A Comparison of Love in The Knight's Tale, Wife of Bath's Tale, and Franklin's Tale

A Comparison of Love in The Knight's Tale, Wife of Bath's Tale, and Franklin's Tale

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Love in The Knight's Tale, Wife of Bath's Tale, and Franklin's Tale

The Canterbury Tales, written by Geoffrey Chaucer around 1386, is a

collection of tales told by pilgrims on a religious pilgrimage. Three of these

tales; "The Knight's Tale", "The Wife of Bath's Tale", and "The Franklin's Tale",

involve different kinds of love and different love relationships. Some of the

loves are based on nobility, some are forced and some are  based on mutual

respect for each partner. My idea of love is one that combines aspects from each

of the tales told in The Canterbury Tales.


      In "The Knights Tale", the love between the two knights and Emily is

intensely powerful. The love that Palomon and Arcite feel towards Emily is so

strong that the two knights feel that it is worth more than life. At one point

Palomon says to Arcite, " Though I have no weapon here . . . either you shall

die or you shall not love Emily." The love that Palomon feels for Emily is so

overwhelming that he is willing to take on an armed man, in mortal combat, just

for the love of a woman. Perhaps he feels that without her he will surely die,

so why not die trying to win her.


      The ironic fact about the relationship between the two knights and Emily

is that Emily does not wish to marry either of the knights. she expresses this

in a prayer to Diana, the goddess of chaste, " Well you know that I desire to be

a maiden all my life; I never want to be either a beloved or a wife." This is so

ironic because Arcite and Palomon are about to kill each other for her love and

she doesn't want to beloved by either of them. She enjoys the thrills of maiden


... middle of paper ...

... Wife of Bath's Tale" the knight is forced into a love relationship, which

I feel could only lead to an unfulfilling relationship. Also in " The Knight's

Tale ", Arcite and Palomon are in love with a woman to whom they have never even

spoken to. This is hardly the basis for a strong and lasting relationship.


Works Cited


Bowden, Muriel.  A Reader's Guide to Geoffrey Chaucer.  New York:

        Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1964.


Howard, Edwin J. Geoffrey Chaucer.  New York: Twayne Publishers,

      In., 1964.


Justman, Stewart. "Love in The Canterbury Tales."

      Modern Critical Views on Geoffrey Chaucer.  Ed. Harold

      Bloom.  New York: Chelsea House Publishers, 1995.


Patterson, Lee.  Chaucer and the Subject of History.  Wisconsin:

      The University of Wisconsin Press, 1991

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