Study Guide

The Canterbury Tales: General Prologue & Frame Story The Parson's Prologue

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The Parson's Prologue

  • The narrator remarks upon how the sun has almost set and it is now four o'clock.
  • The Host says that the game is almost at an end: everyone has told his tale except for the Parson.
  • The Host asks the Parson not to end the game, but to tell a tale, and specifically, a fable.
  • The Parson replies that he will not tell a fable, for Saint Paul, in his letter to Timothy, reproved those that told fables. Instead, the Parson proposes something more virtuous.
  • The Parson says he will try to please the company, but as he is not from the North where much alliterative poetry is written, he can only speak in prose and not in verse.
  • He says that he submits his tale for the company's correction, and specifically that of educated people, for he himself is not educated.
  • The company assents to this and asks the Host to tell the Parson to begin.
  • The Host does so, but warns the Parson to be hasty, for the sun has almost set.

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