The Canterbury Tales: Novel Summary: The Scholar's Tale
The Scholar's Tale
A Marquis ruled a small area of Italy. His subjects liked him as a ruler, but wished to see him married so that he would produce an heir. They discussed this with him, and he agreed that he would find a wife by a certain date, but that he would choose his own wife. They agreed, and busied themselves with the wedding feast.
In the village, there lived an old poor man, and his daughter, Griselda. She was poor, but beautiful and virtuous. The marquis decided to marry her. Griselda did not know she was to marry him until just before the wedding. She agreed to marry him, and she became a model noblewoman. She gave birth to a daughter, and the townspeople were happy because this meant she would probably conceive a son.
The Marquis decides to test the loyalty of Griselda, and so very sadistically, he takes her child, and pretends to kill it, but he hides the child with relatives instead. Griselda bears this patiently, and stays faithful to her husband.
The Marquis does the same thing when Griselda bears a son, and she submits patiently again. He then pretended to divorce Griselda, and pretended to marry her daughter. Griselda remained subservient and pure throughout this entire ordeal. The Marquis sends her back to her father, to live in poverty. She is invited back to meet his new wife, and is told the truth about her husband's deception. She is restored to honor and nobility in the sight of the town, and lives happily ever after with her husband, son, and daughter.