Canterbury Tales Review Questions

The Canterbury Tales
Geoffrey Chaucer
The Prologue


1. What time of year is the story set?

2. Provide three images in the beginning of the story that tell the reader the time of year.

3. What is the setting at the beginning of the story?

4. Where are the characters going? Why?

The Upper/Ruling Class

The Knight, Squire and the Yeoman (Lines 42-121, p. 126-127)

5. Describe the Knight - what about him meets your understanding of a knight and what is unexpected? What knightly qualities does he display or not display?

6. Is he good or not by the standards of the time? Why?

7. Is there anything ironic about the Knight? If so, what? Explain.

8. Describe the Squire - How is he dressed? What things does he do? Contrast him with the Knight.

9. What is a Squire?

10. Why can't the Squire sleep at night?

11. Does the Squire display the same chivalric values as the Knight? Explain.

12. Describe the Yeoman - How is he dressed? What equipment does he have?

13. What is a Yeoman?

The Nun, the Monk and the Friar (Lines 122-279, p 127-131)

14. Describe the Nun - How is she dressed? What is her behavior like?

15. Identify 3 ironic things about the nun.

16. Describe the Monk - Identify three things ironic about the Monk.

17. Describe the Friar - Identify 4 things ironic about the Friar.

18. What is the difference between a Monk and a Friar?

The Middle/Merchant Class

The Merchant, the Oxford Cleric, the Sergeant at Law and the Franklin (Lines 280-370, p. 131-133)

19. Describe the Merchant and identify 1 ironic thing about him.

20. Describe the Oxford Cleric and identify 1 ironic thing about him.

21. What is an Oxford Cleric?

22. Describe the Sergeant at Law. What is a Sergeant at Law?

23. Describe the Franklin. What is a Franklin?

The Haberdasher, Dyer, Carpenter, Weaver, and Carpet-maker (Lines 371-386, p. 133)

24. What is a Haberdasher, Dyer, and Weaver?

25. Why do you think Chaucer groups five men together?

26. List four things the Haberdasher, Dyer, Carpenter, Weaver, and Carpet-maker have in common.

The Cook, the Skipper, the Doctor and the Wife of Bath (Lines 389-486, p. 133-136)

27. Describe the Cook.

28. What is ironic about the Cook?

29. Would you eat this Cook's food? Why or why not?

30. Describe the Skipper. What kind of captain is the Skipper?

31. How is the Doctor described?

32. What is something ironic about the Doctor?

33. Would you go to this Doctor? Why or why not?

34. What is the Wife of Bath good at doing?

35. Describe the Wife of Bath's appearance and dress.

36. How many times has the Wife of Bath been married?

37. Where has the Wife of Bath traveled to in the past?

The Working Class

The Parson and the Plowman (Lines 487-553, p. 136-137)

38. Is the Parson a good man or not? Provide examples.

39. What is the Parson's motto? What does it mean?

40. Is the Plowman a good man or not? Provide examples.

41. What is a parson and a plowman?

The Miller, the Manciple and the Reeve (Lines 554-638, p. 137-139)

42. Describe the Miller.

43. What kinds of stories does the Miller like to tell?

44. What is a miller?

45. What is a manciple?

46. What is a reeve?

47. Describe the Reeve.

48. Is the Reeve honest or dishonest? Cite a quote to support your answer.

The Summoner and the Pardoner (Lines 639-710, p. 139-141)

49. Describe the Summoner.

50. What is a summoner?

51. To what does the speaker compare the summoner? What is Chaucer's point?

52. Describe the Pardoner. Is he a good or bad person? Support your answer with examples.

53. What is the Pardoner good at doing?

54. What is a pardoner?

The Host

55. Describe the Host and the Tabard. Is the Tabard a place you would like to stay? Why or why not?

56. What game does the Host propose to the pilgrims? What is in it for the Host?