And prively a fynch eek koude he pulle.

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

Meaning

Chaucer uses assonance of the long “e” sound, such as the word “cheese”, throughout this line. Contextually, Chaucer is characterizing the summoner by his grotesque nature. This line specifically tells the reader that the summoner seduces girls—he make them make sounds like a finch. The assonance of the long e sound mimics the sound of a girl’s scream. Unlike many of the characters who have a grotesque nature, but are hiding a positive trait underneath, the summoner is grotesque and disturbing inside and out. Chaucer makes this clear in this line through context and assonance.

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