Friday, October 3, 2014

Canterbury Tales 1: Prologue Notes

The narrator starts the story off as describing the encompassing environment, detailing the blossoming of Spring and the desire for several pilgrimages to different shrines. He states that Saint Thomas Becket in Canterbury Cathedral is a highly renowned destination for people to visit when the martyr helped them when they were "ill and weal". At the Tabard Inn in Southwark, the narrator comes across a group of 29 or so travelers. The narrator then continues to briefly describe each character.

In the Prologue the narrator says how he has described what has happened that night when he met the characters and his objective view of all of them. He also, in lack of better terms, asks that "you'll not ascribe it vulgarity" as he has stated the good and bad of each character and every action and word they've uttered. He does this to show his accountability of the truth since he believes that if he left out the flaws, the story would be untrue. He then continues remembering the dinner that led to the beginning of their tell-tale-off. The host, drunk with wine, brought up the suggestion that each traveler tell 2 tales to Canterbury and 2 tales back home and the one with the best tales would receive a large feast upon their return home. The host decided that he would be the judge of each one's tale. To determine who would begin, the travelers who picked the shortest stick would start off their tell-tale-off. The Knight returned with the shortest stick of all, at the relief of the others the Knight, who  was a "wise man and obedient", began his tale with a willing attitude.
The Prologue concludes with the end of their stay at the Inn as they head off to Canterbury and the Knight begins his tale.

Personally I'd like to read the tale of the Prioress because I think it would be interesting to see the type of thoughts that flow through such a daintiness and graciousness person. Her proper etiquette seems to be a guard to ward off the true her trapped inside from coming out. To hear her tale would be somewhat of a transparency into her mind and thoughts of the world around her.

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