Study Guide

The Canterbury Tales: the Man of Law's Tale Lines 267-332

By Chaucer, Geoffrey

Lines 267-332

Lines 267-315

  • Is it surprising that Custance cries, seeing as she's being sent to a strange country, far away from all her friends, to be under the thumb of someone she doesn't know?
  • Not really.
  • But she can take solace in the fact that husbands are always good—at least, the Man of Law thinks so.
  • Before hitting the road, Custance goes to her parents and tells them that even though she'll go to Syria, she's not happy about it. In fact, she doesn't even care if she dies.
  • Custance basically bemoans the fact that she's a woman, which means her whole destiny is determined by dudes. She cries and cries, and the Man of Law remarks that not even at the siege of Troy, the burning of Ilion, the sack of Thebes, or the barbarian invasions of Rome has there ever been heard such weeping as was in this chamber at the departure of Custance.

Lines 316-332

  • Time to go.
  • Custance is brought to her ship solemnly, in pomp and circumstance.
  • "Jesus Christ be with you all," she says, ever the good girl.
  • There is nothing else to say but "Farewell, fair Custance!"
  • Custance tries hard to look happy, but Shmoop ain't buyin' it.
  • At this point, the Man of Law tells us he's got to digress a bit.