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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

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Canterbury Tales

Canterbury Tales: see Chaucer, Geoffrey.

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