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The Canterbury Tales Short Summary

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The Canterbury Tales is a narrative written by David Wright and Geoffrey Chaucer telling a story around other stories. It is a frame narration of the 29 pilgrims a tavern. Tabard inn in Southwark, a few miles to London. They are amid Canterbury journey to martyr Saint Thomas Becket shrine for an annual gathering. Here is the plot overview.

A Synopsis of the Story

The frame of the narration starts with a meeting of pilgrims at the tavern. Tabard inn a few kilometers to London preparing for a Canterbury trip to martyr Saint Thomas Becket shrine. This is an annual occurrence. Chaucer is in the company of the people preparing for the journey. Harry Bailey, the owner of the tavern Tabard inn, suggests that every traveler should take a turn telling stories during their 60 miles and four days trip to St. Thomas Shrine. The tavern owner requests each traveler to tell two narration of their journey to the shrine and other two on their way back home. He promises to furnish a dinner meal to the best storyteller upon return.

The journey to Canterbury begins with Knight drawing the opening straw. He starts the narration with a long passionate storyline about brave Knights with romantic desire for one girl and spends a great deal of their time trying to win her love. It is Chaucer’s turn, and he begins his low rhyme story. Harry, the moderator, hates the poem right from its start and keeps on intervening the story with complaints. He gives a lengthy and boring olden myth. However, towards the end, Harry seems to be impressed with the story’s moral and highly compliments it.

The second nun begins his narration with an ethical and inspiring life lived by St. Cecilia. Around five miles down the line, Yeoman and canon arrive after riding tirelessly to reach the other pilgrims. The conversation affirms that these men are a sort of villain, but they are welcomed and given a platform to tell their stories. Towards the end, Harry suggests Parson end the storytelling session with a fable and instead teaches a two hours oration on repentance. Chaucer, however by the time of his death, completes only a fifth of the proposed narrations. The Canterbury tales come to an end, reflecting the original medieval literary works known as romance, myths and beast fables today.

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