SOME PILGRIMS’ PORTRAITS IN “THE GENERAL PROLOGUE” OF THE CANTERBURY TALES KNIGHT A nobleman Worthy Fought in many battles of the Crusades Speaks politely and pleasantly Modest (not a braggart) Stained tunic from armor worn during the battles If he’s so good, why does he hurry to go on a pilgrimage when he returns from war? PRIORESS A prioress is a nun who is the head of a group of nuns She sings through her nose. She speaks French poorly. She has good table manners. She cries if one of her dogs dies. She is a large woman with a broad forehead. She wears jewelry: Amor vincit Omnia, meaning love conquers all. If she is a nun, why isn’t there more emphasis on her holiness? Why is she descried as if she followed the customs associated with behavior of courtly love? MONK He is the highest-ranking member of the clergy on the pilgrimage. Monks are supposed to be “cloistered,” meaning they should not leave their monasteries and go out in the world. He loves to hunt and ride fine horses. He wears fine clothing. He’s a large man because he eats the finest foods. Why does he violate his vows as a monk? FRIAR PARDONER Friars were supposed to earn their living by begging and serving the community, He has girlfriends for whom he has to arrange marriages. (Why?) He gives easy penances to people in confession if they bribe him. He spends a lot of time in taverns, drinking and womanizing. He has a good voice. He avoids lepers. He’s a big man, usually in a good mood. Why does the Friar violate his vows? He is an officer of the church empowered to issue pardons for sins and to reduce time in Purgatory. He is an outstanding speaker. WIFE OF BATH PARSON He admits he preaches to cheat people out of their money with fake relics. Ironically, his sermon is about how money is the root of all evil. He looks effeminate, with thin, golden locks. Why does he violate his vows? A middle-aged woman who has been married five times She is a little chubby, wears red hose and a huge hat; she has a gap in her teeth and lisps. She is a little deaf in one ear. (Why?) She loves to go on pilgrimages. She knows “the old dance” An ideal Christian model. He looks after the people in his parish, near and far, sick or sad. He doesn’t like to collect tithes for the church because his people are so poor. He preaches the gospel and lives life according to the gospel, providing a positive role model for his people. MILLER Huge man, red hair, wart on his nose, a mouth like a furnace. He can heave a door off its hinges; he plays the bagpipes. He’s drunk much of the time, and he hates the Reeve. The Miller, himself, is corrupt, cheating people with the amount of grain they’ve brought in to be milled. HOST He runs the Tabard Inn when the pilgrims of the story meet before they begin their pilgrimage. He is a very loud voice and is friendly. He proposes the contest for the pilgrims and a prize for the winner. What is the contest? What is the prize? Why does the Host plan on going on the pilgrimage?