Canterbury Tales - Alquin

English Literature
PTA exam in VWO 6
This year: The Middle Ages (period 4)

  • Beowulf
  • Anglo-Saxon Chronicles
  • Sir Gawain and the Green Knight
  • Robin Hood
  • Canterbury Tales

1 / 32
Slide 1: Slide
EngelsMiddelbare schoolvwoLeerjaar 4

This lesson contains 32 slides, with interactive quizzes, text slides and 7 videos.

Items in this lesson

English Literature
PTA exam in VWO 6
This year: The Middle Ages (period 4)

  • Beowulf
  • Anglo-Saxon Chronicles
  • Sir Gawain and the Green Knight
  • Robin Hood
  • Canterbury Tales

Slide 1 - Slide

Changes in English
Robin Hood
13th-14th century?

Slide 2 - Slide

Slide 3 - Video

Canterbury Cathedral
Pilgrims' destination from London

Slide 4 - Slide

Some of the characters that share stories in the Canterbury Tales.

Slide 5 - Slide

Slide 6 - Video

Canterbury Tales

Slide 7 - Slide

Who wrote The Canterbury Tales?

Slide 8 - Open question

In the ' General Prologue', the characters meet each other. Where do they meet and why do they agree to tell each other stories?

Slide 9 - Open question

Define 'frame story' and explain how Chaucer used it in this work.

Slide 10 - Open question

The Knight
Alquin 44
The Miller
Alquin 45-46

Slide 11 - Slide

Slide 12 - Video

The Knight
The Knight is one of the few pilgrims who provide no personal Prologue. Why do you suppose that is?
  • The tale of the Knight follows straight on from the General Prologue. Many of the pilgrims use their personal Prologues to pass comment on the tales that precede their own, but there is no tale before the Knight’s. Furthermore, the Knight is presented as an intelligent, but calm and reserved man. He is not the type to talk at length about himself, as some of the others do in their Prologues.

Slide 13 - Slide

Slide 14 - Video

The Miller
  • a short, lively, and sometimes rather coarse tale with ordinary people at its centre

Slide 15 - Slide

The Miller - questions
  1. With an ugly warty nose, a big mount and a short, fat body, he cannot be said to be good looking, and his character is therefore likely to be as blemished as his appearance.
  2. Yes. The Miller is not well behaved: he likes to fight, is argumentative and tells dirty stories. He also swindles his customers 
  3. a. When her husband is away, he grabs her and tries to kiss her. When she resists, he says he will die if he can’t have her and promises her all kinds of nice things. b. Alison is married to a dozy old man and was interested in Nicholas from the start; there was little conviction in her initial resistance to his advances. She threatens to scream, but doesn’t actually do so.
  4. In the Prologue we are told that the Miller likes to tell dirty tales (‘tavern stories, filthy in the main’). Furthermore, he has red hair, which in the Middle Ages was often seen as a sign of a lecherous character.

Slide 16 - Slide

Slide 17 - Video

The Wife of Bath
Alquin 47-48

Slide 18 - Slide

Slide 19 - Video

The Wife of Bath - Prologue
  • The fifth husband is reading a book to her. What is it about?
  • Why does the book annoy her?

  • How does the wife of Bath get her own way?
  • What is the outcome?

Slide 20 - Slide

The Wife of Bath - tale
  • How does the wife of Bath convey her own ideas on marriage in the last part of her tale?
  • Why does the knight leave the choice up to his wife eventually?

  • In the Middle Ages women were portrayed as willful, sensual, and a bad influence on men. Is this kind of thinking displayed in the portrayal. Explain why (not).

Slide 21 - Slide

Changes in English
Robin Hood
13th-14th century?
Anglo Saxon Chronicles 
9th-12th century
Sir Gawain and the G.K.
late 14th century

Slide 22 - Slide

The Pardoner
Alquin 49

Slide 23 - Slide


provide a
shortcut to heaven.

Slide 24 - Slide

Page 50/51
Question 1: What things does the Pardoner NOT have with him?
Certificates bearing the papal seal: defence against anyone who might give him trouble in the course of his work.
Certificates from popes, cardinals, patriarchs and bishops to produce at critical moments.
Certificates from the King that state that he is indeed a man serving God.
Glass bottles containing bones and fragments of cloth to pass off as relics.

Slide 25 - Quiz

Page 50/51
Question 2a: Identify two lines in the passage in which the Pardoner demonstrates his dishonesty.

Slide 26 - Open question

Page 50/51
Question 2b: What methods does the Pardoner use to persuade his audience?

Slide 27 - Open question

Page 51
Question 3a: Describe and explain the difference in which the Pardoner talks to his fellow pilgrims from the way he talks to the 'yokels' he refers to.

Slide 28 - Open question

Page 51
Question 3b: At the end of his tale, the Pardoner coolly tries to sell pardons to his fellow pilgrims. Why should he imagine he has any chance of success?

Slide 29 - Open question

Slide 30 - Video

Canterbury Tales
  • Geoffrey Chaucer
  • Frame story

Slide 31 - Slide

Canterbury Tales
  • Are these stories still relevant today? 
  • Support your answer with three arguments.

Slide 32 - Slide