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:).
The Pardoner’s Tale Quotes
Prologue to Sir Thopas Quotes
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.
The General Prologue
The Miller’s Prologue
The Reeve’s Prologue
The Wife of Bath’s Prologue
The Pardoner’s Prologue
The Pardoner’s Tale
Prologue to Sir Thopas
The Host’s Interruption of Chaucer
The Nun’s Priest’s Prologue
The Nun’s Priest’s Tale Epilogue