Chaucer uses the Clerk's prologue to explain the techniques to be used in narrating a good story: no abstruse boring meditations, no moralizing about sins, no high rhetorical flourishes, but plain and direct speaking. The Host's warning against too lofty and pedantic style is not necessary because the Clerk tells his story in an "honest method, as wholesome as sweet." In The Prologue, Chaucer tells us that the Clerk "never spoke a word more than was need" and that he would "gladly learn and gladly teach." Therefore the reader must assume that his tale will teach some sort of moral or ethical lesson. The story he narrates is attributed to Francis Petrarch, (1303-1374), an Italian poet and humanist. Petrarch was recognized all over Europe, and Chaucer admired his work. The reader should remember that
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This note was uploaded on 12/05/2011 for the course ENGLISH 101 taught by Professor Staff during the Fall '11 term at Texas State.