The Comic Tales of Chaucer.

Author / Editor
Craik, T. W.

The Comic Tales of Chaucer.

London: Methuen, 1964.

Physical Description
xv, 156 pp.

Summarizes each of the "comic" tales of CT, with appreciative, inferential, scene-by-scene commentary on techniques of characterization, situations, and enlivening details that make the Tales "amusing." Essentially farcical, the action of MilT results more from "character and situation" than coincidence; similarly farcical, RvT provides enjoyment via "poetic justice," opportunism, and "mistakes in the night." ShT suffers from a "thin plot," but offers clever talk and an "intellectual" climax. The simple action of NPT is well adorned with "disproportions," "incongruities," and "comicalities," many of which burlesque MkT. The exchange of FrT and SumT succeeds because of balance among farce, satire, ironies, poetic justice, and surprise. MerT combines "cool" irony, "biting" satire, and indirection that produce rich innuendo and drama of character. Also comments on comic elements in Th, CkT, and CYT.

Chaucer Subjects
Canterbury Tales General
Style and Versification
Miller and His Tale
Reeve and His Tale
Shipman and His Tale
Nun's Priest and His Tale
Merchant and His Tale
Tale of Sir Thopas
Cook and His Tale
Canon's Yeoman and His Tale