Virtue In The Canterbury Tales

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorHigh School, 12th grade January 2002

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Virtue is simply a value that someone posses or a moral that one may abide by. The Canterbury Tales clearly set out a very moral outline through which people should live their lives through several of its tales. The Knight's tale, the Pardoner's tale, the Franklin's tale, and the Man of Law's tale all describe moral actions or " virtues" that people should implement into their daily lives. Chaucer regarded virtue in the sense of staying true to ones morals and being " virtuous" in the face of temptation. Chaucer believed in honesty and good moral character and it is quite evident in his stories that he wanted to educate the reader on these virtues.

In the Pardoner's tale, Chaucer sets the stage for a fable about a rooster who is to gullible to see that a devious fox is trying to eat him. The fable is a classic moral story about flattery and how it can get you into trouble.

Chaucer is using virtues in this story to teach a moral lesson. If the rooster had not given in so easily to the fox's flattery, the rooster would have never been captured in the first place. This was an easy example of a virtue Chaucer was trying to convey.

Another story using Chaucer's stand on virtue was the Franklin's tale. This tale told the story of a young wife whom pinned away from her husband while he was overseas and was manipulated by a young squire that sought to woo her. Though she faced peril when the young squire got the magician to move the rocks she did not give up on her husband and she vowed to kill her self rather than betray his trust. This story showed how Chaucer believed in staying true to...