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Zell 1

Lauren Zell
Mr. Kelly
English 211C
8 March 2016
Character Analysis of the Skipper
The Skipper was a tan skinned sailor from Dartmouth who rode a carthorse and wore a
knee-length gown made of coarse cloth and a cord around his neck held a dagger. He had a habit
of drinking the wine on ships when everyone was asleep. The Skipper often got into fights, after
winning he made them walk the plank to get home. He knew a lot about navigation through
storms and could easily find harbors.
Skippers are the captains of a vessel, usually a small trading or fishing vessel. The skipper is
considered to be in the middle class. He is lower than the standards of others because of his
sinful ways. In the medieval ages, the life of the skipper consisted of things such as: spending
their life at sea, working sunrise to sunset, ferrying troops, supplies, horses, and food from port
to port, and sailing ships owned by kings, nobles, and merchants.
There are plenty of examples of direct characterization. For example, He rode a farmers
horse as best he could, this description is a way that Chaucer shows that the skipper is not a
skilled horseman. Indirectly we could assume that due to the fact that he spends his life at sea,
having the skill is unnecessary. Since the skipper is in the lower class that could also be a reason
why he has little riding abilities. Another example of direct characterization would be In a
woolen gown that reached his knee, this gives the reader a visual of the appearance of skipper.
Based on this description we can assume that he is a lower class individual, with little money.

Zell 2
Chaucer describes A dagger . . . hung from his neck under his arm and down, this could be
similar to a pirates hook, or it could be like a pocket knife for situations on the ship. Chaucer
describes the skippers skin as . . . tanned his color brown. We know that he spends a lot of
time at sea, so the sun would be out tanning his skin all hours of the day.
The seven deadly sins are lust, wrath, greed, gluttony, sloth, envy, and pride. The skipper
is guilty of greed and wrath. The skipper is greedy because he steals wine from merchants in
their sleep. He is wrathful because he fights people on the ships and when he fights, the vessel
sinks. The skipper is not a very significant character in regard to the seven deadly sins. Though
the skipper was not as impactful as other characters he still made an impact in the story of The
Canterbury Tales.

Zell 3

MLA Citation

"The Canterbury Tales." Character List. N.p., n.d. Web. 9 March 2016.

McDougal Littell Literature. N.p.: Mifflin Harcourt, 2008. Print.