Canterbury Tales: Chaucer's 14th Century Storytelling Contest LR



1:45pm – 3:15pm

BCC South County Center

Room S5

Great Barrington

4/16, 4/23, 5/7, 5/14,


Five Sessions

Please note: no class 4/30

Round One: “The woe that is in marriage.” The framework for Chaucer’s narrative tour de

force is a storytelling contest in which a socially disparate group of pilgrims entertain each

other and vie for first prize. This course will judge the following five contest entries:

A bawdy miller’s comic account of an old carpenter with a frisky young wife.

An outspoken widow’s romance of a young knight obliged to wed an old hag.

A respectable merchant’s witty tale of cuckoldry.

A poor scholar’s story of a submissive wife pushed to the limits of her patience.

A wealthy landowner’s tale of a faithful wife tricked by a magician into adultery.

And the winner is …

Limited Registration: 30

Suggested Reading: Burton Raffel’s 2008 unabridged translation of The Canterbury Tales or Sheila Fisher’s 2012 Selected Canterbury Tales: A New Verse Translation with facing page Middle English text. It would be helpful to read Chaucer’s description of the Miller in the General Prologue as well as the Miller’s Prologue and Tale before the first class.

Mary Rogers received an Honours A.B. in English & Philosophy from the University of Toronto, an M.A. in English from Seton Hall University, and an M.A. and A.B.D. in Medieval Studies at the University of Toronto. After a decade of teaching at Seton Hall University, she moved to the Berkshires and taught for a number of years at Monument Mountain Regional High School.

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