Q:

What is the significance of the Tabard Inn in Canterbury Tales?

A:

The Tabard Inn served as the beginning point for 29 pilgrims on their journey to Canterbury to visit the relics of St. Thomas Becket, according to SparkNotes. Harry Bailey owns the Tabard Inn, and he agrees to guide the group to Canterbury with one provision: every person must tell four tales, two on the way to the site and two on the return trip to the tavern.

Geoffrey Chaucer, the author and narrator of "The Canterbury Tales," describes the travelers as they gather at the inn the night before the pilgrimage starts. The knight is the highest-ranked pilgrim in the group and the narrator notes his rusted armor and slovenly assistants. Other travelers include a parson, miller, nun and the wife of Bath.

Bailey agrees to give the best storyteller a full-course dinner at the end of the journey. The Tabard's owner appoints himself the contest's judge. Readers never get to find out who wins the contest because Chaucer only completed 23 out of the 116 tales he planned to write.

The Tabard Inn was a real place in Southwark, England. The original tavern burned down in 1669 during a fire that swept through Southwark. The Tabard was rebuilt as the Talbot Inn until it was demolished in 1873 after it fell into disrepair. The original square upon which the tavern was located still exists near Southwark St. and Borough High St. in London. The George Inn still exists on the square as a former neighbor of the Talbot Inn.


Is this answer helpful?

Similar Questions

  • Q:

    How do you describe the Friar from the "Canterbury Tales"?

    A:

    Chaucer depicted his Friar as a fun-loving playboy, which is an ironic divergence from the common image of monks as pious and self-disciplined. Rather than living his life among the poor, as was his oath, the Friar "knew the tavernes wel in every toun," and enjoyed singing and dancing while taking generous donations of silver from guilt-ridden penitents.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    Why did Odysseus leave Ithaca?

    A:

    Odysseus originally left Ithaca to participate in the Trojan War, according to SparkNotes. The Greeks attacked the Trojans in order to return Helen of Troy to Menelaus, and as one of Helen's original suitors, Odysseus had sworn an oath to assist Menelaus. While he did try to get out of his obligation by pleading insanity, he eventually honored his promise and sailed off to war.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What does Athena do in "The Odyssey"?

    A:

    In Homer's "The Odyssey," Athena helps Odysseus after he escaped from Calypso's island and guides him along his journey. Because Athena is patron goddess of heroes, it is her job to protect Odysseus from danger.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What is Odysseus' fate in "The Odyssey"?

    A:

    Odysseus' fate revolves around the journey he takes home from Troy to Ithaca. The king takes 10 years to return, reclaims his wife from the many suitors trying to win her over and makes yet another journey to make amends with Poseidon. In all, Odysseus was away from his home for 20 years, and he was imprisoned with Calypso for seven of those years.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore