The Canterbury Tales: General Prologue & Frame Story
by Geoffrey Chaucer
The Canterbury Tales: General Prologue & Frame Story The Summoner's Prologue Summary
- The Summoner is so angered by the Friar's tale that he stands up in his stirrups shaking like an aspen leaf.
- He tells the company he desires only one thing: to be allowed to tale his tale.
- The Summoner says that the Friar boasts he knows hell and that is no wonder: friars and devils are never apart.
- The Summoner tells a story-within-a-story about a friar:
- The story begins with a friar who dreams that an angel guides him through hell.
- This friar is surprised that in his tour of hell, he sees no friars, and asks the angel whether friars have so much grace that they don't go to hell.
- The angel replies that there are millions of friars in hell, and leads the friar to Satan.
- The angel asks Satan to lift his huge tail, and there, in his anus, swarm friars like bees in a hive, coming and going, nestling in Satan's "ers."
- The friar wakes from his vision, but after that he quakes for fear, always having Satan's "ers" in his mind.
- The Summoner ends his story about the friar by saying that this is the heritage of Friars.
- The Summoner declares this the end of his prologue, and begins his tale.
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