The Color of Water

The Canterbury Tales – General Prologue: The Knight through the Man of Law

Fragment 1, lines 43–330 Summary The narrator begins his character portraits with the Knight. In the narrator’s eyes, the Knight is the noblest of the pilgrims, embodying military prowess, loyalty, honor, generosity, and good manners. The Knight conducts himself in a polite and mild fashion, never saying an unkind word about anyone. The Knight’s son, …

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The Canterbury Tales – General Prologue: The Franklin through the Pardoner

Fragment 1, lines 331–714 Summary The white-bearded Franklin is a wealthy gentleman farmer, possessed of lands but not of noble birth. His chief attribute is his preoccupation with food, which is so plenteous in his house that his house seemed to snow meat and drink (344–345). The narrator next describes the five Guildsmen, all artisans. …

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The Canterbury Tales – The Knight’s Tale, Parts 1–2

From the beginning through Theseus’s decision to hold the tournament Fragment 1, lines 859–1880 Summary: The Knight’s Tale Part One Long ago in Ancient Greece, a great conqueror and duke named Theseus ruled the city of Athens. One day, four women kneel in front of Theseus’s horse and weep, halting his passage into the city. …

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The Canterbury Tales – The Wife of Bath’s Prologue

From the beginning through the Wife of Bath’s description of her first three husbands Fragment 3, lines 1–451 Summary: The Wife of Bath’s Prologue The Wife of Bath begins the Prologue to her tale by establishing herself as an authority on marriage, due to her extensive personal experience with the institution. Since her first marriage …

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The Canterbury Tales – The Wife of Bath’s Prologue (continued)

From the Wife of Bath’s description of her fourth husband through the end of her prologue Fragment 3, lines 452–856 Summary: The Wife of Bath’s Prologue The Wife of Bath begins her description of her two “bad” husbands. Her fourth husband, whom she married when still young, was a reveler, and he had a “paramour,” …

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