The Canterbury Tales: Symbols & Motifs


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As an exploration of the theme of women in Medieval society, the Wife of Bath's tale uses the symbol of the _____, a typically old woman who can sometimes transform into a young woman.

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1. 'The Clerk's Tale,' about a husband who tests his wife's loyalty, is meant to mimic what Biblical tale?

2. Which of the following was NOT a social class during Chaucer's time?

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About This Quiz & Worksheet

Discover what you know about the motifs and symbolism used in The Canterbury Tales. Answer questions on key points ranging from symbolism in 'The Wife of Bath's Tale' to the Biblical tale referenced in 'The Clerk's Tale'.

Quiz & Worksheet Goals

Find out how much you understand about these subjects:

  • Social classes during the author's time
  • The theme of penitence in 'The Parson's Tale'
  • A character who wasn't satirized in The Canterbury Tales

Skills Practiced

  • Information recall - access the knowledge you've gained regarding the social status of people during Chaucer's life
  • Reading comprehension - ensure that you draw the most important information from the related lesson on motif and symbolism in The Canterbury Tales
  • Knowledge application - use your knowledge to answer questions about various themes in the stories

Additional Learning

Students can learn more about the numerous tales in the book with the lesson named The Canterbury Tales: Symbols & Motifs. These topics will be covered for your benefit:

  • What life was like in the Middle Ages
  • How women were treated in society during that time period
  • Religion in the stories and how the author related it to the audience
  • Social classes the emerged from the Middle Ages