The Scholar’s Desire for Power: A Reading of The Clerk’s Tale

"The Clerk's Tale" is one of the most important tales among Chaucer's Canterbury Tales. The Clerk speaks to us as the representative from the academy, specifically he is an academic from 'Oxenford' (Oxford). He is the philosopher's voice in Chaucer. We have already heard the numerous charges brought against intellectuals by various tradesmen (like the … Continue reading The Scholar’s Desire for Power: A Reading of The Clerk’s Tale

Aristotelian Mimesis: The Conflict Between the Friar and the Summoner

In the "General Prologue," Chaucer describes the Summoner. He has a 'fire-red face cherubim's face' that is pimpled and disfigured. He is a lecherous man whose hair is falling out, and the mere sight of him brings fear into the hearts of children. He is a drinker of strong wines, and he is a bit … Continue reading Aristotelian Mimesis: The Conflict Between the Friar and the Summoner

The Wife of Bath’s Tale: Autobiography and Arthurian Parody

The Wife of Bath is the most famous, albeit the most troubling character in Chaucerian literature. As with other speakers in The Canterbury Tales, we are only given her title at the outset, the "Wife of Bath." Later we learn her name is Alysoun, or she sometimes goes by "Aly" (recall that she shares a … Continue reading The Wife of Bath’s Tale: Autobiography and Arthurian Parody