Day 5

The Canterbury Tales Lesson Plan

Discussion of Thought Questions

  1. 1

    Describe the interplay between Christian and pagan sources, types, symbols and morals in this tale.

    The characters' names, months, make sense mostly in a pagan context. Pluto and Proserpina, who facilitate the final reveal, are pagan gods of the Underworld, but they cite Biblical examples. The Merchant's two main "advisors" are both given Latin names and use a range of Biblical and non-Biblical arguments, while January himself restricts himself to the Christian arguments for marriage. Still, his arguments seem secondary to his sexual desire, a justification more than a motivation.

    Regarding the characters as types, the narrator's direct comparison of Damian to a serpent...

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