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451 Study Questions for Chaucer's Friar's Tale

Vocabulary: fabliaux, anti-fraternal satire, mendicant orders, summoner

Useful Middle English terms: whilom (once upon a time), espiaille (spy network), degree (rank)

Lecture Questions: Why were friars and summoners and pardoners economic rivals in the Middle Ages?

Character Identifications: the Friar, the Summoner, the archdeacon, the widow, the Yeoman Devil

(From "The Prologue of the Friar's Tale," lines 1265-1300)

  • What advice does the Friar give to the Wife? (i.e., to what should she limit herself when it comes to storytelling?)
  • What advice does Harry give to the Friar before he launches his tale?
  • Why does the Summoner say its okay for the Friar to slander him in his story?

The Friar's Tale

  • What crimes does the archdeacon punish harshly?
  • To whom does the archdeacon do "the grettest wo"?
  • We read that the summoner has his "espiaille" across England. What is t his "espiaille"?
  • The summoner, we read, will release "oon or "two" lechors in order to catch what?
  • Who or what interrupts the Friar's Tale in lines 1332 and onward?

Identifications:

A. Me


 

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