29 Pilgrims

The Knight

  •  The first pilgrim Chaucer describes in the general prologue.
  •  Knight has fought in many battles. Everyone respect him.
  •  A person filled with humanity.
  •  Representative of Chivalry, adventure.
  •  He has participated no less than fifteen crusades of the era.
  •  The Knight has battled the Muslims in Egypt, Spain, Turkey and the Russian orthodox in Lithunia and Russia.
  •  He has also fought in many moral wars.
  •  Knight has led a very busy life as his fighting career.
  •  He is the very essence of chivalry, honor, and courage.
  •  He wears modest clothes, which is stained with rust.
  •  He doesn’t show his social status or boast about his position.

The Squire

  • Squire is the second pilgrim described in the General Prologue.
  • The Squire is the son of the Knight.
  • He hopes to become a knight like his father.
  • A young man with many youthful follies.
  • He is of high social status.
  • He wears fine clothes and is vain about his appearance. 
  • The Squire is being trained in both the arts of battle and the arts of courtly love.
  • He is a young member of twenty years old.
  • The author illustrates Squire’s youth “as fressh as is the month of may.”
  • The dress of the squire is colorful, embroidered with flowers, short with large sleeves.
  • He can sing, write poetry, and ride a horse very well, and considers himself a lady’s man.

The Yeoman

  • Yeoman is an unhappy person.
  • His work has ruined him physically and financially.
  • The servant who accompanies the Knight and the Squire.
  • The narrator mentions that his dress and weapons suggest he may be a forester.
  • His weaponry includes a bow, arrows and a sword.
  • This guy is dressed all in green.

The Prioress

  • The first woman to be introduced is the Prioress. Her given name is Madame Eglentyne
  • Her real name is Madame Eglantine.
  • She is also the first religious figure discussed in the book.
  • In Prologue to Canterbury Tales, the Prioress offers a hymn of praise to the Virgin Mary
  • she is described as imitating the manners of the royal court. 
  • she attempts to transcend her social boundaries by imitating the social aristocracy.
  • she wears a golden brooch with the words “Amor vincit omnia” or “Love conquers all.” 
  • She has traveled all over the world.
  • she has lived with five husbands. 
  • Her dress shows her extravagance.

The Nun

  • The Second Nun is not described in the General Prologue, but she tells a saint’s life for her tale.

The Nun’s Priest

  • Like the Second Nun, the Nun’s Priest is not described in the General Prologue.
  • He tellsthe story of Chanticlee.

The Monk

  • This Monk cares little for the Rule of his position.
  • He shows his devotion to hunting and eating.
  • He is rebellious.
  • Monks usually wear plain habits with hoods.This Monk has gray fur on the sleeves of his cope and a gold pin with a love knot at the end of the hood. This indicates that he is not religious because instead of the gold pin, he should have a rosary.
  • The Monk’s favorite past-time is hunting.
  • He is fat, bald, and greasy, with eyes that roll in his head. 
  • The Monk is another religious character who is corrupt.
  • He wears a small rope necklace with a love knot tied to the end of it. This love knot may suggest that he is a stud with women.

The Friar

  • Friar is a not-so-pious religious figure.
  • He is described as a “limitour” [begs on the behalf of the poor].
  • He does nothing but corrupt his own church for private gain and, in the process, destroys the foundations of faith among the people he is supposed to serve.
  • Chaucer’s portrait of the Friar is one of the harshest views of religious corruption in Canterbury Tales.
  • He knows all the bars and is more familiar with barmaids and innkeepers than the lepers or beggars.
  • He Sings well and has a decent amount of money.
  • A very strong person physically. 
  • His hood or long sleeve of  his robe filled with pins for curls.
  • He has pocket-knives to give to “pretty girls.”
  • He wears a brand new  dresses.

The Merchant

  •  Merchant wears fashionable attire with multicolored cloak.
  • He had forked beard.
  • He is the member of rising middle class. 
  • According to Chaucer the Merchant hides being in debt by wearing fancy clothes.

The Clerk

  • Clerk is a philosophy student from Oxford.
  • He is so poor that he can’t even afford to feed himself.
  • He is as skinny as a rake. 
  • He is not giving importance for money.
  • He prefers to spend it on books rather than food or clothes. 
  • He’s so serious about his studies. 
  • Thoughtful person.
  • Chaucer likes this character because even though he is poor thin and impoverished he is still dedicated to his studies.
  • No one suspected he was really heavily in debt.

The Sergeant of Law

  • Sergeant of Law was a lawyer appointed by the monarch to serve as a judge. 
  • Representative of the upper-class.
  • He rode simply dressed in a coat of mixed weave, gathered with a silk belt with small metal ornaments.
  • He is renowned, knowledgeable person.
  • His legal work is flawless and he has been known to win many cases. 
  • His days also include writing contracts, performing in court.
  • He made himself look busier. 
  • He took large fees.
  • He knows everything common and crime from William’s time.


  • Franklin  is a large and wealthy landowner who enjoys fine living and good companionship.
  • He had White beard feeling like white daisy.
  • He loved to dip his morning bread in wine.
  • His house never had a shortage of food.
  • According to season he changed his food habits.
  • The word “franklin” means “free man.”
  • He is a member of the nobility. 

A Haberadasher, A Carpenter, Dyer,Guildsmen and Weaver

  • A Haberadasher, A Carpenter, Dyer and Weaver all dressed in ivory.
  • Their weapons were shaped with silver.
  • They belong to a Tradesmens’ Guild.

The Cook

  • Cook has a giant open sore on his leg.
  • He is named Roger of Ware.

The Shipman

  • Shipman is the quintessential bad boy.
  • He is good at calculating tides, navigating the stars, and bringing the ship safely into the harbor with the best of them.
  • He  is one of the best-travelled pilgrims.
  • He is of Dartmouth town.
  • He wears woolen cloth that reached unto the knee.

The Physician

  • Physician is a very learned man.
  • He believed in Astrology.
  • He is a wealthy person.
  • Most of the educated of all pilgrims.
  • He is greedy, and a bit boastful. 

The Wife of Bath

  • Wife of Bath has traveled all over the world on pilgrimages.
  • She has lived with five husbands.
  • Her dress shows her extravagance.
  • She is intelligent rather than intellectual.
  • She uses her body as a bargaining tool.
  • She is as gap-toothed and somewhat deaf.
  • She is wearing bright scarlet red stockings.
  • She enjoys freedom.
  • She is a skilled weaver.
  • The Parson retains his faith in God even in times of adversity. 

The Parson

  • Parson is extremely poor, but he is rich in holy thoughts and deeds.
  • The only devout person. 
  • He is a learned person who taught his parishioners sincerely.
  • He is a hardworking personality.
  • He practiced what he preached and preached what he practiced.

The Plowman

  • • Plowman is just as holy and virtuous as his brother the Parson.
  • He has to do the dirtiest jobs of the medieval world.
  • He is medieval symbol of the poor.
  • He is Athletic and wore a Tabard smock and rode a mare.
  • He represents working class.

The Miller

  • Miller’s beard is red, and he has a hair-covered wart on his nose. 
  • The Miller is an accomplished piper.
  • He likes jokes and reciting poetry.
  • He is a fit person.
  • He is always the winner at wrestling.
  • He is a drunkard and vulgar person.
  • He carries a sword and buckler.
  • His mouth is like a furnace.

The Reeve

  • Reeve is a manager of someone’s estate or farm.
  • He is also a carpenter.
  • He can estimate the yields of his master’s crops and livestock based only on the rainfall from year to year. 
  • He wears his hair cut close to his ears like a priest’s, and wears a cloak that looks like something a friar would wear.
  • He’s mounted on a dapple-gray horse.
  • He wears a cloak of blue, both signs of his financial success.

The Summoner

  • Summoner is presented as a criminal, collecting and keeping fines from innocent people.
  • The Summoner or Apparitor was the officer of the ecclesiastical court of the Bishop.
  • Another religious figure who is represented here as hypocrite.
  • His face is pimpled and scaly.
  • HE has a round, bright-red face covered with pimples, squinty eyes, black eyebrows, and a thin, ragged beard. 
  • He had a face that little children feared.
  • Chaucer first describes the Summoner as having a “cherubynnes face”.
  • Chaucer uses a slightly mocking tone to describe the Summoner.
  • Chaucer mentions that he’s a drunkard.
  • He is a church official who was responsible for summoning the sinners before the ecclesiastical courts.

The Pardoner

  • Pardoner is the most evil of the pilgrims.
  • A Pardoner is a person who travels about the countryside selling official church pardons.
  • He admits that he preaches solely to get money, not to correct sin.
  • He would rather take the last penny from a widow and her starving family than give up his money.
  • He is a member of the Roman Catholic Church.

The Host

  • Host’s real name is Harry Bailly.
  • The Host often tries to play the role of peace-keeper among the pilgrims. 
  • The Host proves himself to be a very good tour guide.
  • He proves himself capable of handling most of the arguments and keeping everyone in line.
  • He is the leader of the group.
  • He is the proprietor of the Tabard Inn.
  • He creates the “game” of having each pilgrim tell stories and became the judge of the game.
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