The narrator renders it quite clear the he is additionally a personality in his book. Although the is called Chaucer, we have to be wary of accepting his words and also opinions together Chaucer’s own. In the basic Prologue, the narrator presents himself as a gregarious and naïve character. Later on on, the organize accuses that of gift silent and also sullen. Since the narrator writes under his impressions that the pilgrims indigenous memory, who he does and also does not like, and also what he chooses and also chooses not to remember about the characters, tells united state as much around the narrator’s very own prejudices as it does around the characters themselves.

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The Knight

The very first pilgrim Chaucer defines in the basic Prologue, and also the teller of the very first tale. The Knight represents the right of a middle ages Christian man-at-arms. He has participated in no less than fifteen of the great crusades the his era. Brave, experienced, and prudent, the narrator significantly admires him.

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The mam of Bath

Bath is one English town on the Avon River, not the surname of this woman’s husband. Despite she is a seamstress by occupation, she seems to be a expert wife. She has actually been married five times and had plenty of other work in she youth, making she well exercised in the arts of love. She gift herself as someone that loves marriage and sex, but, native what we watch of her, she likewise takes pleasure in wealthy attire, talking, and arguing. She is hearing deactivated in one ear and also has a gap between her front teeth, i beg your pardon was taken into consideration attractive in Chaucer’s time. She has traveled on pilgrimages come Jerusalem three times and elsewhere in Europe as well.

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The Pardoner

Pardoners granted papal indulgences—reprieves native penance in exchange because that charitable donations to the Church. Numerous pardoners, consisting of this one, collected profits because that themselves. In fact, Chaucer’s Pardoner excels in fraud, transferring a bag complete of fake relics—for example, he cases to have the veil that the Virgin Mary. The Pardoner has long, greasy, yellow hair and also is beardless. These characteristics were connected with shiftiness and gender ambiguity in Chaucer’s time. The Pardoner also has a gift for singing and also preaching at any time he finds himself within a church.

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The Miller

Stout and also brawny, the Miller has actually a wart ~ above his nose and also a big mouth, both literally and figuratively. He endangers the Host’s id of propriety when he drunkenly insists on telling the second tale. Indeed, the Miller appears to enjoy overturning all conventions: he ruins the Host’s carefully planned storytelling order; he rips doors turn off hinges; and he speak a story that is somewhat blasphemous, ridiculing spiritual clerks, scholarly clerks, carpenters, and women.

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The Prioress

Described together modest and quiet, this Prioress (a nun that is head of she convent) aspires to have actually exquisite taste. Her table manners room dainty, she to know French (though not the French of the court), she dresses well, and also she is charitable and also compassionate.

The Monk

Most monks the the Middle eras lived in abbeys according to the dominion of Saint Benedict, i beg your pardon demanded that they devote their lives to “work and prayer.” This Monk cares tiny for the Rule; his devotion is to hunting and eating. The is large, loud, and well clad in searching boots and also furs.

The Friar

Roaming priests with no ties to a monastery, friars to be a an excellent object of criticism in Chaucer’s time. Constantly ready come befriend young ladies or rich males who could need his services, the friar proactively administers the sacraments in his town, especially those the marriage and also confession. However, Chaucer’s worldly Friar has actually taken to accepting bribes.

The Summoner

The Summoner brings persons accused that violating Church legislation to ecclesiastical court. This Summoner is a lecherous male whose face is scarred through leprosy. He gets drunk frequently, is irritable, and is not particularly qualified because that his position. The spouts the couple of words that Latin he to know in an effort to sound educated.

The Host

The leader the the group, the host is large, loud, and also merry, return he own a quick temper. He mediates among the pilgrims and facilitates the circulation of the tales. His title of “host” may be a pun, arguing both an innkeeper and the Eucharist, or holy Host.

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The Parson

The just devout churchman in the company, the Parson lives in poverty, however is rich in divine thoughts and also deeds. The pastor of a sizable town, he preaches the Gospel and also makes sure to practice what the preaches. That is whatever that the Monk, the Friar, and also the Pardoner are not.

The Squire

The Knight’s son and apprentice. The Squire is curly-haired, youthfully handsome, and loves dancing and courting.

The Clerk

The clerk is a poor student of philosophy. Having actually spent his money ~ above books and learning quite than on fine clothes, that is threadbare and wan. He speaks little, but when he does, his words space wise and also full of moral virtue.

The man of Law

A successful lawyer commissioned by the king. The upholds justice in matters large and tiny and knows every state of England’s law by heart.

The Manciple

A manciple remained in charge of acquiring provisions because that a college or court. Despite his absence of education, this Manciple is smarter 보다 the thirty lawyers that feeds.

The Merchant

The seller trades in furs and other cloths, mostly from Flanders. That is component of a powerful and wealthy course in Chaucer’s society.

The Shipman

Brown-skinned from years of sailing, the Shipman has seen every bay and river in England, and also exotic ports in Spain and Carthage as well. He is a little bit of a rascal, known for stealing wine while the ship’s captain sleeps.

The Physician

The Physician is among the best in his profession, because that he knows the reason of every malady and also can cure many of them. Despite the doctor keeps self in perfect physical health, the narrator calls right into question the Physician’s spirituality health: he rarely consults the Bible and has one unhealthy love of financial gain.

The Franklin

The native “franklin” way “free man.” In Chaucer’s society, a franklin to be neither a vassal serving a lord nor a member that the nobility. This specific franklin is a connoisseur the food and wine, so lot so that his table remains laid and also ready for food all day.

The Reeve

A reeve was similar to a steward of a manor, and also this reeve performs his job shrewdly—his lord never loses so lot as a lamb to the other employees, and also the vassals under his command are preserved in line. However, that steals from his master.

The Plowman

The Plowman is the Parson’s brother and also is same good-hearted. A member the the peasant class, he pays his tithes come the Church and leads a an excellent Christian life.

The Guildsmen

Listed together, the 5 Guildsmen show up as a unit. English guilds to be a mix of job unions and also social fraternities: craftsmen of comparable occupations joined with each other to rise their bargaining power and live communally. All 5 Guildsmen space clad in the livery of your brotherhood.

The Cook

The chef works for the Guildsmen. Chaucer gives little detail around him, although the mentions a crusty sore top top the Cook’s leg.

The Yeoman

The servant that accompanies the Knight and also the Squire. The narrator mentions that his dress and also weapons indicate he might be a forester.

The 2nd Nun

The second Nun is not explained in the basic Prologue, but she speak a saint’s life for she tale.

The Nun’s Priest

Like the 2nd Nun, the Nun’s monk is not defined in the general Prologue. His story that Chanticleer, however, is well crafted and also suggests the he is a witty, self-effacing preacher.

Characters from the five Tales Analyzed in This SparkNote

The Knight’s TaleTheseus

A good conqueror and the fight it out of Athens in the Knight’s Tale. The most an effective ruler in the story, the is often called upon to do the last judgment, however he listens come others’ pleas because that help.


Palamon is just one of the two imprisoned Theban soldier heroes in the Knight’s Tale. Brave, strong, and also sworn come everlasting friendship through his cousin Arcite, Palamon drops in love with the same maiden Emelye, which bring him into problem with Arcite. Though he loses the tournament against Arcite, he it s okay Emelye in the end.


The sworn brothers to Palamon, Arcite, imprisoned through Palamon in the tower in the Knight’s Tale, falls equally head over heels in love with Emelye. He gets released indigenous the tower early and wins Emelye’s hand in a tournament, but then dies as soon as a divinely fated earthquake reasons his equine to throw him.


Emelye is the sister come Hippolyta, Theseus’s domesticated Amazon queen in the Knight’s Tale. Fair-haired and also glowing, we an initial see Emelye as Palamon does, v a window. Return she is the thing of both Palamon’s and Arcite’s desire, she would fairly spend her life unmarried and childless. Nevertheless, as soon as Arcite wins the tournament, she easily pledges herself to him.


Theseus’s father. Egeus provides Theseus the advice the helps him to convince Palamon and Emelye to finish their mourning of Arcite and also get married.

The Miller's Tale


In the Miller’s Tale, Nicholas is a negative astronomy student who boards v an elderly carpenter, John, and the carpenter’s too-young wife, Alisoun. Nicholas dupes John and also sleeps v Alisoun right under John’s nose, but Absolon, the foppish parish clerk, it s okay Nicholas in the end.


Alisoun is the seductive young woman married to the carpenter in the Miller’s Tale. She is bright and sweet prefer a little bird, and dresses in a tantalizing style—her garments are embroidered inside and outside, and she laces she boots high. She willingly goes come bed through Nicholas, yet she has only harsh words and also obscenities for Absolon.


The local parish clerk in the Miller’s Tale, Absolon is a tiny bit foolish and an ext than a tiny bit vain. The wears red stockings underneath his floor-length church gown, and his animal leather shoes are decorated choose the cool stained-glass home windows in a cathedral. The curls his hair, supplies breath fresheners, and also fancies Alisoun.


The dim-witted carpenter to who Alisoun is married and with whom Nicholas boards. John is jealous and possessive the his wife. The constantly berates Nicholas for looking right into God’s “pryvetee,” but when Nicholas uses John the possibility to share his knowledge, John conveniently accepts. That gullibly believes Nicholas’s pronouncement that a 2nd flood is coming, which enables Nicholas come sleep with John’s wife.

The wife of Bath’s Prologue and Tale

The first Three Husbands

The mam of Bath says that her first three husbands to be “good” because they were rich and also old. She can order castle around, use sex to obtain what she wanted, and also trick them right into believing lies.

The fourth Husband

The mam of Bath claims comparatively little about her 4th husband. She loved him, but he was a reveler who had actually a mistress. She had actually fun singing and also dancing through him, yet tried her best to make him jealous. She fell in love v her 5th husband, Jankyn, when she was still married to her fourth.


The wife of Bath’s 5th husband, Jankyn, to be a twenty-year-old former student, through whom the mam was madly in love. His story of angry wives frustrated she so much that one night she ripped a page out of his book, only to get a deafening smack on her ear in return.

The Knight

Arthur’s young items rapes a maiden, and, to stop the punishment of death, that is sent by the queen ~ above a search to learn around submission to women. Once he walk so, and also shows the he has learned his class by letting his old ugly mam make a decision, she rewards the by becoming beautiful and submissive.

The Old Woman

The old woman offers the young knight with the answer come his question, in exchange for his promise come do whatever she wants. When she speak him he should marry her, the knight begrudgingly agrees, and when he allows her to select whether she would choose to it is in beautiful and also unfaithful or ugly and faithful, she rewards the by ending up being both beautiful and faithful.

Arthur’s Queen

Arthur’s queen, presumably Guinevere, is interesting due to the fact that she wields many of the power. Once Arthur’s article rapes a maiden, he turns the knight end to his queen allows her to decision what to execute with him.

The Pardoner’s Tale

The three Rioters

These are the three protagonists of the Pardoner’s Tale. All 3 indulge in and also represent the vices against which the Pardoner has actually railed in his Prologue: Gluttony, Drunkeness, Gambling, and Swearing. These traits define the three and eventually lead to their downfall. The Rioters at very first appear prefer personified vices, however it is their id that a personified concept—in this case, Death—is a real person that i do not care the root reason of their undoing.

The Old Man

In the Pardoner’s Tale, the three Rioters encounter a an extremely old man whose human body is fully covered except for his face. Before the old male tells the Rioters wherein they can discover “Death,” among the Rioters rashly demands why the old guy is quiet alive. The old guy answers that he is doomed to walk the planet for eternity. He has been understood as death itself, or as Cain, punished because that fratricide by wade the earth forever; or as the wandering Jew, a guy who refuse to let Christ remainder at his home when Christ proceeded to his crucifixion, and also who was as such doomed come roam the world, with the ages, never ever finding rest.

The Nun’s Priest’s Tale


The heroic rooster the the Nun’s Priest’s Tale, Chanticleer has actually seven hen-wives and is the most handsome dick in the barnyard. One day, he has a prophetic dream the a fox that will carry him away. Chanticleer is also a little vain about his clear and accurate crowing voice, and also he unwittingly allows a fox come flatter him out of his liberty.


Chanticleer’s favorite wife in the Nun’s Priest’s Tale. She is his equal in looks, manners, and talent. When Chanticleer dreams of the fox, the awakens her in the middle of the night, begging for an interpretation, however Pertelote will have none that it, calling him foolish. When the fox takes that away, she mourns that in classic Greek fashion, burn herself and also wailing.

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The Fox

The orange fox, interpreted by part as an allegorical number for the devil, catches Chanticleer the rooster with flattery. Eventually, Chanticleer outwits the fox through encouraging him come boast that his deceit come his pursuers. When the fox opens up his mouth, Chanticleer escapes.