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The Canterbury Tales: General Prologue & Frame Story
by Geoffrey Chaucer
The Host Timeline and Summary
The Host's is the 23rd portrait in the General Prologue. It comes after Chaucer has finished describing the other pilgrims, when the Host meets them all at dinner in the tavern. The Host proposes the tale-telling game at dinner the night before the pilgrims embark for Canterbury. In the morning of the pilgrims' departure, the Host wakes all the pilgrims up and gets them on the road. The Host has the pilgrims draw lots to decide who will go first, thus beginning the tale-telling game. After the Knight's tale, the Host proposes that the Monk go next, but his order is interrupted by the Miller. As the tales progress, the Host often responds to them with sadness, outrage, moralizing and praise. He keeps the game going by asking various pilgrims to go next. In the course of the pilgrimage, the Host resolves various conflicts among the pilgrims, but also incites a few, namely, between the Cook and the Manciple, and between himself and the Pardoner.