The Canterbury Tales By Geoffrey Chaucer Study Help Essay Questions

1. An exemplum is a story (or parable) told to illustrate a point. How does The Pardoner's Tale illustrate the axiom "Money is the root of all evil"?

2. What qualities cause Chaucer to place the Pardoner at the very bottom of the social world? Why is the Pardoner considered by modern readers to be Chaucer's most modern and most intriguing character?

3. Discuss the reasons for the use of the magical, the supernatural, the miraculous, and the exotic in such tales as The Man of Law's Tale, The Squire's Tale, The Prioress' Tale, The Second Nun's Tale, and parts of others.

4. "Vanity goeth before a fall" might be applied to Chaunticleer. Illustrate how his vanity almost leads to his death. Are there other characters to whom this might apply?

5. The Friar's Tale about a summoner prompts The Summoner's Tale about a horrible Friar. What similarities and differences are there in these two tales?

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