The narrator renders it rather clear that he is also a character in his book. Although he is referred to as Chaucer, we should be wary of accepting his words and opinions as Chaucer’s very own. In the General Prologue, the narrator presents himself as a gregarious and naïve character. After that, the Host accoffers him of being silent and sullen. Due to the fact that the narrator writes dvery own his impressions of the pilgrims from memory, whom he does and also does not favor, and what he chooses and also chooses not to remember about the personalities, tells us as a lot about the narrator’s own prejudices as it does around the characters themselves.

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The Knight

The initially pilgrim Chaucer defines in the General Prologue, and the teller of the first tale. The Knight represents the ideal of a medieval Christian man-at-arms. He has participated in no less than fifteenager of the great crusades of his era. Brave, knowledgeable, and prudent, the narrator substantially admires him.

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The Wife of Bath

Bath is an English town on the Avon River, not the name of this woman’s husband. Though she is a seamanxiety by occupation, she seems to be a skilled wife. She has been married 5 times and had actually many type of other affairs in her youth, making her well practiced in the art of love. She presents herself as someone that loves marital relationship and sex, yet, from what we view of her, she also takes pleacertain in well-off attire, talking, and arguing. She is deaf in one ear and has actually a gap between her front teeth, which was taken into consideration attractive in Chaucer’s time. She has actually traveled on pilgrimages to Jerusalem three times and also elsewhere in Europe too.

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The Pardoner

Pardoners granted papal indulgences—reprieves from penance in exreadjust for charitable donations to the Church. Many type of pardoners, including this one, collected profits for themselves. In truth, Chaucer’s Pardoner excels in fraud, transporting a bag full of fake relics—for instance, he claims to have the veil of the Virgin Mary. The Pardoner has long, grsimple, yellow hair and is beardless. These qualities were linked via shiftiness and gender ambiguity in Chaucer’s time. The Pardoner additionally has actually a gift for singing and pgetting to whenever before he finds himself inside a church.

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The Miller

Stout and also brawny, the Miller has actually a wart on his nose and a huge mouth, both literally and figuratively. He threatens the Host’s notion of propriety when he drunkenly insists on telling the second tale. Undoubtedly, the Miller appears to reap overturning all conventions: he damages the Host’s carefully planned storytelling order; he rips doors off hinges; and also he tells a tale that is rather blasphemous, ridiculing spiritual clerks, scholarly clerks, carpenters, and also women.

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The Prioress

Described as modest and quiet, this Prioress (a nun who is head of her convent) aspires to have exquiwebsite taste. Her table manners are dainty, she knows French (though not the French of the court), she dresses well, and also she is charitable and also compassionate.

The Monk

Most monks of the Middle Ages resided in abbeys according to the Rule of Saint Benedict, which demanded that they devote their resides to “work-related and also prayer.” This Monk cares little bit for the Rule; his devotion is to hunting and eating. He is big, loud, and well clad in searching boots and furs.

The Friar

Roaming priests through no ties to a monastery, friars were a good object of criticism in Chaucer’s time. Almeans ready to befriend young woguys or affluent guys who might need his services, the friar proactively administers the sacraments in his tvery own, particularly those of marital relationship and also confession. However before, Chaucer’s worldly Friar has taken to accepting bribes.

The Summoner

The Summoner brings persons accsupplied of violating Church law to ecclesiastical court. This Summoner is a lecherous guy whose face is scarred by leprosy. He gets drunk generally, is irritable, and is not especially qualified for his position. He spouts the few words of Latin he knows in an attempt to sound educated.

The Host

The leader of the team, the Host is huge, loud, and merry, although he possesses a quick temper. He mediates among the pilgrims and facilitates the circulation of the tales. His title of “host” may be a pun, suggesting both an innkeeper and also the Eucharist, or Divine Host.

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The Parson

The just devout churchmale in the company, the Parkid lives in poverty, yet is wealthy in holy thoughts and deeds. The pastor of a sizable tvery own, he preaches the Gospel and also provides sure to practice what he preaches. He is every little thing that the Monk, the Friar, and also the Pardoner are not.

The Squire

The Knight’s child and also apprentice. The Squire is curly-haired, youthtotally handsome, and also loves dancing and also courting.

The Clerk

The Clerk is a negative student of ideology. Having invested his money on publications and learning quite than on fine garments, he is threadbare and wan. He speaks little bit, yet as soon as he does, his words are wise and complete of moral virtue.

The Man of Law

A successful lawyer commissioned by the king. He upholds justice in matters big and little and knows eincredibly statute of England’s law by heart.

The Manciple

A manciple remained in charge of acquiring provisions for a college or court. Despite his absence of education and learning, this Manciple is smarter than the thirty lawyers he feeds.

The Merchant

The Merchant trades in furs and also other cloths, mostly from Flanders. He is component of a powerful and also affluent course in Chaucer’s culture.

The Shipman

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

The Physician

The Physician is among the best in his profession, for he knows the cause of eextremely malady and also deserve to cure many of them. Though the Physician keeps himself in perfect physical wellness, the narrator calls into question the Physician’s spiroutine health: he seldom consults the Holy bible and also has actually an unhealthy and balanced love of financial gain.

The Franklin

Words “franklin” suggests “free guy.” In Chaucer’s culture, a franklin was neither a vassal serving a lord nor a member of the nobility. This particular franklin is a connoisseur of food and also wine, so a lot so that his table remains lassist 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 task shrewdly—his lord never before loses so much as a ram to the various other employees, and the vassals under his command also are preserved in line. However before, he steals from his understand.

The Plowman

The Plowmale is the Parson’s brvarious other and is equally good-hearted. A member of the peasant course, he pays his tithes to the Church and leads a good Christian life.

The Guildsmen

Listed together, the five Guildsguys appear as a unit. English guilds were a combination of labor unions and also social fraternities: craftsmales of similar occupations joined together to rise their bargetting power and also live communally. All 5 Guildsmales are clad in the liexceptionally of their brotherhood.

The Cook

The Cook functions for the Guildsguys. Chaucer provides little detail about him, although he mentions a crusty sore on the Cook’s leg.

The Yeoman

The servant who acsuppliers the Knight and also the Squire. The narrator mentions that his dress and tools imply he might be a forester.

The 2nd Nun

The Second Nun is not described in the General Prologue, yet she tells a saint’s life for her tale.

The Nun’s Priest

Like the 2nd Nun, the Nun’s Priest is not explained in the General Prologue. His story of Chanticleer, but, is well crafted and also suggests that he is a witty, self-effacing preacher.

Characters from the Five Tales Analyzed in This SparkNote

The Knight’s TaleTheseus

A great conqueror and also the duke of Athens in the Knight’s Story. The many powerful leader in the story, he is often dubbed upon to make the final judgment, yet he listens to others’ prents for aid.


Palamon is one of the two imprisoned Theban soldier heroes in the Knight’s Story. Brave, strong, and also sworn to everlasting friendship with his cousin Armention, Palamon falls in love via the fair maiden Emelye, which brings him right into problem with Arpoint out. Though he loses the tournament against Arcite, he gets Emelye in the finish.


The sworn brother to Palamon, Armention, imprisoned via Palamon in the tower in the Knight’s Story, drops equally head over heels in love with Emelye. He gets released from the tower early on and also wins Emelye’s hand also in a tournament, but then dies once a divinely fated earthquake causes his equine to throw him.


Emelye is the sister to Hippolyta, Theseus’s tamed Amazon queen in the Knight’s Tale. Fair-haired and also glowing, we initially watch Emelye as Palamon does, with a window. Although she is the object of both Palamon’s and also Arcite’s desire, she would rather spend her life unmarried and also childless. Nonetheless, as soon as Armention wins the tournament, she easily pledges herself to him.


Theseus’s father. Egeus offers Theseus the advice that helps him convince Palamon and Emelye to end their mourning of Arpoint out and also obtain married.

The Miller's Tale


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


Alisoun is the seductive young womale married to the carpenter in the Miller’s Story. She is bappropriate and sweet prefer a small bird, and also dresses in a tantalizing style—her clothes are embroidered inside and exterior, and also she laces her boots high. She willingly goes to bed through Nicholas, but she has actually only harsh words and also obscenities for Absolon.


The regional parish clerk in the Miller’s Tale, Absolon is a tiny little foolish and also even more than a tiny little bit vain. He wears red stockings underneath his floor-length church gvery own, and his leather shoes are decorated choose the fanciful stained-glass home windows in a cathedral. He curls his hair, uses breath fresheners, and also fancies Alisoun.


The dim-witted carpenter to whom Alisoun is married and also with whom Nicholas boards. John is jealous and also possessive of his wife. He constantly berates Nicholas for looking into God’s “pryvetee,” yet when Nicholas uses John the opportunity to share his knowledge, John easily accepts. He gullibly believes Nicholas’s pronouncement that a second flood is coming, which allows Nicholas to sleep via John’s wife.

The Wife of Bath’s Prologue and Tale

The First Three Husbands

The Wife of Bath says that her first three husbands were “good” bereason they were rich and also old. She can order them roughly, use sex to get what she wanted, and also trick them right into believing lies.

The Fourth Husband

The Wife of Bath states comparatively little about her fourth husband. She loved him, however he was a reveler who had actually a mistress. She had fun singing and dancing through him, yet tried her best to make him jealous. She dropped in love through her fifth husband, Jankyn, while she was still married to her fourth.


The Wife of Bath’s fifth husband also, Jankyn, was a twenty-year-old previous student, via whom the Wife was madly in love. His stories of wicked wives frustrated her so much that one night she ripped a web page out of his book, only to receive a deafening smack on her ear in return.

The Knight

Arthur’s young knight rapes a maiden, and, to prevent the punishment of death, he is sent by the queen on a pursuit to learn about submission to womales. Once he does so, and mirrors that he has learned his lesboy by letting his old ugly wife make a decision, she rewards him by becoming beautiful and also submissive.

The Old Woman

The old woguy provides the young knight with the answer to his question, in exreadjust for his promise to carry out whatever she wants. When she tells him he have to marry her, the knight begrudgingly agrees, and also as soon as he allows her to pick whether she would prefer to be beautiful and unfaithful or ugly and also faithful, she rewards him by coming to be both beautiful and faithful.

Arthur’s Queen

Arthur’s queen, presumably Guinevere, is exciting because she wields a lot of of the power. When Arthur’s knight rapes a maiden, he transforms the knight over to his queen enables her to decide what to do through him.

The Pardoner’s Tale

The Three Rioters

These are the 3 protagonists of the Pardoner’s Tale. All three indulge in and also reexisting the vices against which the Pardoner has actually railed in his Prologue: Gluttony, Drunkeness, Gambling, and also Swearing. These traits define the 3 and eventually result in their downfall. The Rioters at initially show up like personified vices, but it is their idea that a personified concept—in this situation, Death—is a genuine perboy that becomes the root reason of their undoing.

The Old Man

In the Pardoner’s Story, the 3 Rioters encounter a very old male whose body is totally spanned except for his challenge. Before the old male tells the Rioters where they can uncover “Death,” among the Rioters rashly needs why the old male is still alive. The old man answers that he is doomed to walk the earth for eternity. He has been understood as Death itself, or as Cain, puniburned for fratricide by walking the earth forever; or as the Wandering Jew, a guy that refsupplied to let Christ remainder at his house as soon as Christ proceeded to his crucifixion, and also who was therefore doomed to roam the world, through the eras, never before finding remainder.

The Nun’s Priest’s Tale


The heroic rooster of the Nun’s Priest’s Tale, Chanticleer has salso hen-wives and is the many handsome cock in the barnyard. One day, he has a prophetic dream of a fox that will certainly carry him amethod. Chanticleer is also a little vain around his clear and also exact crowing voice, and also he unwittingly permits a fox to flast 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 desires of the fox, he awakens her in the middle of the night, begging for an interpretation, yet Pertelote will certainly have actually none of it, calling him foolish. When the fox takes him ameans, she mourns him in classic Greek fashion, burning herself and also wailing.

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The Fox

The ovariety fox, understood by some as an allegorical number for the adversary, catches Chanticleer the rooster through flattery. Eventually, Chanticleer outwits the fox by encouraging him to boast of his deceit to his pursuers. When the fox opens his mouth, Chanticleer escapes.