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Barron's Booknotes-The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer-Free Book Notes
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THE SQUIRE'S TALE

The Squire refuses to tell a love story but says he'll tell something as best he can.


The tale, unfinished, is a mystical one about a magical horse, mirror, ring, and sword that Gawain, an unknown knight, presents to the king of Tartary at a feast. The brass horse can fly anywhere; the mirror can show past, future, or any lover's unfaithfulness; the ring gives the wearer knowledge of the birds' language; the sword cuts through anything. The ring is given to Canacee, the king's daughter, who wears it into the garden and uses it to hear a sad female hawk who has been jilted by her lover. Canacee nurses the hawk back to health. The Squire then promises to tell of the other magic gifts, of battles and the king and his sons, but the Franklin interrupts.

The Squire's personality is reflected in this rambling tale because he has travelled to the Far East, where the tale takes place, and is a devoted follower of courtly love. Like his father the Knight, he packs his tale with description and detail of wonderful occult events from Eastern folk tales, with a smattering of Arthurian legend.

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Barron's Booknotes-The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer-Free Book Notes
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