Chaucer’s Tale of Melibee

In this article will discuss Chaucer’s The Tale of Melibee Summary in The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer.

When the host asks Chaucer to tell a tale in prose, he narrates the story of a rich young man, Malibee, who has a wife, Prudence, and a daughter, Sophie.

Malibee, not considering her wife’s advice worthy of acceptance for she is a woman, but on accepting her suggestion to gather town-folks, arranges a meeting to consult the breaking in of enemies in his house, who beat his wife and gave her daughter five mortal wounds in five places: her feet, her hands, her eyes, her nose, and her mouth when Malibee had locked them in the house and had gone to fields.

Malibee gathers people from all over the village and people begin advising him. Finally, there are two solutions provided by the people.

The surgeons, physicians, lawyers, and old people ask Malibee to maintain peace and take precautions while, on the other hand, the neighbours, and young people to take revenge immediately.

Malibee wants to attack them but Prudence keeps urging him to maintain peace. Prudence advises him to choose the people he takes advice from carefully keeping in mind their hidden motives. Prudence goes through all the advice Malibee receives and shows Malibee how war never has good outcomes.

According to Prudence, the attack on Sophie is symbolic of ma’s vulnerability to the World, The Devil, and the Flesh. For her the remedy of it negotiating peace and forgiveness by leaving everything to God’s grace.

However, in the end, the three enemies to had committed the treacherous act are found and brought to Prudence who suggests to forgive them and to negotiate peace. Malibee suggests fine and Prudence again goes against him. Eventually, Malibee forgives and boasts his generosity all over.