© 2015 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.

CHECK OUT SHMOOP'S FREE STUDY TOOLS:

Essay Lab | Math Shack | Videos

The Canterbury Tales: General Prologue & Frame Story

The Canterbury Tales: General Prologue & Frame Story

by

Geoffrey Chaucer

 Table of Contents

CHECK OUT SHMOOP'S FREE STUDY TOOLS:

Essay Lab | Math Shack | Videos

The Canterbury Tales: General Prologue & Frame Story Wealth Quotes

How we cite our quotes: Citations follow this format: (Line). We used the line numbering found on Librarius's online edition.

Quote #1

His resons [the Merchant] spak ful solempnely,
Souninge always th'encrees of his winning
.
(General Prologue 274 – 275)

Usually when someone gives "resons," it's in the context of a philosophical debate. But the Merchant's mind is on one thing and one thing only: money. We get the impression that his conversation is a bit monotonous!

Quote #2

But al be that he was a philosophre,
Yet hadde [the Clerk]but litel gold in cofre
.
(General Prologue 297 – 298)

Two things could be happening here: 1) This could be an ironic joke playing upon the fact that then, as now, we don't really expect someone who studies obscure topics for a living to have a whole bunch of money. 2) "Philosophre" actually means alchemist, someone who transforms base metals into gold.

Quote #3

So greet a purchasour was nowher noon:
al was fee simple to [the Sergeant of the Law] in effect
.
(General Prologue 318 – 319)

The Sergeant of the Law's financial success has allowed him to avoid something that, for medieval people, was a moral failing: debt. All the Sergeant of the Law's land is "fee simple," or purchased free and clear with ready money.

People who Shmooped this also Shmooped...

Advertisement
Noodle's College Search
Noodle's College Search
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement