Course Hero Logo

The Canterbury Tales | Study Guide

Geoffrey Chaucer

Get the eBook on Amazon to study offline.

Buy on Amazon Study Guide
Cite This Study Guide

How to Cite This Study Guide

quotation mark graphic


Course Hero. "The Canterbury Tales Study Guide." Course Hero. 25 Aug. 2016. Web. 9 June 2023. <>.

In text

(Course Hero)



Course Hero. (2016, August 25). The Canterbury Tales Study Guide. In Course Hero. Retrieved June 9, 2023, from

In text

(Course Hero, 2016)



Course Hero. "The Canterbury Tales Study Guide." August 25, 2016. Accessed June 9, 2023.


Course Hero, "The Canterbury Tales Study Guide," August 25, 2016, accessed June 9, 2023,

The Canterbury Tales | Infographic

Share Embed
Click to copy code

Check out this Infographic to learn more about Geoffrey Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales. Study visually with character maps, plot summaries, helpful context, and more.

the-canterbury-tales-geoffrey-chaucerMay the Best Storyteller Win!MAIN CHARACTERSSpring has come and with it an increase in pilgrims traveling to Canterbury. Gathering at an inn in Southwark, England, 30 pilgrims agree to a tale-telling competition for the long road. The Canterbury Tales showcases Chaucers flair for satire and his ability to create memorable characters with unique voices that explore themes of rivalry; love, sex, and fellowship; social class; and storytelling.Geoffrey Chaucerc. 13871400 Middle EnglishAuthorYears WrittenOriginal LanguageThe Canterbury TalesEpic PoemSatireThe Canterbury Talesby the Numbers41031Tales each pilgrim is supposed to tell: two on the way to Canterbury and two on the way backSyllables in each line, using a pattern of five 2-syllable pairs in which the second syllable is stressedPeople in the company: the narrator, 29 other pilgrims, and the HostLength, in miles, of the pilgrimage from the Tabard Inn to Canterbury Cathedral~65The poet was a diplomat who served three successive English kings. His wide travels in royal service introduced him to people from all social classes, informing his deeply humorous The Canterbury Tales; the 24 short tales rank among the greatest works of English literature.GEOFFREY CHAUCERC. 13431400AuthorSpringtimeThe Prologue begins with a famous description of springtime, symbolic of desire, fertility, and rebirth.SymbolsThemesBloodBlood is a metaphor for family lineage and class; it also signifies Christs blood.ClothingClothes, simple or elaborate, reflect the personality of the wearer.Social ClassEach character represents a social class, and Chaucer makes fun of them all.Love, Sex & FellowshipHuman relations from lofty to lusty pervade the tales, told among friendly company.RivalryThe pilgrims engage in a friendly competition to pass the long hours, and competitions figure in the stories.StorytellingThe stories are as varied as the perspectives and voices of the storytellers.RivalryLove, Sex, FellowshipSocial ClassStorytelling Knight Pilgrim from the nobilityHarry BaileyHost, owner of Tabard Inn ChaucerNarrator and pilgrimClerkUpper-class pilgrimMillerCraftsman pilgrimPardonerPilgrim with loose moralsParsonPoor but virtuous pilgrimWife of BathMiddle-class pilgrimhough there was nowhere one so busy as he, He was less busy than he seemed to be.Chaucer, PrologueSources: Bloom's How to Write About Geoffrey Chaucer by Michelle M. Sauer, British Library, The Canterbury Tales, Chaucer's Canterbury TalesA Multimedia Pilgrimage, Geoffrey Chaucer by Harold BloomCopyright © 2016 Course Hero, Inc.

Want to see more infographics? View All Infographics on Course Hero!

Cite This Study Guide

information icon Have study documents to share about The Canterbury Tales? Upload them to earn free Course Hero access!