The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer

The Man of Law's Tale Analysis

In the Prologue to the Man of Law’s Tale, the line between Chaucer’s real world and Chaucer’s fictional world becomes blurred again, as the Man of Law gives a list of the real Chaucer’s major literary works.

The central theme of the Man of Law’s Tale is patience, or “constancy” – hence why the main character’s name is Constance. Unlike the brash, outgoing, and impatient Wife of Bath, whose tale follows this one, Constance provides an example of endurance in the face of trials and faith in God. The tale has an explicitly religious theme: it focuses on the benefits of a constant devotion to God and willingness to accept and follow God’s rules, no matter what they may be. For instance, although Constance doesn’t want to go to Syria initially, she accepts it as divine will for her. Throughout her trials and tribulations she prays constantly, clinging to her faith to protect her from the ups and downs of fate.

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