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Barron's Booknotes-The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer-Free Book Notes
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THE TALE OF MELIBEUS

Chaucer wades through a sermon about whether it's better to avenge violence with more violence, or agree to peaceful settlement. The argument is between Sir Melibeus (pro-violence) and his wife Dame Prudence (anti- violence) who are deciding what action to take against three thieves who brutally wound their daughter. Peaceful methods prevail, but the "tale" is more moralistic wrangling than plot.


The tale is translated almost word for word from a French tale that in turn comes from Latin. The point is the philosophical arguments, not the narrative, so it's generally regarded as a clunker. This is ironic, because it is Chaucer who tells it.

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Barron's Booknotes-The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer-Free Book Notes
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