The Canterbury Tales


The Franklin's Tale

As the Squire is telling his tale, the Franklin interrupts him. The purpose of the interruption seems to be flattery, as the Franklin spends considerable time telling the Squire how wonderful he is. The Franklin then laments that his own son is not more like the Squire and instead spends his time gambling. The Host interrupts the Franklin’s laments about his son and tells him to tell his tale, seemingly forgetting the Squire’s tale. The Franklin complies, telling a story that is a twist on the story of the unfaithful wife.

In his story, Arvergarus, a knight, marries a maiden named Dorigen. The two are happy together and treat each other with respect and decency. Arvergarus travels to England and is gone for two years. Dorigen misses him terribly, and spends a lot of time sitting on the shore, looking at where he will return. She begins to worry about the rocks that dot the shoreline; they have been the cause of a number of shipwrecks, and she begins to worry about Arvergarus’s safety when he does return home.

Dorigen attends a dance where she meets a young and handsome man named Aurelius. Aurelius has been in love with Dorigen for two years, and he takes the opportunity to reveal his feelings. A faithful wife, Dorigen turns down Aurelius’s advances. However, Aurelius continues his pursuit, and Dorigen tells him that if he can remove all of the rocks from the coast of Brittany, she will bed him. Because the task is impossible, Dorigen is not concerned about ever having to have sex with Aurelius. Aurelius also knows that the task to be...

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