Chaucer reciting Troilus and Criseyde: They were marvel-filled adventuresoften of a knight-errant with heroic qualities, who undertakes a questyet it is "the emphasis on heterosexual love and courtly manners distinguishes it from the chanson de geste and other kinds of epicwhich involve heroism. During the early 13th century, romances were increasingly written as prose.
Januarie, a vain man, hears only the flattery of his sycophantic friend Placebo. Januarie marries May, a young woman not yet 20 years old, largely out of lust and under the guise of religious acceptability.
He chooses her seemingly spontaneously after telling all his friends to go and look for a wife for him. It is unknown why May accepts Januarie; however, it is safe to assume that she did it for social betterment and possibly some kind of inheritance, Januarie being a rich man.
May reciprocates his attraction and plots to have sex with him.
"The Merchant's Tale" (Middle English: The Marchantes Tale) is one of Geoffrey Chaucer's Canterbury Tales. In it Chaucer subtly mocks antifeminist literature like that of Theophrastus ('Theofraste'). ENCYCLOPEDIA OF FREEMASONRY AND ITS KINDRED SCIENCES by ALBERT C. MACKEY M. D. Browse the Encyclopedia by clicking on any of the letters below. A | B | C | D | E | F. Geoffrey Chaucer (circa ) was born into a family of wealthy London wine merchants with ties to court, connections that were to be central to his life. For some 35 years, he served the royal family — Edward the Black Prince, John of Gaunt and King Edward III.
This disability, however, spiritually serves Januarie well. His language and character, formerly lewd and repulsive, becomes beautiful and gentle love poetry, and his love for May could be seen to evolve to more than just lust and desire.
On June 8, Januarie and May enter a garden that he has built for her. Meanwhile, Damyan has sneaked into the garden using a key that he has made from a mould May has given him and waits for May in a pear tree, symbolising, it has been said, the forbidden fruit from Genesis.
May, implying that she is pregnant and craving a pear, requests one from the tree and Januarie, old and blind, and therefore unable to reach, is persuaded to stoop and allow May to climb onto his back herself.
In the tree, May is promptly greeted by her young lover Damyan, and they begin to have sex, described by the Merchant in a particularly lewd and bold fashion: These presentations of these two characters and their quarrel crystallises many elements of the tale, namely the argument between man and woman and the religious confusion in the tale, which invokes both the classical gods and the Christian one.
Indeed the presence of particular gods has individual relevance when related to this tale: The tale ends rather unexpectedly: However, Chaucer does not end the tale entirely happily: Conforming with the wider symbolism in the tale of spring triumphing over winter May over Januarythe conclusion supports the unimportance of Damyan whose name has no seasonal context: Typically a description for a tale of carnal lust and frivolous bed-hopping, some would argue that especially the latter half of the tale, where Damyan and May have sex in the tree with the blind Januarie at the foot of the tree, represents fabliau.
Derek Pearsallfor example, is in favour of this view.
Some critics, such as Maurice Husseyfeel that Chaucer offers a great deal more sophistication and philosophical insight to put this on a level above fabliau.Bowes and Church's Food Values of Portions Commonly Used, Text and CD-ROM Package, Jean A. Pennington, Judith S. Spungen As You Like It (the New Hudson Shakespeare), William Shakespeare Sndwich Gigante, Lynn George The Ultimate US National Parks Collection.
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"The Merchant's Tale" (Middle English: The Marchantes Tale) is one of Geoffrey Chaucer's Canterbury Tales. In it Chaucer subtly mocks antifeminist literature like that of Theophrastus ('Theofraste').
Find related themes, quotes, symbols, characters, and more. Close Get everything you need to know about The Merchant in The Canterbury Tales. Analysis, related quotes, timeline. The character of The Merchant in The Canterbury Tales from LitCharts | The creators of SparkNotes. Geoffrey Chaucer.
Upgrade to A + Download this Lit Guide. A novel is a relatively long work of narrative fiction, normally in prose, which is typically published as a book.. The entire genre has been seen as having "a continuous and comprehensive history of about two thousand years", with its origins in classical Greece and Rome, in medieval and early modern romance, and in the tradition of the Italian renaissance novella.
The Merchant's Tale is the second tale handling the cuckolding of an old husband by a young bride (the first was The Miller's Tale). The choice of names supports the Merchant's point-of-view: January (old with white hair like snow) marries May (young and beautiful like the May flowers) after rejecting the good advice of Justinius (the just or righteous man) and following the advice of Placebo (the flattering man).