Franklin’s Tale

An analysis of Geoffrey Chaucer’s `Franklin’s Tale, a short story from his The Canterbury Tales.

The paper examines Franklin’s Tale`, not considered one of the most popular of the stories from Geoffrey Chaucer’s collection The Canterbury Tales. It looks at the story in relation to the other tales in the book and compares its literary style and structure to that of the others. It also examines the characters, central themes and setting of the story.
Chaucer’s audience would have been aware that the Breton lay was typically a short romance based on the earlier works of Marie de France and mostly involving love and the supernatural. Although it breaks with some of the conventions that Marie de France established through her own work, in general the Franklin’s Tale is a clear evocation of the conventions of the Breton lay, especially in Chaucer’s careful observance of the rules of the social hierarchy in which the Franklin (and Chaucer himself) lived, a hierarchy that had changed little since Marie de France was writing and that obtained as much in England (still in many ways the product of Norman rule, at least in the upper tiers of society) as in France.