Mini Middle English Tutorial

...for absolute beginners!

In this second section of the Mini Middle English Tutorial, you will hear audio clips of lines 19 thru 34 of The General Prologue (Introduction) to “The Canterbury Tales.”

Click for menu menu icon

You will note the “menu” icon-bars symbol directly above, that will be found on each page of this tutorial. If you click on the icon-bars symbol above, a menu will open, and you can then click on any of the 8 buttons for “Lines 19-20” thru “Lines 33-34” ... that will lead to web pages showcasing the 8-pairs of rhyming lines that comprise lines 19 thru 34 of The General Prologue.

[Print readers will have to go to this tutorial's website address:,

to access these navigation links. The blue/purple, underlined reference-links on this page are listed on the second page of this printout.]

Each line of The General Prologue will be presented in three formats, one under the other, on each of the linked-to pages. The first format-line will be in the prologue’s Middle English spelling. The second format-line will act as a Pronunciation Guide to help you to sort out the syllabication of the first format-line. The third format-line will give you a rough Modern English translation of the first Middle English format-line spelling.

Additional information about each pair of rhyming lines (as well as a Pronunciation Guide at the top of each page) will aid you in familiarizing yourself with the unfamiliar-sounding words that comprise the Middle English language.

The voice you will hear reading lines 19 thru 34 of The General Prologue will be that of Colonel S. Alan Baragona, retired Professor of English at the Virginia Military Institute.

Most of the information contained in this tutorial was gleaned from the Harvard College Geoffrey Chaucer website, maintained by author Larry D. Benson.

Note: Editing, enhancement, and file-conversion of the audio clips for lines 19 thru 34 of the The General Prologue was accomplished using the free, open source Audacity sound editor and recorder.

A special thanks to Dr. Thomas Hanks, Jr., Professor of English at Baylor University in Waco, Texas, for metrical marking guidance with lines 19-34.