The Canterbury Tales Study Guide - The Canterbury Tales I The Knights Tale A Characters 1 Palamon and Arcite a Cousins\/Brother 2 Theseus a King 3

The Canterbury Tales Study Guide - The Canterbury...

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The Canterbury Tales I. The Knight’s Tale A. Characters 1. Palamon and Arcite a) Cousins/Brother 2. Theseus a) King 3. Emily a) The women desired by Palamon and Arcite B. Plot 1. Two kinsmen Arcite and Palamon fall in love with the same woman named Emily whom they first see out of their prison window. Emily is the niece of King Theseus. Arcite gains his freedom but is banished from Athens. He comes back in a disguise since he cannot bear to live away from Emily. In the meanwhile Palamon breaks out of prison and coincidentally meets Arcite in a forest grove. Here Theseus discovers them fighting a bloody duel. Theseus puts an end to their fight and organizes a contest to resolve their quarrel about Emily. Before the contest Arcite prays to Mars for victory while Palamon prays to Venus for the sole possession of Emily. This creates uproar in heaven and finally both the wishes are granted. Arcite emerges victorious in the joust but falls from his horse and dies and eventually Palamon marries Emily. C. Themes 1. Rules and Order 2. Love 3. Friendship 4. Death 5. Suffering 6. Competition II. The Miller’s Tale A. Characters 1. John the Carpenter a) Senex Amans 2. Alison (the wife) 3. Nicholas (the scholar living with John and Alison) 4. Absolon (the Priest who loves Alison) B. Plot 1. Old John, an Oxford carpenter, was deceived by a clerk named Nicholas. That is, he had an affair with the carpenter’s wife. Nicholas deceives the carpenter into believing that Noah’s flood is about to recur and makes him hang three tubs from the ceiling to escape the deluge. The carpenter sleeps fitfully in one tub while his wife Alison spends the night with Nicholas.
The young parish clerk Absolon who is also trying to woo Alison arrives beneath her bedroom window only to be humiliated. When Absolon desperately begs Alison for a kiss she thrusts her posterior out of the window. He is angry and returns to take revenge. But now Nicholas

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