Honesty In The Canterbury Tales

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What does it mean to be honest? The Canterbury Tales features characters from all walks of life, with reputations to match. A key part in determining their admirability is how truthful they are. People who are honest, such as the Knight and the Parson, are worthy of praise, and those who are not, such as the Nun and the Monk, are worthy of scorn. Honesty is more than telling the truth, it means having integrity. The pilgrim who shows these traits the most is the Knight. The Knight "followed chivalry/Truth, honor, generousness, and courtesy"(Lines 45-46). True to his title, the Knight is a soldier and has fought in many battles. He does great things for his kingdom and the people in it. He even remains humble in spite of those achievements. Such virtue is symbolized in his clothing choices. Under his armor he wears a simple stained tunic. Indeed, the Knight is a shining example of honesty. Similarly to the Knight, the…show more content…
Even though he is a man of the cloth he parades around wearing furs and golden jewelry. One piece is "a wrought-gold, cunningly fashioned pin/Into a lover's knot"(Lines 200-201). The reader can assume this is a sign that he has broken his vow of celibacy. To make matters worse, his favorite hobby is hunting, an act that is forbidden to holy men. It seems that his every action opposes his title. The Nun, much like the Monk, is a dishonest person. She does her best "To counterfeit a courtly kind of grace"(Line 143). She calculates her every action to make herself seem as elegant as possible. For example, the Nun eats with the greatest care, never spilling a single drop. Furthermore, she burst into tears upon seeing a dead mouse to seem like a damsel. Like others in the first estate, any work she does is for a handful of rich people. The Nun sets her clergy duties aside in favor of luxuries and appearances.You have to question if she does anything a nun
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