
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

the yeoman
The Yeoman

Lines 103-121 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)