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What value or problems do you see in the lesson(s)?

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In the framing narrative for The Canterbury Tales set up in the General Prologue, the host promises a free dinner to the member of the group who can tell “tales of best sentence and moost solaas” (l.798). “Sentence” is glossed in our edition as “meaning,” but this word also encompasses “doctrine” or “authoritative teaching,” “wisdom” or a “wise saying,” or “edifying subject matter,” as the Middle English Dictionary will tell you (“sentence,” n. 2, 4). (“Solaas,” too, is an important word for medieval literary theory, suggesting not only enjoyment but also comfort and potentially spiritual elevation.) This week we will be focusing on the kind of “sentences” (which we might call “lessons”) characters within The Canterbury Tales present in their tales, beginning with the Wyf of Bath.
In part 1 of today’s post, I would like you to consider what kind of lesson(s) the knight in the Wyf’s tale learns over the course of the tale. Please provide at least two quotes from the tale and explain how they highlight at least two lessons the knight seems to be taught in the story. (200 words)
In part 2 of your post, I would like you to tackle a harder question: given that the knight has been apprehended for the crime of rape, how appropriate (or not) do you find the nature of his punishments and/or lessons Please use at least one quotation (which can be as short and simple as one word Chaucer uses to describe some aspect of his punishments/lesson) to help you make your case for how/why his lesson(s)/punishment(s) are appropriate or not. (75 words)
Finally, in part 3, please discuss what moral(s) or lesson(s) the Wyf’s audiences (the other pilgrims, readers of her tale) might take away from her tale. How might the lesson (the “sentence”) a listener or reader takes away from the tale be different from the lesson(s) the knight seems to learn? What value or problems do you see in the lesson(s)? (75 words)


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