Geoffrey Chaucer: The Physician's Tale

(2791 words)
  • Daniel Kline (University of Alaska, Anchorage)

The Physician’s Tale (PhT) is the first of two tales comprising Fragment VI (Group C) of the Canterbury Tales. The second of the two is the Pardoner’s Prologue (PardP) and the Pardoner’s Tale (PardT). The pairing of the Physician and the Pardoner seems incongruous on account not only of their respective subject matter but also, and perhaps even more, of the critical reputations of each tale. The Pardoner and his tale together are probably one of Chaucer’s most intriguing and critically appreciated creations, while the PhT has widely been considered one of Chaucer’s few literary failures. Larry D. Benson writes, “The tale is not a success” (p. 14). …

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Kline, Daniel. "The Physician's Tale". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 27 January 2009
[, accessed 27 September 2016.]