The Merchant outfits himself in fashionable attire, with his multicolored cloak and his forked beard. He is a member of the new, rising middle class that Chaucer the author belongs to. Chaucer says that the Merchant hides being in debt by wearing fancy clothes, but the fact that even Chaucer, a stranger among the company, knows the Merchant’s financial troubles indicates that the Merchant does not hide his secrets as well as he thinks he does.
The Merchant Character Timeline in The Canterbury Tales
The timeline below shows where the character The Merchant appears in The Canterbury Tales. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.