Date of Award


Degree Type

Master's Essay - Restricted

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)




Confrontations between pilgrims in The Canterbury Tales are relatively common -- two prominent examples being the Friar-Summoner encounter and the Miller-Reeve conflict -- and although much criticism has been devoted to them, an important confrontation between the Squire and the Knight has thus far gone unnoticed by critics. The reason for this is conceivably Chaucer's subtle introduction of this conflict, but in it and in its subsequent resolution lie keys to answers of interpretive problems which have challenged modern Chaucerian critics and technical problems which troubled Chaucer and other medieval writers and critics. In this paper I intend to examine this confrontation in all its ramifications and to determine the answers to the literary problems that Chaucer probes in the resolution of it.