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    The Merchant’s Tale – critical review Essay

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    The wives of the two tales, May and Dorigen, are also two opposite characters. May is an unfaithful wife who does not agree to the marriage contract that she signed with January. After a very short time, May becomes tired of January and she commits adultery with her lover, Damian. “Ah, how she wept, fresh as she was, and bright, who loved her Damian, and with so benign a love that sudden death was her design unless she could enjoy him. “(379) Dorigen, the very moral and faithful woman, was the wife of Averagus in the Franklin’s Tale.

    Dorigen respected her husband and was always honest and faithful with him. Although Dorigen was tempted by another man, Aurelius, she overcame the temptation. “She mourned, lay wakeful, fasted and lamented, strained by a passion that could be contented only by him, and set the world naught. “(411) While Averagus was away at war, Dorigen was a trustworthy wife and acted according to their marriage contract in all its fullness.

    Overall, the Merchant’s Tale was not a very moral tale, while the Franklin’s Tale was very moral. The Merchant’s Tale had many examples of immoral actions. The main immoral action in the tale was that of May. May had cheated on her husband January several times and yet, he didn’t catch her. In the end of the tale it seems as though January has finally caught May in her affairs, but she fools him.

    “Went up in the tree, Damian pulled up her smock at once and in he thrust. And when King Pluto saw this shameful lust, he gave back sight to January once more and made him see far better than ever before.”(386) May is caught, but she talks her way out of the mistake and proclaims that January’s eyes were “hazy”. The Franklin’s Tale was the opposite of the Merchant’s Tale and it was full of virtue. Dorigen’s character alone is an example of moral values, and she also had moral feelings.

    Her choice to make her wish to Aurelius so selfless and for the shipmen was very moral. Averagus, the knight, was also a very virtuous man. His decision to allow Dorigen to fulfill her promise that she made to Aurelius, and let her marry him, was very courageous.

    “All may be well, but you must keep your word. For, as may God be merciful to me, I rather would be stabbed than live to see you fail in truth. The very love I bear you bids you keep truth, in that it cannot spare you. “(429) Dorigen and Averagus are two characters who provide this play with the moral value it needs to win the prize dinner. The Merchant’s Tale is one of entertainment and immoral characters that make bad decisions. The Franklin’s Tale, on the other hand, is full of virtuous characters that make very respectable choices and decisions

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    The Merchant’s Tale – critical review Essay. (2017, Oct 22). Retrieved from

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