One question that splits critics is whether the merchants tale is a fabliau citation needed typically a description for a tale of carnal lust and frivolous bed hopping some would argue that especially the latter half of the tale where damyan and may have sex in the tree with the blind januarie at the foot of the tree represents fabliau. In the merchants tale january a wealthy elderly knight decides to marry his reasons are clear enough he wants to fulfill gods wish that man and woman marry and he wants a son to inherit his estates january calls many of his friends together to listen to his plans and to offer him advice. While the millers tale prized cunning and crafty behavior the merchants tale adheres to more traditional values therefore mays escape from punishment is a dissonant element of the story for she behaves contrary to the established values that the merchant has set for his tale. The merchants tale heere bigynneth the marchantes tale 1245 whilom ther was dwellynge in lumbardye once there was dwelling in lombardy 1246 a worthy knyght that born was of pavye a worthy knight who was born in pavia
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