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Main page » Non-Fiction » Science literature » Literature Studies » The Physician's Tale (Canterbury Tales)

The Physician's Tale (Canterbury Tales)


There was once a rich courageous Knight named Virginius who had a beautiful fourteen year-old daughter.  Her beauty was matched by her kindness and modesty.

In the town was a judge named Appius who was obsessed with having this beautiful girl. He obtains the services of a criminal named Claudius in order to kidnap Virginia. Claudius accuses the Knight of having stolen a servant girl from his house and pretending that she was his daughter.  Appius, the judge, rules against the Knight and takes the child as a Ward of Court. When Virginius returns home and tells his daughter what has happened she is distraught. The only course of action is for his daughter to accept death rather than face the shame of being at the mercy of Appius and Claudius.

The Knight cuts off his daughter’s head with his sword and holding it by the hair takes it to the judge.  The judge orders that the Knight be hanged for murder, but the people of the town intercede, being aroused to the judge’s treachery. The judge is thrown into prison and the mob wish to hang Claudius for his evil work.

The Knight intercedes, suggesting he should be exiled, which was carried out.

The Physician finishes his tale with the moral that “the wages of sin is death” and all should confess their sins.

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Tags: story, about, daughter, Chaucer, Jephtha, daughter, story, Amantis