The Canterbury Tales


Discussion Questions

1. Do you feel as if the Wife of Bath was an example of a an unusually liberated woman for her times or an example of a stereotype of femininity?

2. Why do you think infidelity by a wife played such a central role in so many of the pilgrims’ tales?

3. Chaucer combines legends, pagan beliefs, and Christianity in the various stories in The Canterbury Tales. Do you feel like this inclusion of non-Christian legends and traditions rings true for tales that pilgrims on a religious pilgrimage would tell?

4. Several tales feature very negative things about Jews or Muslims. Do you feel that it is appropriate to teach these tales in a high school setting? Why or why not?

5. What role does the passage of time play in the poem?

6. The Canterbury Tales was obviously not completed. Do the gaps in the poem distract from your understanding of it?

7. Do you think that The Canterbury Tales remains relevant to a modern audience?

8. Which pilgrim did you find the most compelling in The Canterbury Tales?

9. Which story did you find the most appealing in The Canterbury Tales?

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Essays About The Canterbury Tales