Week 3: The Canterbury Tales

Beast fable Moralizing tale illustrating human behaviour through animal characters
Breton lai Short verse tale dealing with love and/or the supernatural
Estates satire Satirical caricature of the traditional classes of society, highlighting their dysfunction
Exemplum A moralizing tale, illustrating how (not) to live one’s life
Fabliau Verse tale, often obscene, ridiculing members of some social class or profession and celebrating trickery
Fragment In Chaucer studies, a group of Canterbury Tales connected by links (prologues and epilogues) as well as internal cross-referencing
Holograph A manuscript in the author’s own hand
Minstrel romance Short, formulaic verse form for oral delivery
Physiognomy Character analysis on the basis of outward features
Romance Verse tale of adventure and/or courtly love
The Three Estates Society’s main classes: clergy, nobility, and peasantry