Summary of the “Canterbury Tales” by Chaucer

Summary of the “Canterbury Tales” by Chaucer

In spring, in April, when the earth wakes from hibernation, on all sides of England flock of pilgrims to the abbey of Canterbury bow to the relics of St. Thomas Becket. Once in Tabard’s tavern, in Sauerk, a rather diverse company of pilgrims gathered, all of whom were united: they all kept their way to Canterbury. There were twenty-nine of them. During dinner, many of the guests had time to get acquainted and talk. The guests were of different ranks and occupation, which, incidentally, did not prevent them from supporting a casual conversation.

Among them was the Knight, known all over the world for his valor and glorious exploits, which he accomplished in numerous battles, and his son, the young Squire, despite his young years, who managed to win the favor of his beloved, gaining

fame as a faithful squire in long voyages in other people’s limits, dressed in a motley outfit. Together with the knight, also went Yomen, who wore a green jacket with a hood and armed with a bow with long green arrows, a good shooter, who was apparently a forester. Together with them was Abbessa named Eglantina, who looked after the noble novices, meek and tidy.

Everyone sitting at the table was pleased to see her clean little face and sweet smile. She talked about something with an important and fat Monk, who was a monastic inspector. Passionate hunter and merry fellow, he was against strict, reclusive rules, loved to have a drink and kept the greyhounds. He wore a magnificent cloak, and he rode on a bay horse. Next to him at the table sat Carmelite, the collector of taxes, who succeeded in his art like no one and who knew how to squeeze the last penny out of a beggar, promising him eternal bliss in heaven. In the beaver hat, with a long beard, sat the rich merchant, revered for his ability to save income and deftly calculate the rate. After interrupting diligent pursuits, riding on a frozen nag, in Canterbury the Student was traveling, wise with books and spending the last money on them.

Next to him sat the lawyer, unsurpassed in the knowledge of the laws and in the ability to bypass them. The wealth and glory

of his quickly multiplied, as well as the number of wealthy clients who often turned to the lawyer for help. Nearby, in an expensive outfit sat a cheerful Franklin, who was an exemplary sheriff and collected a fine. Franklin loved wine and a good table, which was famous in the district. The dyer, the Captain, the Carpenter, the Slayer and the Weaver, dressed in solid attire of the guild brotherhood, did everything slowly, with a sense of dignity and wealth. They took with them the Cook, a master of all trades, to prepare for them during a long journey. At the same table sat Skipper with them. He came from the western county and was dressed in a coarse caftan of canvas. His appearance gave him an experienced sailor from the “Madelena”, who knew all the currents and pitfalls, met in the way of the ship. In the crimson with a blue raincoat next to him sat the Doctor of Medicine, to compare with which in the art of healing could not even the London doctors. He was a very clever man who had never shamed himself by inaccuracy or dishonesty. A Batk weaver chatted with him in a road raincoat and with a big hat on his head. She was deaf, which did not stop her from being a great master in the weaving business.

After experiencing five husbands and not less lovers, she humbly went to the pilgrimage, was talkative and cheerful. Not far from the table sat an old Priest, modestly, who had never been seen better than the light. He was an exemplary pastor, helped the poor, was gentle and merciful in dealing with the poor and ruthlessly justified to the rich sinners. Brother it. Plowman, went with him. He worked hard in the fields for his life and considered it a duty for a Christian to obey the commandments and help people who needed it. On the contrary, on the bench, the Miller collapsed – a ragged little fellow, as healthy as an ox, with an impressive red beard and a wart that was covered with stiff bristles on his nose. A fist fighter, a womanizer, an asshole and a reveler, he was known as a desperate liar and a thief. The Econom who was sitting next to him was lucky in all the operations for which he undertook, and was able to fool people pretty much.

Being able to steal and get entrenched in time, he was richer than his master, he was stingy and well versed in his business. The bailiff of the church court swelled all over with fat, and his little eyes looked at everyone extremely slyly. No acid would etch the everlasting dirt on his beard and drown out the garlic burp that he poured with wine. He was able to be useful to sinners, if they paid, and carried with him in place of a shield a huge loaf of rye bread. Slavishly devoted to him, the next was the seller of papal indulgences. The lifeless strands of rare, coalesced hair bordered his brow, he sang and taught with a squeaky voice from the pulpit, and carried with him a box of indulgences, for sale of which was on display.

Now all of the above listed were having fun sitting at a table covered with all kinds of food and reinforcing their strength. When dinner was over and the guests began to disperse, the owner of the tavern stood up and, thanking the guests for the honor, drained his glass. Then, laughing, he noticed that the travelers must sometimes be bored, and suggested to the pilgrims the following: everyone during a long journey will have to tell a fictitious or true story, and who will tell the most interesting will be nicely treated on the way back. As a judge, the Boss offered himself, having warned that the one who would shy away from the story would be severely punished. Pilgrims gladly agreed, because nobody wanted to be bored, but the Boss liked everyone, even the morose. And so, before going on the road, everyone began to draw lots, to whom to tell the first.

The Knight’s Tale

Once in Athens rules the glorious lord Theseus. Having glorified himself with many victories, he finally captured Scythia, where the Amazons lived, and married their mistress Ippolite. When he stood proudly in front of his capital, preparing to enter into the sounds of fanfare, a procession of women dressed in mourning came to him. Theseus asked them what had happened and was angry when they found out that they were wives of famous Theban warriors whose bodies were rotting under the sun, for the new ruler Thebes, Creon, who had recently captured this city, did not bury them, leaving the birds to be torn to pieces. Theseus jumped on his horse and rushed with his army to avenge cruel Creon, leaving in Athens Hippolytus and her beautiful sister Emilia. The army besieged Thebes, the evil Creon fell in battle, defeated by Theseus, and justice was restored. Among the fallen soldiers of Theseus they found two wounded knights of a noble family.

Theseus ordered to be sent to Athens and imprisoned there in the tower, not agreeing to take ransom for them. The young men were Arsita and Palamon. Several years have passed. Once a beautiful Emilia walked through the garden, which was located next to the tower, where the unfortunate prisoners were languishing, and sang like a nightingale. At this time Palamon looked out into the garden from the barred window of the dungeon. Suddenly he saw a beautiful Emilia and nearly lost consciousness, for he realized that he was in love. Waking up from this scream, Arsita thought that his brother was sick. Palamon explained to him what his grief was, and Arsita decided to look at Emilia. Approaching the loophole, he saw her walking among the rose bushes, and felt the same as Palamon. Then began a terrible conflict between them and a fight. One accused the other, each considered his undeniable right to love Emilia, and it is not known what the matter would have come to, Do not remember the brothers in time about their situation. Realizing that, as it is there all the same turn, they still never get out of prison, Arsita and Palamon decided to rely on fate.

Just at this time in Athens, the noble military commander Perita, a kind friend of Vladyka Theseus, arrived. Earlier, he was bound by the bonds of holy friendship with the young Arsita, and upon learning that he was languishing in the tower, Perity tearfully begged Theseus to let him go. After hesitating, Theseus finally gave his consent, but with the immutable condition that if Arsita once again appears on the Athenian land, he will answer for it with his head. Unfortunate Arsita was forced to flee to Thebes, cursing his fate and envying Palamon, who remained in prison and could at least sometimes see Emilia. He did not know that at the same time Palamon lamented him, confident that his brother had got happiness, and not him, the poor prisoner.

So flew a year or two. One day, when Arsita fell asleep with a restless sleep, the god Mercury appeared to him and advised him not to despair, but to go to try his luck in Athens. Waking up, Arsita cast aside doubts and fears and decided to dare penetrate into the capital, disguised as a poor man and taking with him only one friend. The pangs of the heart so distorted his features that no one could recognize him, and he was accepted into the service in the palace, calling himself Philostratus. He was so courteous and clever that the glory of a new servant flew to Theseus’ ears, he brought Philostratus closer, making him his personal assistant and generously endowing him. So at the court lived Arsita, while his brother was already in his seventh year in the tower. But somehow, on the night of the third of May, his friends helped him escape, and under the cover of darkness he hid in a grove a few miles from the city.

Palamon had nothing to hope for, except that he went to Thebes and begged his people to gather an army and go to war against Theseus. He did not know that in the same grove, where he waited the day, Arsita rode off for a walk. Palamon heard Arsita complaining of his fate, extolling Emilia, and, unable to bear it, jumped out into the clearing. Seeing each other, the brothers decided that only one can stay alive and have the right to the heart of the queen’s sister. Here began such a battle that it seemed as if the wild beasts were clinging to a deadly battle.

The noise of the battle attracted the attention of the glorious Theseus, who was passing by that grove with his retinue. Seeing the bloodied knights, he recognized in them a deceiver to a servant and a runaway prisoner and decided to punish them with death. After hearing their explanations, he had already given the order to kill the brothers, but seeing the tears in the eyes of Hippolyta and Emilia, touched by the ill-fated love of the two young men, the heart of the magnanimous monarch softened, and he ordered the knights to fight for the right to marry the beautiful Emilia here in a year, with a hundred fighters each. There were no limits to the jubilation of the two young men and the suite of the magnanimous Theseus, when they heard such a verdict.

Exactly a year later, next to the grove, a huge, richly decorated amphitheater stretched near the grove, where a duel was to be held. From three sides it towered temples erected in honor of Mars, Venus and Diana. When the first warriors appeared, the amphitheater was already full. At the head of hundreds of heroes, Palamon proudly marched along with the great Thracian warlord Lycurgus, On the other hand the mighty Arsita came. Next to him – the Indian Emetrius, the great ruler, and a little behind – a hundred strong, to match each other’s fighters. They offered prayers to the gods, each to their patron, Arsit-Mars, Palamon-Venus. Diana prayed beautiful Emilia, so she sent her to her husband who loves the strongest.

All received with the help of mysterious signs the confidence that the gods will not leave their wards in trouble. And now the contest began. According to the rules, the battle was to continue until both warlords are inside the line that limits the stadium. The defeated man had to be taken to the milestones, which meant his defeat. Theseus gave a sign, and jingled crossed swords and spears. Blood was pouring down the river, the wounded fell, those who were stronger rose, and no one could win. But Palamona, who fought like a lion, surrounded twenty warriors at once, and the fierce Lycurgus could not help him. Palamona was seized by the hands, by the feet and carried away from the field, to the landmarks. Here the battle was stopped… Arsita came out victorious, despite the efforts of the goddess of love of Venus, who patronized Palamon.

Joyous Arsita rode gallop to meet his beloved, and suddenly, from the hoofs of his horse, a furious fury escaped from the depths of hell. The horse fell to the ground with all its might, crushing its rider. The horror of the spectators did not have a limit, bloodied Arsita with a broken breasts was immediately carried to the rooms of Theseus, who tore his hair from grief.

The weeks pass, Arsite is getting worse and worse. Emilia does not find a place for herself from sadness and sorrow, crying for days on end. The chest of Arsita is full of pus, the wounds are inflamed. Feeling that he was dying, he called his bride and, kissing her, bequeathed to be a faithful wife to his brave brother, whom he had forgiven, for he loved him dearly. After these words, Arsita closed his eyes and his soul flew away.

The whole capital was grieving for a long time, lamenting the glorious warrior, Palamon and Emilia long uncomfortably wept, but time, as is known, quickly heals wounds. Arsita was buried in the same grove where they met Palamon. Theseus, having burned his teeth, called Palamon and said that, apparently, so decreed a rock, before which man is powerless. Here they played a magnificent and cheerful wedding of Palamon and Emilia, who lived happily, loving each other passionately and faithfully, honoring the order of the unfortunate Arsita.

On this the Knight finished his story.

Miller’s story

Somehow the carpenter lived in Oxford. He was a master of all trades and enjoyed a well-deserved reputation as a craftsman. He was rich and allowed to his house of spongers. Among them, he had a poor student who knew alchemy well, remembered theorems, and often surprised everyone with his knowledge. For the good nature and affability all called him Dushka Nicolae. Plotnikova’s wife ordered to live a long time, and he, after burning, married again on the young black-browed beauty Alison. She was so attractive and sweet that there was no number in love with her, and among them, of course, was our student. Suspecting nothing, the old carpenter was still very jealous and looked after his young wife. Once, having arranged an innocent fuss with Alison, while the carpenter was not at home. Dasha Nicolae, confessing to her in her feelings, begged him to give him at least one kiss. Alison, who also liked the cute student, promised to kiss him, but only when the opportunity appears. Then Dushka Nicholas decided to inflate the old carpenter. Meanwhile, Alison was also suffering from the young church attendant Absalom. When he walked through the church, waving a censer, he looked only at Alison and sighed heavily. He was a dodger and a debauchee, and Alison did not like it at all, all her thoughts were turned to Nicholas.

Once, at night, unable to bear anguish, Absalom took the guitar and decided to go to delight the hearing with his beloved sad couplets. Hearing this meow, the carpenter asked his wife what Absalom was doing under their fence, and the one, despising the charity, declared that she was not afraid of such a thief. Dushka Nicholas on the love front things were much better. Having conspired with Alison, he took a supply of water and food for several days and, locked himself in his room, did not go anywhere. Two days later, everyone was worried about where the student had disappeared and whether he was sick. The carpenter ordered him to go and ask him, but Nikolai did not open it to anyone. At this point the kind carpenter was completely agitated, for he loved Duska Nicholas cordially, and ordered to knock out the door. He saw Nikolas sitting on the bed, who, without moving, gazed intently into the sky.

The carpenter began to shake him furiously to bring him to life, for he refused to eat and uttered not a single word. After such a shake-up, the student asked me in a grave voice to leave him alone with the carpenter. When all this was done, Nicolas bent down to the carpenter’s ear and, taking from him a terrible oath to keep silent, told that on Monday (and it was Sunday) the world awaits a terrible flood, similar to what was under Noah. Driven by Divine Providence, he, Nicolae, received a revelation to save only three people – Carpenter John, his wife Alison and herself. In horror the carpenter lost his speech for a moment. The student ordered him to buy three large barrels or tubs and strengthen them on the rafters so that, when the shower starts, it would be convenient to float through the previously prepared hole in the roof. To get into the barrels it was necessary to each one separately, that in such a terrible hour no one be tempted by the carnal temptation. Frightened to death, the carpenter, listening to the student and faithfully believing in his salvation, rushed to buy tubs and snacks for a long swim, without telling anyone a word.

And then came the fateful night. The company quietly climbed into the barrels, and the carpenter began to pray earnestly, as was ordered, awaiting a terrible downpour, and soon fell asleep soundly. Then the lovers silently descended to spend the rest of the night in Plotnikova’s bedroom. Meanwhile, the attendant Absalom, noticing that the carpenter does not appear all day, and thinking that he was away, wandered to try his luck under the windows of Alison. Carefully preparing the speech, Absalom pried to the window and began to plead with a plaintive voice Alison to give him at least one kiss. Then the carpenter’s wife, lying in the arms of the student, decided to joke about him. Opened the window and turned her ass, she exposed it to the courier, and he, not dismantling in the dark, kissed her, was horrified and in addition received a frame on the head.

Hearing the ringing laughter of Dushka Nicholas, Absalom decided to take revenge on the lovers. Wiping his lips along the way, he rushed to the blacksmith, taking from him the hot-tempered opener. Blacksmith Gervaise did not dare to refuse a friend, and now Absalom is back at the window again, with a hot opener in his hand, praying Alison to peek out once more. Here Nikolai decided to joke, leaned out of the window and deafeningly farted directly into Absalomov’s nose. He only waited for this, typing Nicholas’s ass with a coulter so that the skin peeled off. Dushka Nicolae howled in pain and yelled: “Water, rather water…” Waking up from this scream, the carpenter thought that the flood had already begun, he had cut the rope, on which the barrel hung, and… with a deafening crash crashed down. The neighbors ran to the noise, Nikolai and Alison came running. Everyone laughed until I fell over the poor old man who was waiting for the end of the world and paid for it with a broken leg.

The Doctor’s Story

Titus of Libya narrates that there once lived in Rome a noble knight named Virginia, who earned universal love with his generosity. God rewarded him with his only daughter, who, in her beauty, was like a goddess. When this story happened, the girl was already fifteen years old. She was beautiful, like a flower, amazingly intelligent and pure in thought. There was not a man who did not admire her, but she did not admit to her arrogant gentlemen and did not go to the merry feasts that were arranged by her peers.

One day Virginia’s daughter went with her mother to the temple, where the girl saw Appius County judge and insanely desired her. Knowing that she had not been approached, he decided to act deceit. He called a guy named Claudius, an excellent scoundrel, and generously rewarded him, told him everything. Together they concluded a vile collusion, and if everything comes out according to the plan, Claudia was expecting a good reward. Looking forward to a close victory, Appius met several days later in court when Claudius entered and said that he wanted to complain about a certain knight named Virginia who had stolen his slave from him and now extradited her for his daughter.

The judge listened to him and said that without the defendant’s presence, the case can not be decided. Urged Virginia, who, after listening to a false accusation, was already about to besiege a liar who claimed that he had witnesses, as befits a knight, but the impatient judge did not give him the word and pronounced a verdict according to which Virginia should give Claudia his “slave”. Stunned Virginia came home and told her everything. Then he decided to kill her, in order to avoid shame and outrage. His daughter, all in tears, asked only to give her time to mourn his life, thank God that he saved her from shame. Then Virginius took the sword, cut off his one daughter’s head and carried this bloody gift to the ward, where he was eagerly awaited by Judge and Claudius. They wanted to execute him there, but then the people broke into the court and released Virginia. A lascivious judge was imprisoned, where he committed suicide. A friend of his, Claudius, was forever banished from Rome.

The Story of the Crow

Once the great god Phoebus, or otherwise Apollo, lived among people. He was a handsome knight, cheerful and brave, his furious arrows were feared by any enemy. Phoebus knew how to play the lyre, the harp, the lute, and in such a marvelous voice as he did, no one in the world. In beauty and nobility, no one could compare with a great god. Phoebus lived in a spacious house, where in the most beautiful of the rooms stood a golden cage. There lived a crow. There are no such people anymore, she was dazzlingly white and singing in a ringing voice, like a nightingale. Phoebe was very fond of her, taught to speak, and soon the crow began to understand everything and to exactly imitate human voices. In the same khoromine lived the beautiful wife of Phoebe. He loved her madly, cherished it as a rare flower, gave expensive gifts and was jealous of anyone. He did not invite guests into his house, fearing that someone might seduce his wife, and kept her locked up, like a bird in a golden cage. But everything is useless – the heart and all the thoughts of his beloved wife belonged to another. One day, Phoebus left for a long time, and his lover is right there.

Together with Febow’s beautiful wife, they satisfy their passion in a room with a cage. The crow saw all this, and, true to her master, took offense at him. When Phoebus returned and went to the cage, the crow crowed: “U-steal! U-steal! U-steal! …” Surprised by the strange change in the voice of his favorite, Phoebus asked her what had happened. The rude, ominous words of the crow told him that, while he was not there, the scoundrel lover dishonored the bed with his wife. Phoebe recoiled in horror, the rage overwhelmed him, he took his bow and, after giving up the string, killed his beloved wife.

After it began to swallow a worm of regret. He broke the musical instruments, broke his bow and arrows, and attacked the raven furiously, saying to her with contempt: “A deceitful creature, for nothing I obeyed your slander, the snake venom has saturated your speeches, for I killed my wife, who is innocent before me.” In your punishment for your lies you will no longer be white as jasmine, but become black and ugly, you will not sing more like a nightingale, but you will ominously croak, foretelling a bad weather, and will cease love you people. ” And the terrible god seized an envious bird, ripped off her snow-white feathers and threw a black monastic robe on her, took away the gift of speech, and then threw him out into the street. Since then, all the crows are black as pitch, and loudly croak, complaining to their distant progenitor.


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Summary of the “Canterbury Tales” by Chaucer