Essay Analysis Of ' Payback ' On The Canterbury Tales '

1972 Words Nov 24th, 2015 8 Pages
Mae Corrigan
Mrs. Jacomme
Honors British Literature Period 8
23 November 2015
“Payback Appearing in The Canterbury Tales”
The reoccurring theme of payback is forever present throughout literature. In The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer, there are multiple examples of vengeance and retaliation. Chaucer creates a frame story as twenty-nine pilgrims start their journey to the shrine of Saint Thomas á Becket at Canterbury Cathedral. A story telling competition commences between the pilgrims, and the reader is introduced to tales of romance, love, sorrow, and vulgarity. It is within these winding tales and the hectic pilgrimage that we witness payback through violence, lustful acts, money exchange, and the wishes of God.
The Knight, the most noble and distinguished of all the pilgrims, tells his tale first. “The Knight’s Tale” is a romance filled with defeat, sacrifice, and love. The first example of payback occurs when Duke Theseus encounters a band of sobbing women. Their weeping is due to the wickedness of Creon, the tyrant. Creon has refused to bury or cremate the bodies of their husbands that were brutally murdered during the siege of Thebes. Upon Theseus hearing this news, the Knight states, “He would take a vengeance on this Tyrant King,/This Creon, till the land of Greece should ring/With how he had encountered him and served/The monster with the death he had deserved.”(29). This is an example of how Theseus avenged Creon’s immoral actions. Enraged, Theseus…

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