The Canterbury Tales

Choice Verses Chance: A Boethian Reading of "The Knight's Tale"

"He who influences the thoughts of his times, influences all the times that follow. He has made his impress on eternity."


Choice Verses Chance: A Boethian Reading of The Knight's Tale

For centuries, Geoffrey Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales has entertained audiences worldwide with its eclectic and eccentric gathering of medieval characters. Part of the allure of The Canterbury Tales lies in Chaucer's ability to provide an authentic narrative of a pilgrimage, a skill that enables the Tales to transverse time and relate to the audience using realism. Larry D. Benson, General Editor of The Riverside Chaucer, asserts that "The Canterbury Tales has the air of actuality because it is based on actuality," and that "the journey to Canterbury gains much of its realistic tone from the fact that it was modeled on life" (4). True to life and much like the art of storytelling, Chaucer employs genuine elements in his stories by borrowing ideas and tales from previous philosophers and poets. The first tale, "The Knight's Tale", is an adaptation of Giovanni Boccacio's Teseida combined with components of Euripides's Hippolytus, both of which influence the...

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