From 11:00PM PDT on Friday, July 1 until 5:00AM PDT on Saturday, July 2, the Shmoop engineering elves will be making tweaks and improvements to the site. That means Shmoop will be unavailable for use during that time. Thanks for your patience!
We have changed our privacy policy. In addition, we use cookies on our website for various purposes. By continuing on our website, you consent to our use of cookies. You can learn about our practices by reading our privacy policy.
© 2016 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.
The Canterbury Tales: General Prologue & Frame Story

The Canterbury Tales: General Prologue & Frame Story


by Geoffrey Chaucer

Symbol: Clothing and Hairstyles

Symbolism, Imagery, Allegory

The portraits of the pilgrims use their clothing as a symbol of the personality traits of the wearer. The Wife of Bath's red stockings probably symbolize her lustful nature, and her large hat represents her love of fashion and luxury. Some characters, like the Merchant or the Pardoner, reveal their concern with the latest fashions in the way they dress and style their hair. Most often, pilgrims' clothing symbolizes their possession or lack of money in how fancy or simple it is.

People who Shmooped this also Shmooped...