The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer

The Physician's Tale Analysis

As the Physician’s Tale ends, the Host claims it nearly gave him a heart attack, and for obvious reasons: this is a brutal tale, one that doesn’t even try to cover up the violence at its core. The fact that the Physician specifies that this is not a fable or allegory forces us to read events in it as they happened. Like in the Knight’s Tale and the Franklin’s Tale, the ideals of chivalry seem to be under interrogation here: Virginius is a “noble knight” whose adherence to the ideals of chivalry lead him to behead his own daughter rather than attempt to argue for her freedom or to help her escape.

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