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The Canterbury Tales: The Knight's Tale

The Canterbury Tales: The Knight's Tale


by Geoffrey Chaucer

Analysis: Tough-o-Meter

We've got your back. With the Tough-O-Meter, you'll know whether to bring extra layers or Swiss army knives as you summit the literary mountain. (10 = Toughest)

(10) Mount Everest

First of all, we're talking about how challenging this tale is in Middle English. If you get yourself a good Modern English translation, things will be a bit easier. Still, the narrator of "The Knight's Tale" likes to use flowery poetic language and lots of fancy poetic devices like preterition (telling us what's happened by saying that he's not going to tell us what happened) and ekphrasis (intricately detailed descriptions of an image or work of art). The highbrow poetic style of this tale makes it a little bit more difficult than some of the other Canterbury Tales. It's a climbable mountain, but one that will keep you on your toes.

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