Many characters use literary allusions from the Bible and classical mythology. The pilgrims use literary allusions to make themselves seem more authoritative as tale-tellers. Chaucer also uses this effect to enhance the literariness of his Tales and to emphasize his role as the father of English poetry. Sometimes, the effect is serious, as in the Knight’s Tale, when Olympian gods arrive. Often, the effect is comic, as when the rooster Chaunticleer and the hen Pertelote begin quoting classical authors in the Nun’s Priest’s Tale.
Literary Allusions Quotes in The Canterbury Tales
The The Canterbury Tales quotes below all refer to the symbol of Literary Allusions. 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 Nun’s Priest’s Tale Quotes
For al so siker as in principio
Mulier est hominis confusio,––
Madame, the sentence of this Latyn is,
“Womman is mannes joye and al his blis.”
Literary Allusions Symbol Timeline in The Canterbury Tales
The timeline below shows where the symbol Literary Allusions appears in The Canterbury Tales. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
The Wife of Bath’s Prologue
The Pardoner’s Tale
...and drinking. The Pardoner launches into a long criticism about their sinful lives, citing many Biblical examples as support. First, he denounces their gluttony, which he says caused the fall of Man.... (full context)
The Nun’s Priest’s Tale