The Canterbury Tales: General Prologue & Frame Story
by Geoffrey Chaucer
Character Role Analysis
The Host definitely plays a Guide / Mentor role in The Canterbury Tales. It is he who directs the action, proposing the tale-telling game and choosing which pilgrims will continue it. He also mediates conflicts between the pilgrims, and gives interpretations to the various tales in his moralizing. Yet if a mentor figure is supposed to be a close-to-perfect role model, the Host falls short. He starts as many conflicts as he stops, and the morals he attaches to tales are usually way off-base. The Host is the pilgrims' guide for all the merriment that ensues on the way to Canterbury, but he's a flawed one.