Branching Out: Trees and Knowledge in Chaucer’s “The Merchant’s Tale” and “The Pardoner’s Tale”
In Geoffrey Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales (1387–1400), the arboreal is imbued with symbolic and allegorical meaning. Used by Chaucer as rhetorical devices, the trees in “The Merchant’s Tale” symbolize fertility, while the tree in “The Pardoner’s Tale” symbolizes death. In both tales, the arboreal functions allegorically, representing the Tree of Knowledge in the Garden of Eden. By using nature in this manner, Chaucer creates ambiguity in his work, complicating the idea of knowledge in both tales.
Any submissions made by the author to the Albatross are in agreement of release under the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 Unported license. This license permits The Albatross as well as others to share this work through any means for non-commercial purposes given that proper attribution is given to the author as well as the publisher.
Authors retain copyright of their work.
By submitting their article to The Albatross, the author grants the The Albatross the rights for first publishing.
Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.