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Canterbury Tales - The General Prologue

Canterbury Tales - The General Prologue

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Published by Jonathan Chen

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Published by: Jonathan Chen on Feb 24, 2012
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Canterbury Tales, ´The General Prologueµ
Pilgrim Appearance Actions
Background/Commentary
Chaucer·s Attitude(Positive or Negative)
 The Knight
NO
T gaily dressed Wore a fustian tunic, stained & darkHad smudges where his armor had left markFought nobly in his sovereign·s war and always killed his man in 15 battles
N
ever said a boorish thingDistinguished man honored for noble gracesEpitomized chivalryPerfect gentle knightModest as a maid and wise
HIGHLYP
OS
ITIVE
Squire
S
lept as lightly as a nightingaleEmbroidered like a meadow brightand full of freshest flowers, red and whiteCurly hairKnew how to joust and dance, to draw and write, make songs, poems, and reciteCared to serve his father at the table
S
ang or fluted all day
S
on of the knightCadetPassionate, courteous, lowly& serviceable
S
erves the yeoman
Positive
Yeoman
Wore a green coat & hood Had a bright and keen peacock-feathered arrow, neatly sheathed,hung at his belt the while, neverdroopingBore a might bow in his hand Head like a nut, brown faceBrace on his arm, and a shield and sword hung at one side, and at theother slipped a jaunty dirk, spear-sharp and well-equipped Wore a shining silver medal of 
S
t.ChristopherHad a well-slung, hunting hornburnished clean that dangled from abaldrick of bright green
N/A
 
Knew the woodcraft up and downProper forester
Positive
Nun
Coy smileVeil gathered in a seemly wayElegant noseGlass-grey eyes, almost a span acrossthe brows
S
mall, soft, red mouthCloak had a graceful charmForehead fair of spread Wore a coral trinket on her arm and aset of beads, whose gaudies tricked ingreen, hung a golden brooch of brightest sheenManners were well taught
N
o morsel fell from her lipsReached sedately for the meatGreatest oath was ´By
S
t. Loy!µ
S
ang a service with a fine intoning throughher nose
S
poke daintily in FrenchWiped her upper lip so clean that not atrace of grease could be seenPleasant and friendlyTried hard to counterfeit acourtly kind of grace and toseem dignified in all herdealingsKnown as Madam EglantyneCertainly very entertainingCharitably solicitous
A
ll sentiment and tenderhear
t
 
N
egative
Monk
Manly manBridle jingled in a whistling wind when he rode, loud as the chapel bell
S
leeves garnished at the hand withfine grey fur, the finest in the land Fastened his hood to his chin with awrought-gold cunningly fashioned pinBald head and face that shone likelooking-glassFat and personable priestProminent eyeballs never settled,glittering like the flames beneath akettleRode the countryHunting was his sport (in contradiction tocustom that a monk could not hunt)Ignored the rule of good 
S
t. Benet &
S
t.MaurLet go the things of yesterday and took themodern world·s more spacious wayMonk of the finest sort
A
bbot ableHad many dainty horses in hisstableLiked a roasted fat swan
N
egative
 
 
Boots and horse in fine conditionPrelate fit for exhibition, not pale likea tormented soulPalfrey as brown as a berry
F
riar
N
amed HubertVery festiveGlib with gallant phrase and well-spoken speech
N
eck whiter than a lily-flower, butstrong enough to butt a bruiser downRomped like a puppy
S
emi-cope double-worsted on hisshoulders
S
welling fold like a bell about its mold when it is casting rounded out hisdressLisped a little out of wantonnessEyes twinkled in his head as bright asany star upon a frosty nightFixed up many marriages, giving each of hisyoung women what he could afford herKept his tippet stuffed with pins for curlsand pocket-knives to give to pretty girls
A
t sing-songs he was champion of the hour
S
ang well and played the hurdy-gurdyToo good to deal with a scum of wretched lepers and slum-and-gutter dwellers, butonly with the rich and victual-sellersFinest beggar of his batch, and for thisbegging-district, paid a rentPleasant was his holy how-d·ye-doPrompt on arbitrating disputes for a smallfeePlayed the harp
N
oble pillar to his
O
rderHighly beloved and intimateWonton and merryQualified to hear confessionsHad a special license from thePopeEasy man in penance-givingKnew the taverns, innkeepers,and barmaids well in everytownVoice was gay and sturdy
N
egative
 
Merchant
Forking beard Motley dress
S
at high on his horseFlemish beaver hat on his head Daintily bucked bootsTold of his opinions and pursuitsHarped on his increase of capital in solemntonesExpert at dabbling in exchanges
S
et his wits to work
S
tately in administration in loans and bargain and negotiation´Excellent fellowµIn debt
Mostlypositive
Clerk
N
ot too fatHad a hollow look, a sober stareThread upon his overcoat was bareFound no preferment in the church and hewas too unworldly to make search forsecular employmentWhatever money he borrowed fromfriends, he bought books and prayed forthem, returning thanks to them for payingfor his learning
N
ever spoke a word more than was needed 
S
poke in a tone of moral virtueGladly learned and gladly taught
S
tudent at
O
xford ClericFormal and respectful in theextreme
S
hort to the point and lofty inhis theme
O
nly care was study
Positive
Sergeant-at-Law
DiscreetBusyWore a homely parti-colored coat girtwith a silken belt of pin-stripe stuff Paid his calls
S
ayings were so wiseFame and learning and his high positionhad won him many a robe and many a fee
N
o such conveyance as heLess busy than he seemed to beWary and wiseMan to reverenceKnew of every judgement,case and crime ever recorded since King William·s timeDictate defense or draft deedsKnew every statue off by rote
Mostlypositive
F
ranklin
Beard white as a daisy-petalHigh-colored and benign, sanguineDagger and a little purse of silk hungat his girdle, white as morning milkLived for pleasureMade his household free to all the County
N
obody had a better stock of wineHouse was never short of bake-meat piesKept fat partridges in coopsHad many bream and pike in his pond Checked very entry and auditModel among landed gentryWealthy farmer
Positive
Haberdasher,Carpenter,Weaver, Dyer,TapestryMaker
Trim and freshKnives were wrought with purestsilver which avouches a like displayon girdles and on pouchesWent to church to show off 
 
Each seemed a worthyburgess, wise enough to justify making each one analdermanHad the capital and revenueGuildsmen
/
artist
Mostlypositive
 
Cook
U
lcer on his knee Made one of the best blancmangesDistinguished London ale by flavorBoiled chicken with a marrow-boneRoasted & seethed & fried Made good thick soup & baked a tasty pie
N/A
 
Mostlypositive
Shipman
Wore a woolen gown that reached hiskneeWore a dagger on a lanyard fallingfree hung from his neck under his armand downTanBeard in many a tempest had itsshakingRode a farmer·s horse as best he could Ignored the nicer rules of conscienceWhen he fought, the enemy vessel sank
S
ent his prisoners home
S
killed in reckoning his tidesKnew all the havens as they were
S
tole wine from the trader when he snored Hailed from far west ²DartmouthCertainly an excellent fellowHad dispatchPrudent in undertaking
O
wned a barge
Mostlypositive
Doctor of Medicine
Blood-red garments, slashed withbluish grey & lined with taffetaWatched his patient closely for the hoursKnew the powers of favorable planets byhis horoscopeWell-versed in
A
esculapius
O
bserved some measure in his own diet ²there were no superfluities for pleasure,only digestives, nutritives and suchDid not read the BibleKept the gold he won in pestilencesIn cahoots with the apothecary to makemoney
N
o one alive could talk as wellas he did on points of medicine and of surgeryGrounded in astronomyKnew the cause of everymaladyPerfect practicing physicianLoved money
N
egative
 
Wife of Bath
Finely woven ground kerchiefs thatweighed 10 lbs.Finest scarlet red and gartered tighthose
S
hoes were soft and newBold face, handsome and red in hueGap-toothed Wore a hat as broad as is a buckler ora shield Had a flowing mantle that concealed large hipsHeels spurred sharplyMade good clothThrice been to Jerusalem
S
killed in wandering ² been to Rome,Boulogne,
S
t. James of Compostella and CologneKnew the remedies for love·s mischances
S
omewhat deaf Worthy woman all her lifeHad five husbands, all at thechurch doorLike to laugh and chat withcompany
Mostlypositive
Parson
U
pon his feet, and in his hand a stave Preached and taught the gospel devoutly toparishioners
S
hepherd to the members of his parishHated cursing to extort a feePreferred beyond a doubt giving to poorparishioners round about both from churchofferings and his property
N
ever failed to pay a call on the remotest,whether great or small, in sickness of ingrief Business was to show a fair behavior and draw men thus to Heaven and their
S
aviorPut a sharp rebuke to obstinate menFollowed the lore of Christ and His Twelve
A
postlesRich in holy thought and workLearned man, a clerk, whotruly knew Christ·s gospeland Benign and wonderfullydiligentPatient when adversity wassentWide was his parish, withhouses far asunderHoly and virtuous
N
ever contemptuous of sinfulmen
N
ever disdainful, never tooproud or fineDiscreet in teaching and benignThere never was a betterpriest in his dealings
S
ought no pomp or glory
Positive

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