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 The Canterbury Tales quotes below are all either spoken by The Merchant or refer to The Merchant. 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 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.