The Host is inspired by Aristotle’s notion of place. In the Canterbury Tales the Host acts less as a character and more as a boundary. This provides an environment for the stories to be told. In the Canterbury Tales as the people move their stories vary in different ways, and to that extent it’s a more dynamic place. As the stories continue the Host acts a mechanism because he got all of the Pilgrims to work together. Also, as they continue their stories he evaluates their space, and time so he can help them.
Next, out of all the characters in the Canterbury Tales the Host has the most unique role. The Host owns the Tabard Inn so he already knows how to receive and contain things. As the Pilgrims start their journey he comes up with the idea for a storytelling challenge. He helps by mediating among the Pilgrims to keep the flow of the stories going. The Host also goes by the Holy Host. He holds the narrative intact together by coming up with rules for the challenge. The Pilgrims are only allowed to tel...
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...again. The Host continues to enforce rules and other boundaries as the Pilgrims continue to keep telling their stories. It is not only his role but also, his job to deal with his criticism on others. One of the most interesting sayings in the wife of bathes is “Hire beautee was hire deth” (Chaucer VI.297).
During his confrontation with the Pardoner the Host becomes much emphasized. He starts off by teasing the Pardoner about being prude to the others. He also teases the Pardoner about the sexual behavior that he condemns, and then the Host compares him to the church. The more that the Pardoner isn’t around the others the Host has more authority over them. “the more the Pardoner can be maintained as an absence of potency, the more the Host can assert his own masculinity and moral authority…[and can] construct himself as the moral physician to the pilgrimage” (1146).
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