The Canterbury Tales Characters Analysis


Chaucer the Pilgrim - Chaucer includes himself as a member of the pilgrims and tells the group a story about a Knight called Sir Topaz, and another tale about Melibee. Chaucer is stopped amid his tale by the other pilgrims due to his poor verse, which the host likens to excrement.

Harry Bailey - The host and owner of the Tabard Inn, which is the starting place of the pilgrimage to the Canterbury Cathedral. He suggests that the company try to tell one another Tales during the journey to pass the time. He accompanies the pilgrims as a judge and promises them a reward in the form of dinner upon their return.

The Knight - The first tale of the pilgrimage is presented by a noble knight, who is said to have an excellent reputation both outside the battlefield as well as on it. He presents the company with the romantic tale of a love triangle set in Ancient Greek, which forces the gods to intercede.

The Wife of Bath - The prologue for Alison, who is also referred to as the wife of Bath, is by far the longest and perhaps even longer than the tale she tells. She describes her marriages to five men, and the lessons that she has gleaned from them. She presents a compelling image of a fourteenth-century exerting her will against an overly restrictive society. 

The Miller - The drunk Miller is the second storyteller from among the pilgrims, and his tale about an old carpenter and his young adulterous wife introduces the reader to the kind of bawdy tales that fill the pages of The Canterbury Tales.

The Parson - He is the final pilgrim to speak, but he does not present a tale. He asks permission from the rest of the company to deliver a sermon rather than a tale. In his sermon, he talks to the company about the sins and the virtues that can help humans fight against them. He explains the proper means of contrition and urges them to remember that they are loved by God.

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