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Cavaliers Host Medieval Banquet

Cavaliers bring Chaucer's Canterbury Tales to life with a medieval feast.

Students in Mrs. Tammy Nelson’s Honors English classes celebrated the end of their Canterbury Tales unit with a Medieval Banquet. The Canterbury Tales is a collection of stories written at the end of the 14th century by Geoffrey Chaucer. It is regarded as an unfinished literary masterpiece. In the book pilgrims participate in a storytelling contest as they travel together through England. The winner of the contest received a prize of a free meal at The Tabard Inn in Southwark near London. The banquet was held March 19, 2012, in the Media Center which was candlelit and renovated into The Tabard Inn.

Students in the classes drew lots to determine who would play the various pilgrim roles. All the characters were taken from the general prologue of the book and included nuns, a squire, a knight, musicians, the wife of Bath, a priest, and many more. Students dressed in their character costume and had to write a tale that was true to the character. “We tried to be as authentic as possible,” said Mrs. Nelson. “We had no forks, ice, or glass items, and we used metal plates.”

Mrs. Nelson explained that in the middle ages it would never be expected that anyone would have enough silverware to host a large group for a meal so every guest brought their own knife to eat with. “Since knives aren’t allowed in school,” she said, “everyone here brought their own spoon!” The spoons were decorated to match the various characters and ranks. The richer the character, the fancier the spoons would be. Students were also seated at the dining tables in order of their rank. Students feasted on roasted chicken, pork chops, ribs, and roast beef, accompanied by potatoes, carrots, and green beans. Desserts included apple, cherry, and pumpkin pie and cheesecake along with “ale” (ginger ale) and “wine” (grape juice). “The pork chops hit the spot,” said Marcia Afful.

During the meal various tales were shared by the Squire, played by Layton Turner; the wife of Bath, played be Audra Ketchum, and a priest, played by Dayna Scheich. Musicians Lilly Allemond, Emily Glesias, and Elle Grier entertained the group with a medieval tune. “The music was beautiful,” said Dayna Scheich.

“I wanted the students to have an authentic experience – to bring to life the characters in Chaucer,” said Mrs. Nelson.

Written by: Paula White
Posted: Mar 27, 2012 by Paula White

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