Literature Study GuidesThe Canterbury Tales

The Canterbury Tales | Study Guide

Geoffrey Chaucer

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(Course Hero, 2016)



Course Hero. "The Canterbury Tales Study Guide." August 25, 2016. Accessed September 26, 2023.


Course Hero, "The Canterbury Tales Study Guide," August 25, 2016, accessed September 26, 2023,


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Geoffrey Chaucer

Years Written

c. 1387–1400


Epic Poem



Perspective and Narrator

The Canterbury Tales begins in first-person point of view, as Chaucer the pilgrim—often thought of as a distinct character in the story rather than the author himself—relates the formation of the storytelling company. This first-person point of view reappears on occasion throughout the frame story of the tales. Prologues are mostly told in first person, from the perspective of the storyteller. The stories are typically in third person, except when the narrator interrupts.


The stories of The Canterbury Tales are told primarily in the past tense.

About the Title

A group of pilgrims is on its way to Canterbury Cathedral, and the pilgrims engage in a storytelling game on the road. The "tales" are their stories.


This study guide and infographic for Geoffrey Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales offer summary and analysis on themes, symbols, and other literary devices found in the text. Explore Course Hero's library of literature materials, including documents and Q&A pairs.

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