Theme Of The Merchant In The Canterbury Tales

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Many scholars and intellectual thinkers alike, from every corner of the world, have thoroughly studied the renowned work of Geoffrey Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales. The examination and analysis of the relationship between the character’s descriptions in the general prologue and the themes and elements of their tales, is among the most fascinating of all open discussions about the distinguished text. Particular tales told in Chaucer’s work are presented as direct reflections of the depictions of the characters telling them, and other verbal stories can be argued to go completely against their teller’s characterization. One of the pilgrims, the Merchant, is a prime example of a character directly reflecting his or her own characteristics and…show more content…
As a Merchant, he comprehends the act of dealing in foreign currencies, primarily based on his experiences in overseas trading. Despite his outward image of stature and his experience in external commerce, the Merchant is actually heavily in debt, and the finer clothing and accessories he dawns himself in are merely a ruse to prove his worthiness to his peers. Before interpreting the prologue to the Merchant’s tale, the reader is meant to make an initial judgement on the Merchant based specifically on the material implemented by Chaucer in the general prologue. To a stranger, he may come across as pompous, or even questionable, because of his choice of clothing in accordance to his need to hide his accumulating debt. Oppositely, one may find him to be perfectly gentlemanly and humble as he speaks “solemnly” about his licensed work (CT I. 274). However, for most people, this primary conclusion concerning the Merchant would only be partially complete, as there is still a majorly valuable part in this section that is absent from the text, regarding any and all background information on his…show more content…
He even goes as far as to point out the contrasting differences between the patience and loyalty of Grisilde from the Clerk’s tale and the utter cruelty of his wife. All of these factors point towards the likelihood of his tale regarding marriage being just as pessimistic as his own experiences with the topic at hand. This is how the reader can further form a connection between the Merchant and his fictitious character January, as well as his personal experiences with matrimony and those that occur in the
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