Geoffrey Chaucer: The Squire's Tale [The Squire's Tale]

(1944 words)
  • Helen Cooper (University of Cambridge)

The Squire’s Tale (Canterbury Tales, V.1-708, including its framing material) is in many ways one of the more puzzling of the Canterbury sequence, and it has elicited critical disagreement to match. Its date of composition is a matter of dispute; its sources are uncertain; its position in the sequence varies widely between manuscripts; its unfinished state (it promises, or threatens, to be very long indeed, containing as it does two distinct parts and the opening couplet of a third, with an epic-sized plot summary of what is to come) makes an estimation of its narrative and thematic qualities difficult; and readers’ evaluations of it have differed to extremes over time, with Milton longing to “call up …

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Cooper, Helen. "The Squire's Tale". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 29 September 2008
[, accessed 30 November 2015.]