Study Guide

The Canterbury Tales: the Man of Law's Tale Lines 876-924

By Chaucer, Geoffrey

Lines 876-924

Lines 876-896

  • The third part starts with Alla arriving home to his castle. He's all, "Um, where's my wife and kiddo?"
  • The Constable's a wee bit freaked out by the question, but he rallies and explains what has happened. He shows the king the letter with the seal, and says that he commanded to do what the king told him to do. Right? Right?
  • Oops.
  • They figure out from the messenger that the king's mother was the one behind all the shenanigans.
  • So... King Alla has her executed. And that's the end of Donegild.

Lines 897-910

  • Alla is super bummed about Custance and his kid.
  • But right now, our storyteller's more interested in Custance.
  • Apparently, she drifts on the sea for five plus years, and then finally strikes land.
  • Whereabouts? Beneath some heathen castle. The Man of Law doesn't know the name.
  • Uh oh. Did he just say heathen?

Lines 911-924

  • When her ship makes landfall, a bunch of people from the castle come to gawk.
  • Finally, one night, the steward for the lord of the castle (who also happens to be a thief who has renounced Christianity) comes to the ship alone and tries to rape Custance.
  • That's when the Virgin Mary steps in and acts on her behalf. The thief falls overboard and drowns in the sea.