Revenge In The Canterbury Tales Essay

1020 words - 5 pages

After kissing one’s arse; or being harassed for money; or having someone demoralize another’s occupation, according to “The Miller’s Tale”, “The Friar’s Tale”, and the tension between The Summoner and The Miller, one might have the motive to cause harm to those who hurt them. This shows the level of maturity in the characters, as well as demonstrating human feelings such as hurt, anger, and animosity. In The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer illustrates the pilgrims and characters within their stories as strong, clever, and sometimes even childish. They are often quick to react with revenge to solve their problems, instead of thinking about their actions. However, even if revenge does ...view middle of the document...

In return, the students were mad and wanted to retaliate; so, John tricked the miller’s wife into his bed and “thrust himself upon this worthy wife” (Chaucer 116). Alan compensated the miller’s actions by sleeping with his daughter, “To put it briefly, they were soon at one” (Chaucer 115). These stories show how characters seek vengeance in the moment; and do not fully think their actions through when they do not get their way.
Characters do not only pursue revenge when things do not go their way; they do it when they are messed with, or get fooled. In “The Nun’s Priest’s Tale”, the fox fools the rooster, Chanticleer, on the pretext that he was there to hear the Chanticleer’s song; when really, the fox wanted to kill him. Chanticleer fell for the fox’s flattering words, “merry a voice as God has given” and “a musical sense as strong / As had Boethius” (Chaucer 227). Soon enough, as he started his song, “Sir Russel Fox leapt in to the attack,” (Chaucer 228) and the rooster was fooled. Chanticleer did not want to die; so, he got his revenge by fooling the fox and making him look stupid. The rooster convinced the fox to turn around and brag to Chanticleer’s friends; and as a result, the fox got tricked when he “Opened his mouth and spoke” (Chaucer 230). Chanticleer quickly “flew high into the tree-tops” (Chaucer 230) and escaped his death. The lady in “The Friar’s Tale” would not tolerate being messed with by the summoner. The summoner was persistent about getting money from the lady; but, the lady would not put up with it. She got her revenge when she finally yelled, “The hairiest, blackest devil out of Hell / Carry you off and take the pan as well!” (Chaucer 302). Characters in the stories always found a way to get back at the people who did them wrong. The...

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