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It's difficult to know how to take Chaucer’s retraction. He's supposed to be apologizing for the vulgarity of his tale. Many believe that it is a continuation from the Parson's tale concerning the theme of repentance. Still, some don't believe it is even part of Canterbury tales. I don't feel that it distracts from the poem. After some pretty bawdy poetry and constant satirical attacks on the church Chaser's retraction kind of makes sense. Retractions or palinodes were not uncommon in Chaucer’s era. Although there was mounting criticism of the church Chaucer had to be careful not to insult the sanctity, and power, of the church.