Book Review Chaucer The Canterbury Tales The Physicians Tale

Photo taken by me – Front cover to Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales
Preston, England
February 18, 2018 1:18pm CST
The saddest and possibly most horrible story in the collection of tales told by the travellers on the Canterbury pilgrimage trail. Virginnius, a noble, and well-respected knight, has a lovely fourteen-year-old daughter, who is naïve and innocent of the ways of the world. One day, the powerful town magistrate, who decides that he must own and possess the girl as his own, spots the girl. He knows that he cannot just seduce her or rape her, so he embarks on an elaborate plot to destroy her father’s reputation. The Magistrate enlists the help of a local crook, called Claudius, and has him make false claims that Virginnius stole the girl in her infancy to raise her as his own. The Magistrate naturally falsely claims that he believes the evidence, and condemns Virginnius to death, and declares that the girl becomes his own adopted daughter for her own safety. Virginnius is unable to find a defence to save her and unable to live with the thought of her being a slave to the Magistrate, Virginnius kills his daughter by severing her head. He confesses to her murder, (a mercy killing) and the Judge condemns him again to be executed, but by now the town’s people have wised up to the conspiracy and they have forced Claudius to confess his part in the affair. The Magistrate is cast into his own prison, where he takes his own life. Virginnius, now free and un-executed, takes a surprisingly lenient stance on Claudius and allows him to go free. The story goes down well, though the Host now requests that it be followed by something with a softer mood. Others interject and request a story with some kind of a moral point to it. The Pardoner promises that he will deliver such a story, and retires to an inn to think it through first. Arthur Chappell
5 people like this
5 responses
@Kandae11 (38813)
18 Feb
It would have been better if he had found a way to solve the issue without taking his daughter's life - and in such a brutal manner.
2 people like this
• Preston, England
18 Feb
@Kandae11 it is such a brutal resolution
• Russian Federation
18 Feb
I have recently read it... was really impressed
2 people like this
• Preston, England
18 Feb
@MashaVickina it is a very good story if rather grim
1 person likes this
@jaboUK (54518)
• United Kingdom
19 Feb
What a horrible tale, but you've summed it up very well.
1 person likes this
• Preston, England
19 Feb
@jaboUK thanks, it is pretty ghastly
1 person likes this
@teamfreak16 (41175)
• Colorado Springs, Colorado
22 Feb
I would love it more if they went to school on a equal bassist.
1 person likes this
@Corbin5 (109907)
• United States
18 Feb
Oh, why or why did he have to kill his own daughter. There has to have been a better way.
1 person likes this