Books and Movies Reviews


The Clerk's Tale is an indirect response to the Wife of Bath who
stated that women desire complete sovereignty over their
husbands and lovers. The Clerk puts forth a diametrically
opposite view and draws the sketch of a totally submissive
Chaucer's source for the Clerk's tale is Petrarch's'Fable of
Obedience and Wifely Faith' written in Latin that was in turn
derived from Boccaccio's'Decameron'. Chaucer closely follows
Petrarch's text. Chaucer makes the Clerk candidly acknowledge
that his tale is derived from “Frauncey’s Petrak”.
The Clerk's Tale is suited to his character as a serious student.
His tale too has a scholarly theme and deals with the issue of
genuine obedience and loyalty in a wife. Griselda's story upholds
faith in goodness even in times of adversity. It is definitely a
moral tale and the Clerk relates it with all seriousness and
The Host's warning to the Clerk to keep his language simple and
to tell an entertaining and adventurous tale were not needed. The
tale proves that the Clerk was not an ossified academic. However
the Clerk does not relate an adventurous tale and does make use
of rhetoric and figures of speech. When the Clerk concludes his
tale the Host commends him for relating his story in a sweet and
Chaucer has invested, the folk tale Petrarchan version of the
patient Griselda's story, with an amazing degree of realism.
Griselda comes across as a real life human character. Her
sincerity to her husband and affection for her children seem
realistic. Her pathos is heart rending and earns the reader's
Griselda's story of long suffering may be unappealing to modern
readers. But it is important to interpret the tale in the context of
the fourteenth century. Griselda was simply acting in accordance


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