Skip to main content
Select Source:

Canterbury Tales

Canterbury Tales. Late 14th-cent. unfinished masterpiece by Chaucer. The General Prologue presents portraits, whose colour and vigour transcend stereotype, of diverse pilgrims congregated at the Tabard inn (Southwark), including a battle-worn Knight, sweetly pretentious Prioress, and emaciated scholar-Clerk. They lighten the journey to Thomas Becket's shrine at Canterbury by exchanging twenty-four tales (all but four complete, all but two in rhyming verse), which range from high romance set in ancient Greece (Knight) to low comedy in contemporary England ( Miller, Reeve), and from animal fable whimsically laced with erudition (Nun's Priest) to a concluding prose homily (Parson).

D. C. Whaley

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Canterbury Tales." The Oxford Companion to British History. . Encyclopedia.com. 20 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Canterbury Tales." The Oxford Companion to British History. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 20, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/history/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/canterbury-tales

"Canterbury Tales." The Oxford Companion to British History. . Retrieved August 20, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/history/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/canterbury-tales

Canterbury Tales

Canterbury Tales: see Chaucer, Geoffrey.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Canterbury Tales." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. 20 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Canterbury Tales." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 20, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/canterbury-tales

"Canterbury Tales." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Retrieved August 20, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/canterbury-tales