While attention to the Knight's Yeoman in Chaucer's General Prologue typically focuses on his weapons, fundamental misunderstandings regarding those weapons persist in the critical commentary. The character's peacock-fletched arrows are perhaps the most frequently misinterpreted component of his arms. This article contextualizes the peacock fletching of the Yeoman's arrows by explicating birdwing anatomy, the appearance of various peacock feathers, medieval fletching practices, and historical references to peacock-fletched arrows. Rather than being ostentatious, peacock fletching was mundane—unless enhanced by decorative embellishments. Based on reported uses of peacock-fletched arrows, it appears likely that esteem for such arrows was based more on performance than appearance, and a subsequent analysis of how the Yeoman's fletching is likely trimmed supports the tactical utility of his arrows. In this light, the Yeoman's “pecok arwes” suggest that he is a consummate bowman and a lethally effective companion to the Knight.

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