Day 7

The Canterbury Tales Lesson Plan

Discussion of Thought Questions

  1. 1

    How serious do you think Chaucer's retraction is? Consider all you know about Chaucer as an author from his life and tales, but focus on how he ends with the Parson's Tale.

    Scholars debate this still, so any well-defended opinion has weight. The possible equivocating and vagueness of the Retraction lead some to believe Chaucer only wrote it under pressure from the church, while others believe he is serious about the sermon he gives the Parson, and means the Retraction.

    The Parson's Tale itself invites contradictory conclusions. On the one hand, the Parson is the only clergy member Chaucer doesn't implicitly mock in the General Prologue, so we might think he values what the...

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