The Monk's Tale is a collection of what he calls 'tragedies'. He starts with the fall of Adam and that of Lucifer. Then he tells the story of Samson and Delilah, which is followed by Hercules and the poisoned shirt made by Deianira. Next we hear of Nebuchadnezzar and Balthasar. The seventh story is about Zenobia and Prince Idenathus. Next the monk tells briefly about King Peter of Spain, King Peter of Cyprus, Bernabo of Lombardy, Count Ugolino of Pisa. Then he tells in greater detail the lives of Nero, Holofernes, Antiochus, Alexander, Julius Cesar and Croesus, the King of Lydia.

At that point the Knight interrupts the monk saying that these tales of woe are too much to bear. The Host agrees asking the monk to tell a merry tale, but the monk refuses to do so.

The Monk's Tale