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About The Canterbury Tales:|
Geoffrey Chaucer wrote The Canterbury Tales, a collection of stories in a frame story, between 1387 and 1400. It is the story of a group of thirty people who travel as pilgrims to Canterbury (England). The pilgrims, who come from all layers of society, tell stories to each other to kill time while they travel to Canterbury. He never finished his enormous project and even the completed tales were not finally revised. Scholars are uncertain about the order of the tales. As the printing press had yet to be invented when Chaucer wrote his works, The Canterbury Tales has been passed down in several handwritten manuscripts.
About The Squire's Introduction and Tale:
At the beginning of the second part of the Squire's tale, Canacee rises early and goes out for a walk with her maids (female servants). Canacee bears the ring (and therefore is able to communicate with birds) when she walks through the park and it happens that she rescues a female falcon who has wounded itself. The falcon says that her husband, a male falcon, has been unfaithful to her and has treated her really badly (624-626). Canacee nurses the falcon with herbs from the wood and takes the falcon home (line 635-645). Several plotlines are announced and preluded, but not further elaborated (line 651-670).
The Squire begins the third part, but the Franklin cuts him off after two lines. The Franklin praises the Squire for his wit and his eloquence. If this remark would be genuine, why not let the Squire continue his story? Is the appraisal by the Franklin of the Squire an instance of sarcasm or irony? We don't know for certain. Sarcasm and irony are modern things. Anyway, the Host orders the Franklin to tell a tale and the Franklin obeys.
The Squire's Tale looks unfinished and is loosely structured. Was that on purpose? Or would Chaucer have written and concluded the tale of the Squire differently if he had lived longer? Well, we can speculate till we drop but we will not know for certain.
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