Canterbury Tales

Independent Tale Assignment

AP English Literature & Composition




Choose one tale from the following list and complete this assignment for that tale. This assignment is due ______________.


Put all your answers on your own paper, or type (preferred).


Tales to choose from:

  • The Man of Lawís Tale

  • The Nunís Priestís Tale

  • The Wife of Bathís Tale

  • The Merchantís Tale

  • The Prioress's Tale

Assignment: Read the prologue to the tale and the tale itself. Also, reread the GP to gain information about your story teller.



  1. Who tells the tale? What do you learn about him/her from the GP and the storyís prologue? Write a 100 word character sketch of your storyteller.


  1. Summarize the plot of your tale (short!!!)



  1. Point out and explain any instances of irony either in your tale or connected with the storyteller.


  1. What is Chaucerís overall purpose (think THEME) in including this tale in the CT? What does he hope his reader will learn? Explain how he achieves his purpose in a short essay that cites examples from the tale.
    1. For example, if you say that the purpose of the Nurseís Tale (no such thing) is to show how the qualities of compassion and caring are virtuous, then cite examples from the tale to prove that this is true.
    2. If you want to seek help, you can hunt for a critical essay on this tale to use a source. This is not required. But, if you do use an essay, you must attach a works cited page.


  1. Write one paragraph in which you make some connection between the tale and life or people living today. In other words, can people today still learn anything of value from reading this tale? Or, do the people and/or situations in this tale mirror, in any way, people and/or situations that exist today? Explain fully.