Study Guide

The Canterbury Tales: the Man of Law's Tale Lines 218-266

By Chaucer, Geoffrey

Lines 218-266

Lines 218-245

  • Okay, so the counselors have a bit of a problem with this whole Sultan-marries-Custance plan. Why? Because she's a Christian and he's, well, not. They don't even have the same laws.
  • They believe that "no Christian prince will agree to marry his child to a Muslim, who practices Muslim law."
  • But the Sultan doesn't care: "Rather than lose Custance, I will become a Christian. I must be Custance's man; I can't love anybody else." In other words: forget your arguments and get on with the wedding planning. I'm dying over here.
  • So the counselors get their acts together and come up with an agreement. The plan is that the Sultan and all his barons have to be baptized. Then the Sultan will marry Custance, and get a whole heap of gold.
  • Plan, meet action.

Lines 246-266

  • The Man of Law knows everyone wants to hear all about how Custance is extravagantly prepped for her upcoming nuptials. But all that brouhaha can't be described in so small an amount of time.
  • So he'll just give you the gist. A bunch of bishops are called to travel with Custance, plus some lords, ladies, knights, and a whole slew of other people.
  • The news is spread throughout Rome that everyone should pray for Christ to bless this marriage and protect the travelers on their journey.
  • Finally, the day Custance leaves Rome arrives. She's kinda bummed about the whole thing, but manages to get herself dressed and ready to go anyways. There's no getting out of this one.