- What do the tales and characters reveal about life in 14th century England?
- To what extent do these tales maintain relevance in the 21st century?
Pilgrimage or Bust!
This is the point, to put it short and plain,
That each of you, this very Monday,
Shall tell one story as you wend your way
To Saugatuck of adventures you have befell.
And he who plays his part the best of all,
That is to say, who tells upon the road
Tales of best sense, in most amusing mode,
Shall have an ice cream at the host's cost!
And now, the more to warrant you'll be merry,
I will myself, and gladly, with you ride
At my own cost, and I will be your guide.
But whosoever shall my rule gainsay
Shall pay for all that's bought along the way.
And if you are agreed that it be so,
Tell me at once, or if not, tell me no,
And I will act accordingly. No more.
This thing was granted, and our oaths we swore,
With right glad hearts, and prayed of him, also,
That he would take the office, nor forgo
The place of governor of all of us,
Judging our tales; and by his wisdom thus
Arrange that ice cream at a certain price,
We to be ruled, each one, by Shaw's advice
In things both great and small; by one assent,
We stood committed to his government.
And thereupon, our coats will be fetched anon;
We'll gather in the foyer, that means every one!
And forth we'll walk, no jog-trot being the pace,
Until we reach the Saugatuck place.
And then Mr. Shaw will slow us to a walk,
And say: Now, masters, listen while I talk.
Let's here decide who first shall tell a tale.
And as I drink the water from the well,
Whoso proves rebel to my government
Shall pay for all that by the way is spent.
Come now, draw cuts, before we farther win,
And he that draws the shortest shall begin.
Sir knight, said he, my master and my lord,
You shall draw first as you have pledged your word.
The Prologue ~ Characters on the Pilgrimage to Canterbury
The Miller's Tale
Google words that you don't know, and you will find out all kinds of interesting stuff. For example, in the first 30 lines:
The Wife of Bath's Tale
The Pardoner's Tale
In groups of two, come see when you are done reading:
484 Nay, nay, said he, then may I have Christ's curse!
485 It sha'n't be, said he, as I've hope for riches,
486 Why, you would have me kissing your old breeches,
487 And swear they were the relics of a saint,
488 Though with your excrement 'twere dabbed like paint.
489 By cross Saint Helen found in Holy Land,
490 I would I had your ballocks in my hand
491 Instead of relics in a reliquary;
492 Let's cut them off, and them I'll help you carry;
493 They shall be shrined within a hog's fat turd.
The Cook's Tale
Read the Cook's Tale
The Prioress' Tale
Read the Prioress' Tale
Tale of Choice
Read one of the following tales: