April 10th: The Nun’s Priest Tale

The article by Alex Mueller that we read for today engages with the question of genre in the Nun’s Priest Tale. Which genre would you classify the tale as; allegory, fable, epic, epic romance, fabliau or other? Does it even have only one genre, or can it be a mix of several? Provide evidence from the texts to support your answers.

Mar 8: Franklin’s Tale

There are recurring themes in the Franklin’s Tale involving pledges, promises, freedom and submission. Most of the characters are bound to each other in some capacity. Compare and contrast a relationship between characters who seem to engage with one or more of these themes. In what ways do they show this?

March 6th : Wife of Bath

In class, we often discuss how each character’s prologue influences their tale, or position it as a reflection of their beliefs. How is the Wife of Bath’s Tale related (or unrelated) to her ideas about the perfect marriage or just marriage in general?

Midterm Question

In class, we have talked about the way that Chaucer portrays the female characters in the Book of the Duchess, The Knight’s Tale, the Reeve’s Tale and the Miller’s Tale. Pick a female character from one of these works and explain the way Chaucer chooses to write about them. Comment about what kind of agency they have, how their bodies are written, what their attitudes are, or anything else interesting about them.