Canterbury Tales



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The knight’s tale

Palamon and Arcite were two cousins who lived in the city of Thebes. When the Duke of Athens Theseus attacked thebes the two young men were sent to fight. After the battle they were the only survivors so Palamon and Arcite were taken prisoners in a tower. From the window of their prison the could see every day the sweet girl called Emily (the sister of Theseus’s wife). Both of them fell in love with her and they fought between them for her love. After few days arcite was liberated from a friend of his, but his cousin remains imprisoned for other seven years. When also Palamon escaped the two cousins once again fought for love. But Theseus was there and decided to resolve this fighting making a pact between the two: Emily will bride the one who will win a battle with the help of 100 soldiers. So a year later they fought with the help of their army, Palamon in the name of Venus and Arcite in the name of mars. The fighting lasted from morning until night bur finally Arcite gained the victory. But venus can’t stand this, so killed the winner with an earth tremor. Arcite before died said Emily to marry Palamon after his death. There was a great funeral for him. The girl and the cousin of the dead were both very sad. But after all that, they got married and lived all the rest of their lives in great happiness.

The nun’s priest’s tale

A long time ago, in the farm of an old widow, there was a cock called chanticleer. He was well-know in the neighbourhood. He had 7 wives and his favourite was pertelote. But one day, while he was sleeping , just before the sun chanticleer began to scream. He had a terrible nightmare. He dreamt that a horrible monster wanted to catch him and eat him. He thought that the dream was from god, but Pertelote told him not to care about that nightmare if he didn’t want to lose her love. When chantecleer had completely forgotten his nightmare, a fox came to the farm and convinced the cock to let him listen his wonderful voice. Chantecleer foolishly, exited by compliments, began to sing, but the fox steal him and bring him to the forest, where he wanted to eat that silly cock. But chantecleer with a trap escaped from his mouth and ran away. He was safe.

The pardoner’s tale
Some years ago, there was a group of young men who lived very badly. One Sunday they were sitting in a tavern, drinking heavily, when a boy told them that one of their friends was killed by silent thief named Death. So these three friends decided to find that man and kill him, like three brothers. On the way, they met a very old, very poor man. They treated him very badly and the old man said them that the Death was under a tree in the forest. So the friends follow the suggestion of the old man but under that tree they found a pile of new gold coins. They immediately forgot about death, and the youngest ran off to the town to get bread and wine. As soon as he had gone, the leader told to the other his plan: he wanted to kill the other one so all the gold will be divided in two parts. They decided to kill him when he returned back. But the youngest thought too to kill his two friends and keep all the gold for his self. He bought 3 bottle of wine and in two of them put some poison. When he returned back his friends killed him and for celebrate they drink some wine. After a few minutes they were dead because of the poison.

The wife of bath’s tale
During the reign of king Arthur, a young knight attacked a lady of the court. Arthur was very angry and said that he must die. But the queen decided to leave him live only if he can answer this question: what is that women most desire? So he went away for a year and asked to everyone the same question, but nobody told the same answer. Desperate he was coming back, when he saw some girls dancing but when he tried to approach them, they vanished. There was no living thing in the forest except an old woman sitting on the grass. She promised him to answer his question, but only if he will do anything that she asked. The knight accepted and when they came to the queen’s court, he gave the answer: his life was safe. But the desire of the old and ugly woman was to marry him. He must respect the promise so he married her. She asked him what he wanted her to be: a beautiful young woman but full of men, or an ugly and old one who act like a true wife. The knight gave the best answer: he ask the wife to choose for him. Because of his great soul, the old woman became a beautiful young lady and a true handsome wife.

The Franklin’s tale
Dorigen and Arveragus were two spouses who lived happily in Britain. But one day arveragus had to go to England to fight. He stayed there for 2 years. His wife, while he was away, cried and sighed and lost her appetite. She could not sleep and paid no attention to the world. Her castel was on the coast, next to the sea. Dorigen often walked with her friends along the clifftop, but when she saw the ships on the sea, she began to cry. There were terrible black rocks in the sea. One day, during a party, aurelius confessed his love for Dorigen and she said that she was a married woman and that she would gave him her love if he could remove the black rocks from the sea. After a few days Arveragus came back from the wars. Aurelius was lovesick for two years. He stayed in bed and told no-one about his desire for Dorigen except his brother. But he found a solution: a magician promised to make all the black rocks disappear from the coast of Brittany, but he must pay him a thousand pounds. He won the promise so dorigen said everything to his husband. Arveragus told his wife that she could not broke her promise so, she must go to met aurelius, also if he doesn’t want it. When dorigen explain what his husband does for her good, aurelius told her that he broke their promise. So dorigen thanked him and returned to arveragus.