Manciple & Doctor-Canterbury Tales

By Kennedy Burch, Zach Holmes, and Alex Suarez


Who is He?

The Manciple is an official who buys provisions for a college, monastery, or other institution, and in this case for the temple the lawyers stay in. The character himself is a somewhat shady kind of man who is not very smart or educated. But for some odd reason, in business, the unlearned Manciple always comes out financially ahead of the learned lawyers he works with.

Short Quotes

1. "That he was aye before and in good state." (Chaucer, In. 572) Translated, this basically means he is always ahead financially of those he works with.

2. "That such a lewed manne's wit shall pass... The wisdom of a heap of learned men?" (Chaucer, In. 574-575) Translated, this describes the Manciple as too uneducated to be accumulating more riches than those who are wise and educated.

Modern Comparison

Stock Brokers:
Stock markets are infamously known to rope people into investing in businesses, and whether that certain business does good or bad, you can gain or lose money as a result. This is similar to the Manciple's business, as he invests in businesses or industries but rigs the investments and steals money from those he works with. Stock brokers can sometimes rig deals and swindle money out of their customers like the Manciple.
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Personality and Characteristics

patient, intelligent, and mystical. Very versatile and smart. Humble, yet a doctor cant deny his entitled gold

Social Position and Status

Able to hold a relationship with patients. Has treated many medieval authorities and knights.

Job: doctor of physics and astrology, educated in many different ways

Values: Nourishment and cleanliness, likes to keep "trophies" of past patients and miscellaneous items, and he is fond of gold

Chaucer's Opinion

Holds a very high opinion of doctors, values their "white magic" and their ability to treat patients in a large variety of ways.
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Modern Comparison

A modern comparison to the doctor is Derreck Sheppard from Grey's Anatomy because he is a doctor as well who is very compassionate and devoted to his job. He puts his job before himself and wants to help and cure every one of the patients he has.


The doctor is very nice, well educated, and wealthy whereas the manciple is seedy, mischievous, and unlearned. Riding next to each other, small talk would probably turn into talk of money and business by the manciple, and after learning that the doctor is wealthy and rich in business the manciple might try and find a way to merge their two jobs together to gain from the riches of the doctor. The manciple is always looking for ways to leach off others since he is not educated on his own and without his job, he wouldn't be as wealthy as he is today. He is always obsessed and focused on money. The doctor, on the other hand, is trained in interpreting people and always finding the problems inside be it medical or emotional. The doctor might sense who the manciple truly is and play along without revealing the fact he knows what game the manciple is playing.

Short Quotes

1." With us there was a doctor of physic . In all this world ne was there none him like to speak of physic and of surgery. (Chaucer In. 411-413) Translated this means that he was a doctor that was one of a kind and he was very smart and that you couldn't get any better than him.

2. " He was a perfect practiser." ( Chaucer In. 422) Translated this means he was very precise and he was the best you could get to treat you.