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Chaucer, moral of the story, nature


Of all the Canterbury Tales, the Physician's Tale may well be the least appreciated. Its subject matter is distasteful in itself–a despicable judge abuses his position of public trust and authority by deliberately setting out to obtain an innocent young virgin as an object of lust, while too frustrate the even the victim's father beheads her after cold-blooded premeditation. But if that were not enough, the tale contains at least two apparently incongruous digressions, and the storyteller appends a moral that must make the reader suspect the Narrator has not been listening to his own story. Perhaps a modern reader's first reaction is to "turn over the leaf" hastily to get to the magnificent Pardoner's Tale which follows.