An analysis of marriage in merchants tales and canterbury tales by chaucer

chaucer extract

This type of love story is seen through the Merchant's Tale, between May and Damian. The Merchant claims that there is a great difference between Griselde's exceptional obedience and his wife's more common cruelty.

Theodamas a seer of Thebes who trumpeted loudly after any of his prophecies.

An analysis of marriage in merchants tales and canterbury tales by chaucer

Perhaps May — at the end of this tale — has actually got something someone! Theophrastus Theofraste the author of a book on nuptials and sometimes quoted by St. The prologue describes the type of attitude the merchant has towards marriage and women, which is a bitter one and he believes that he knows the truth about marriage first hand because of his terrible experience. She reads it, then tears it up and throws it in the toilet so it cannot be discovered. His unrequited love is so powerful that he becomes physically ill. Venus, the goddess of love, laughed at all of the guests, as January had become one of her knights: when tender youth has wedded stooping age, the narrator continues, there is such mirth that it cannot be written. This same behavior was seen in merchants of this time period. After the priest had blessed the bridal bed everybody left the room and January clasped May in his arms and made love to her. Rather, if his wife were to marry the devil, she would overmatch even him. He can see May and Damian locked in an embrace and still lets himself believe that his wife is faithful. This could simply be a personification of Damyan falling in love, but since Pluto and Proserpina do physically intervene later, Damyan's love could be seen as entirely induced by Venus. His wife, Prosepina, says men are so lecherous that she will provide May with a believable excuse when he does. Damian awoke the next morning, his sickness all vanished, and returned to serve January humbly.

Analysis There is a real sense in this tale of goodness slightly gone bad, ripeness becoming slightly rotten. He can see May and Damian locked in an embrace and still lets himself believe that his wife is faithful.

Surveying the young maidens of the country, January chooses a beautiful virgin named May. He believed that marriage was earthly paradise and wished to marry a beautiful young maiden who could beget him a son and heir.

chaucer translation

January chooses his bride, a young woman named May, and they are married. The Merchant then sarcastically launches into an exaggerated praise of the divine institution of marriage. May then climbed up into the tree herself to ostensibly pluck a pear.

the merchants tale january character analysis

This could also be Chaucer's way of making a statement about the time period and how marriages should not be that way.

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A close reading of Chaucer's ‘The Merchant’s Prologue and Tale'