The Canterbury Tales


The Host

The Host is the man who is leading the pilgrimage to Canterbury. He is a well-liked man who manages to handle difficult situations by defusing them without causing additional hurt feelings. Because he has to deal with such a wide variety of people, the Host seems capable of acting slightly differently toward each person on the pilgrimage, which can make it difficult to discern his true personality. However, he sometimes reveals things about himself in his comments to the pilgrims. For example, he teases the Parson about being a prude, suggesting that he does not condemn sexual behavior as the Church does. He also helps the Cook back onto his horse when he falls off because of drunkenness, proving that he can be helpful, but also that he does not approve of the Cook’s behavior. He is the one who suggests that the pilgrims tell stories to pass the time, and one gets the sense that he has done this on prior pilgrimages as a way of encouraging the pilgrims to get to know one another, as well as a way to make a long and tedious journey pass more quickly.

Sign up to continue reading The Host >

Essays About The Canterbury Tales