The Squire's tale ends two lines into its third se
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The Squire\'s tale ends two lines into its third section, and following this abrupt termination is the "wordes of the Frankeleyn to the Squier." The Franklin praises the young Squire\'s attempt at a courtly romance and says that he wishes his own son was more like the Squire. This is followed by the "wordes of the Hoost to the Frankeleyn." Many critics believe that the words of the Franklin to the Squire are intended as an interruption of the tale that threatens to go on far too long. However, I believe the words of the Franklin to the Squire were not meant to be an interruption at all. There are four main reasons why I believe the passage was not meant to be an interruption:
one, the Franklin\'s admiration of gentillesse would have made him reluctant to interrupt the Squire; two, the passage ends two lines into the third section when the logical place for an interruption would be at the end of the second section (Clark, 160-161); three, the passage is similar to that of the Host to Chaucer after his Tale of Melibee- which was an end comment, not an interruption ; and four, the structure and tone of the passage does not seem to be that of an interruption.
In praising the Squire, the Franklin mentions how he is impressed with his "gentilly" (674) or "gentillesse" (694). If we are to believe what the Franklin is saying, that he admires his gentillesse and that he wishes his son "myghte lerne gentillesse aright" (694), we should also assume the Franklin would try and also show gentillesse. In fact, from the General Prologue we know that the Franklin was a member of Parliament and a feudal landholder (Clark 161). Both were positions in higher society in which he would be familiar with gentility and also be expected to follow it. However, interrupting someone in the middle of his speech would be something a person with gentillesse would be hesitant to do. The arguments that the Franklin\'s actions were rescuing the Squire from an "awkward predicament" (Specht 154) in which his tale was threatening to go on far too long point out that in such a scenario the Franklin\'s actions would be a "masterpiece of tact" (Spearing, 7). I would argue with this theory for two reasons. First of all, the Squire gives no indication he wishes to be "rescued." In his tale at the end of telling of Canace and the magic ring, he proceeds to say he will tell how the other three gifts affected the lives of other characters. Clearly the Squire could have cut his story short then if he had been so inclined. Therefore I do not think it is fair to claim the Franklin was "rescuing" the Squire. Secondly, if the Franklin were indeed interrupting the Squire to end his story, he could have apologized for interrupting. Obviously the Squire has not completed his tale, he has just announced he has three more parts and is two lines into the telling of the next section. For the Franklin to begin speaking at this point he would clearly be interrupting the Squire. To preserve gentillesse it would be necessary for him to apologize for the break in. One or two lines saying he was sorry to interrupt but that he just had to tell the Squire how impressed with the tale would be all that was needed to show gentillesse.
Some critics claim that the Franklin is "pretending that the Squire has finished" (Peterson, 66-67), in order to stop him as kindly as possible. I do not believe this scenario since the Squire is obviously not finished, as I have stated reasons supporting this earlier, and therefore the Franklin would not be fooling anyone in trying to act as if the Squire was finished. In addition to that, the Host would also have to catch on to what the Franklin was doing and go along with pretending the Squire was done. If we look at some of the other comments made by the Host in the Canterbury Tales we see that he is not the quickest to catch onto what the moral of some of the tales are, and I think it would be safe to say that assuming
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The Canterbury Tales, The Squires Tale, The Squire, General Prologue, The Tale of Melibee, Sir Thopas, Squire, Canterbury Tales, The Monks Tale, The Franklins Tale
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