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The Canterbury Tales Essay | Critical Essay #9

This Study Guide consists of approximately 266 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of The Canterbury Tales.
This section contains 978 words
(approx. 4 pages at 300 words per page)
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Critical Essay #9

The Thebaid recounts the fratricidal war between Oedipus's sons, Polynices and Eteocles, for the throne of Thebes. Its twelfth and last book con- tains the germ of Boccaccio's Teseida, and thus of the "Knight's Tale." In the twelfth book, after the brothers have destroyed each other in a final, emblematic single combat, Creon, their uncle and now ruler of Thebes, forbids burial rites for Polynices and the Greek warriors who beseiged the city with him. The grief-stricken widows of the unburied, outraged at the sacrilegious edict but powerless to contest it, are advised by a Theban soldier to turn to Theseus, ruler of Athens, for succor. The greater part of Book Twelve comprises a double action attendant upon Creon's prohibition and the widows' response. Spurred on by desperation, Argia, the Greek widow of Polynices, and Antigone, Polynices' sister, attempt to perform funeral rites for the slain prince, defying...

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This section contains 978 words
(approx. 4 pages at 300 words per page)
Purchase our The Canterbury Tales Study Guide
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The Canterbury Tales from BookRags and Gale's For Students Series. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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