For the thinksheet on the Merchant's Tale on Tues, pls answer quetsion 10.


For the thinksheet for the Franklin on Thurs., please answer question 6.


Merchant’s Tale


1.  What does the Merchant have to say about the institution of marriage in his Prologue?  How does he characterize his wife? 


2.  What are the views of the Knight in the tale, January, on marriage?  Why does he decide to take a wife at age 60 and what were his views prior to this time?  What, according to his views, are the attributes and purpose of a wife?  What, in lines, 1415-1468, is he looking for in a wife?


3.  What does the Knight have to say about Theophrastus?  (See lines 1293-1310).  How does this detail relate to the Wife’s Prologue? 


4.  What advice do Placebo and Justinus give?  What might they stand for?  What is the significance of their names?


5.  How would you characterize the style of this tale?  What sorts of features does it have?  How does it compare to the other tales we’ve read? 


6.  Look at the description of the wedding night in lines 1818-1865.  How are January and May described?  How would you describe the tone and use of detail here?  What is life like for May?


6.  Who is Damyan?  How does he compare to other lovers we have seen?  Palamon and Arcite?  Hende Nicholas and Absolom?


8.  How do the gods function in this tale?  How do they compare to the gods in the Knight’s Tale? 


9. Look at the Merchant’s Epilogue. What type of wife does the Host have?  How does his contribution add to the “marriage group?”    How does the “marriage group” develop? 


10. Line 1597 reads “ love is blynd alday and may not see” and there are multiple references to trees in the tale, see for example, lines 1461-1466 and line 1641.  How do these two motifs function in the tale?




1.  What is the relationship between Dorigen and her husband, Averagus?  What type of marriage do they have?


2.  How does Dorigen come to make her promise to Aurelius?  What does she promise?


3.What is a Franklin?  What is the relationship between teller and tale?


4.How is this tale part of the “marriage group”?  How does it “quit” earlier tales? 


5.What is “gentilesse”?  How is it defined in the Franklin’s tale, the Wife of Bath’s Tale, the lyric by Chaucer?


6.The Franklin asks which of the characters in the story is the most “free” or generous?  (line 1622).  What do you think?  Back up your argument with specific details from the text.