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Discussion - Canterbury Tales > Week 5 - The Tale of Melibee (or Meliebus)

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message 1: by Everyman (new)

Everyman | 7718 comments I need to insert a topic here for Chaucer's telling of the Tale of Melibee, but none of my versions of the Tales include this tale, which is apparently 1,000 or so lines long. Every edition just prints a synopsis of it. Nor can I find it online. Has anybody found and read the tale? Anybody want to guess why Chaucer wold have inserted such a lengthy tale here? Speculation is welcome! And if anybody wants to discuss the synopsis of it, go ahead.


message 2: by MadgeUK (last edited Feb 02, 2011 10:40AM) (new)

MadgeUK I have it on my Kindle Complete Works of Chaucer in Middle English Everyman - I will look at it tonight.

Here it is online:-

http://www.readbookonline.net/readOnL...

And some bits and pieces of analysis:-

http://faculty.goucher.edu/eng330/cha...

http://www.jstor.org/pss/25093035

http://www.jstor.org/pss/25093958


message 3: by [deleted user] (new)

It's in my version, but I just caught up with last week's "assignment" so I'm behind for this week's discussions and haven't read anything yet. It's a fairly long section and written in prose rather than blank verse.


message 4: by Everyman (new)

Everyman | 7718 comments MadgeUK wrote: "I have it on my Kindle Complete Works of Chaucer in Middle English Everyman - I will look at it tonight.

Here it is online:-

http://www.readbookonline.net/readOnL..."


Gee - I hadn't thought to check my Kindle edition. But yes, there it is!

And thanks for finding it on line for others who don't have it to be able to read. It was late last night and I didn't have time for a thorough Internet search. There are benefits to insomnia!


message 5: by Everyman (new)

Everyman | 7718 comments This is our first tale written in prose (the Man of Law, we recall, said his would be in prose, but it wasn't).

Is there any significance to its being in prose? Does this for some reason fit the content better than verse would?


message 6: by Thomas (new)

Thomas | 4617 comments Madge's link isn't working for me right now, but it's also available here (ME only):

http://www.librarius.com/index.html

Why do you suppose Chaucer (the pilgrim) says he only knows one story -- the story of Sir Thopas -- but after he is interrupted (in hilarious fashion) by the host, he proceeds to tell another story... is this just modesty?


message 7: by Everyman (new)

Everyman | 7718 comments Thomas wrote: "Why do you suppose Chaucer (the pilgrim) says he only knows one story -- the story of Sir Thopas -- but after he is interrupted (in hilarious fashion) by the host, he proceeds to tell another story... is this just modesty? "

Or irony, after the Man of Law has just finished detailing all the tales Chaucer has told!


message 8: by Laurel (new)

Laurel Hicks (goodreadscomlaurele) | 2438 comments I have it on Kindle and Audible. It seems to me to be an intentionally boring tale showing the vanity of proof-texting rather than just using some common sense. I haven't finished it yet.


message 9: by Thomas (new)

Thomas | 4617 comments Everyman wrote: "Or irony, after the Man of Law has just finished detailing all the tales Chaucer has told!

"


I was going to say false modesty, but I think irony is better.

I read today that this tale may have been originally intended for the lawyer. At least part of the evidence for this is that it is in prose, as the lawyer said his tale would be. But maybe Chaucer was amused by the juxtaposition of the doggerel jingle-jangle of Sir Thopas next to the sententious prose of Melibee, and the fact that both extremes come from the same teller. So amused that he gave this person his own name, even though the tales are, well, not very good. Now that seems like real modesty!


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