The Canterbury Tales

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The Host at the Tabard Inn, Harry Bailly, is a jolly, lively tavern-keeper. He establishes the main frame narrative of the Tales, since he is the one who proposes the tale-telling game and sets the rules that it will follow. The Host joins the pilgrimage not as a figure seeking religious guidance but as guide and judge to the game. The Host’s presence demonstrate that the main purpose of this pilgrimage lies not so much in the devout religious act but in the fun that these tourists will have along the way.

The Host Quotes in The Canterbury Tales

The The Canterbury Tales quotes below are all either spoken by The Host or refer to The Host. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
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The Pardoner’s Tale Quotes

“Now,” quod oure Hoost, “I wol no lenger pleye
With thee, ne with noon oother angry man.”
But right anon the worthy Knyght bigan,
Whan that he saugh that al the peple lough,
“Namoore of this, for it is right ynough!”

Related Characters: The Knight (speaker), The Host (speaker), The Pardoner
Prologue to Sir Thopas Quotes

He in the waast is shape as wel as I;
This were a popet in an arm t’embrace
For any woman, smal and fair of face.

Related Characters: The Host (speaker), Chaucer
Host’s Interruption of Chaucer Quotes

Thy drasty rhyming is nat worth a toord!

Related Characters: The Host (speaker), Chaucer
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The Host Character Timeline in The Canterbury Tales

The timeline below shows where the character The Host appears in The Canterbury Tales. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
General Prologue
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...returns to the story of the first night he spent with the pilgrims. The merry Host, an excellent master of ceremonies and a fine citizen of Cheapside, puts everyone in a... (full context)
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The Host proposes that instead of riding dumb as a stone to Canterbury, the pilgrims should tell... (full context)
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Delighted, the Host explains the game: Each pilgrim will tell two tales on the way to Canterbury and... (full context)
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The pilgrims agree to the plan and beg the Host to serve not only as their guide but as governor, tale judger, and record-keeper. (full context)
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The next morning, the Host, like a rooster, wakes up all the pilgrims and gathers them together. After they ride... (full context)
The Miller’s Prologue
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All the pilgrims agree that the Knight has told an excellent, noble story. The Host turns to the Monk for the next tale, but the Miller, who is drunk, interrupts... (full context)
The Reeve’s Prologue
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The Host makes fun of the Reeve for giving the company a sermon of self-pity. The Reeve... (full context)
The Wife of Bath’s Prologue
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...begin to quarrel. The Friar starts to tell a nasty tale about summoners, but the Host steps in and lets the Wife of Bath tell her tale. (full context)
The Pardoner’s Prologue
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Deeply moved by the Physician’s sad story, which the company has just heard, the Host turns to the Pardoner for a merry tale. The company, however, wants to hear a... (full context)
The Pardoner’s Tale
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...just admitted that they are all fakes. The Pardoner first offers his relics to the Host, as the man “moost envoluped in synne,” and the Host reacts violently to the suggestion.... (full context)
Prologue to Sir Thopas
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“What man artow?” says the Host to Chaucer the pilgrim. The Host makes fun of Chaucer for staring at the ground... (full context)
Host’s Interruption of Chaucer
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The Host tells Chaucer to stop his horrible doggerel, saying that his terrible rhymes are “nat worth... (full context)
The Nun’s Priest’s Prologue
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...tragedies be told, saying that they need some pleasure to set the balance right. The Host agrees and turns to the Nun’s Priest, who is travelling with the Prioress and the... (full context)
Nun’s Priest’s Tale Epilogue
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The Host praises the Nun’s Priest for his merry tale. He says that the Priest would have... (full context)