Canterbury Tales Characters
All characters represent the middle class.
These characters represent the soldiers and officers of the law.
KNIGHT: fought in many foreign wars but was still mild and respectful in manners to all--the image of chivalry
SQUIRE: the knight's son who is also a part of knightly activities but is not as serious as his father; tends to wear "fashionable" clothes
YEOMAN: traveling forester with numerous weapons, knew all the ways of the woods
MANCIPLE: works for lawyers and tries to steal all he can from them and others with his sharp wit and precise ways
SERGEANT OF LAW: (or lawyer) who makes a great show of his learning with his "wise sayings" and knowledge of the justice system
SHIPMAN: skilled sailing captain and also a smuggler with a special taste for wine and making prisoners "walk the plank"
These characters represent the church.
PRIORESS (head nun): religious figure who seems too delicate and cultivated for this trip; she's very concerned about her appearance
MONK: a large, aggressive man who would rather be hunting or eating than reading books or performing church services
FRIAR HERBERT: religious figure with good humor who flirts with the opposite sex and desires greater wealth and pleasure in his life
SECOND NUN: accompanies the prioress, and brings three priests with her as attendants
PARDONER: bulb-eyed, goat-voiced, relic-carrying traveler from Rome who's friendly with the Summoner
OXFORD CLERIC: religious figure whose life was spent studying his books he's thin, unemployed, and poor
PARSON: religious figure who would help anyone at any time, regardless of social class, and teaches by example
SUMMONER: a disgusting man who drinks a lot and rides with the Pardoner; his job is to deliver messages from head church officials
These characters represent the merchants, craftsmen, and skilled specialists.
DOCTER: an expert in his profession as a master of knowledge of the humors, but more interested in gold than a patient's health
MILLER: large, bold bagpipe-playing, brash thief of farmers with a thumb of gold" that he uses to steal grain from poor farmers
REEVE: a sharp-dealing manager-type who got rich skimming off of others' business
MERCHANT: a tight-lipped man of business with motley dress; he's an expert at currency exchange and money lending
FRANKLIN: a rich landlord who always keeps the best provisions for his table; had been a member of parliament
WOMAN OF BATH: named Alice, a slightly deaf cloth maker with a great deal of experience with the opposite sex due to numerous husbands
COOK: named Roger , a "rollicking" fellow with a great sense of taste but unfortunately had a painful ulcer on his knee
PLOWMAN: the honest and hard-working brother of the Parson, who lives a good life according to the rules of the church
HABERDASHER----CARPENTER---DYER (no details)
TAPESTRY MAKER: all are members of guilds, each is of important rank within his profession and is respected
B) Ballad meter tends to be 8-8 or 8-6 with some variations and a strong musical quality.
C) Ballad rhyme schemes are based on the quatrain, again with variations. Basic forms are
D) Ballad authorship is unknown for older ballads which were mainly oral literature as opposed to the known authors of modern ballads who publish poetry or record songs.