As wel

from Geoffrey Chaucer – The Canterbury Tales (General Prologue) on Rap Genius


“Wel” can be read here as an adverb (“also”), or an adjective (“worthy”; “blessed”). Chaucer was fond of layering meanings in his poetry, so the word might well serve both functions.

The word also has a noun form: the state of virtue, and “appropriate use of sight (speech, locomotion, etc)”. Though the noun form is clearly not in use here, it’s important to keep these connotations in mind, as Chaucer is trying to convince us of this knight’s chivalrousness.

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