The narrator opens by observing it is Springtime, a pleasant time of year when many people undertake pilgrimages. He then gives short descriptions of a number of people preparing to travel to the shrine of St. Thomas Becket at Canterbury. Gathered at the Tabard Inn outside London, this large group of pilgrims reflects the entire spectrum of medieval society. Over a fine meal, the pilgrims agree to entertain one another by telling stories during the journey (a common practice at the time). The inn’s host, who suggests the idea, will ride along and judge the tales.
D. The hosts criterion for judging the merit of a tale will be the..
1. the “measure of good morality…
2. and general pleasure”
3. In other words, there should be a moral lesson or message as well as being entertaining.
V. Characters: Handout
A. Each is introduced and described in great detail
B. Some are clear illustrations of characteristics: