Lancelot and Canterbury Tales Study Questions (discussed in class)

Discussion Questions Regarding Lancelot, Knight of the Cart:

  1. How does the excerpt from Lancelot, Knight of the Cart reveal various elements of the Chivalric Code? Of medieval "romance" (courtly love, adventure, &c.)? Do you think that this story treats chivalric values in an entirely serious manner, or not?
  2. Are Lancelot and Gawain perfect examples of chivalry? Where do they excel? Where do they "fall down"? What lesson in particular does Lancelot seem to be in need of properly learning?

Discussion Questions Regarding Wife of Bath's Tale (Canterbury Tales):

  1. Describe some of the types of people who are participating in the pilgrimage that serves as the overarching "wrapper" story in the Canterbury Tales. Consider especially the artisan/merchant/commercial class figures that represent the new medieval "middle class." How are they presented? How do their descriptions indicate their reputations and roles in medieval society, and/or reveal real class tensions of the era?
  2. Who is the Wife of Bath? What is the moral of her story? How does her tale seem to represent her personality and values?
  3. How does the Wife of Bath's tale handle the issues of chivalry, courtly love, and "romance" (not just in the lurrrrve sense)? Is the treatment different than in Lancelot? How is the "lesson" presented in the Wife of Bath's story similar or different to that presented in Lancelot? If you notice a difference, how do you account for it?