Preview
Preview

Essay about The Characters in The Canterbury Tales

:: 5 Works Cited
Length: 4004 words (11.4 double-spaced pages)
Rating: Blue      
Open Document
Need writing help? Check your paper »



- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

The Purpose of the  Characters in The Canterbury Tales

 
       The characters introduced in the General Prologue of The Canterbury Tales each represent a stereotype of a kind of person that Chaucer would have been familiar with in 14th Century England. Each character is unique, yet embodies many physical and behavioral traits that would have been common for someone in their profession. In preparing the reader for the tales, Chaucer first sets the mood by providing an overall idea of the type of character who is telling the tale, then allows that character to introduce themselves through a personal prologue and finally, the pilgrim tells their tale. Through providing the reader with insight about the physical and personal traits of the pilgrim and then allowing that person to come to life and tell an animated story, the reader is more prepared for the story as well as able to relate the physical description to the telling of the story. The physical and personal descriptions of the Miller, the Wife of Bath and the Merchant all aid in the telling of their tales. Chaucer was able to create tales that were perfectly suited for the characters that are presenting them. In having each tale told by someone who has a personal reason or motivation for telling that specific tale, Chaucer creates more of a reaction from the reader as well as provides the entire work with structure.

 

The Miller is large and imposing person who personifies a crooked, but likeable businessman. In "The General Prologue," Chaucer describes the Miller as having a "thombe of gold, (563)" which the footnote on page 32 of The Riverside Chaucer notes, "is an ironic reference to a proverb, with the implication that there are no honest millers." The descr...


... middle of paper ...


...er and equally entertaining story.

 

Works Cited

Chaucer, Geoffrey. The Canterbury Tales: Riverside Chaucer Third Edition. Ed. Larry D. Benson. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company,1987. 3-328 Secondary

Arrathoon, Leigh A. "For craft is al, whoso that do it kan: The Genre of the Merchant's Tale," Chaucer and the Craft of Fiction. Ed. Leigh A. Arrathoon, Rochester, Michigan: Solaris Press, Inc. 1986. 241-318

Beidler, Peter G. "Chaucer's Wife of Bath's 'Foot-Mantel' and Her 'Hipes Large'" Chaucer Review Vol: 34, Issue: 4. April 01, 2000. 388-397

Taavitsainen, Irma. "Personality and styles of Affect in the Canterbury Tales" Chaucer in Perspective. Ed. Geoffrey Lester.Midsomer North, Bath: Sheffield Academic Press Ltd. 1999. 218-232

White, Annie "Feminism or Anti-Feminism: Images of Women in Chaucer's 'The Wife of Bath,'" 20 Jan. 2001.

 


Click the button above to view the complete essay, speech, term paper, or research paper

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »







This essay is 100% guaranteed.


Title Length Color Rating  
Essay about The Characters in The Canterbury Tales - The Purpose of the  Characters in The Canterbury Tales          The characters introduced in the General Prologue of The Canterbury Tales each represent a stereotype of a kind of person that Chaucer would have been familiar with in 14th Century England. Each character is unique, yet embodies many physical and behavioral traits that would have been common for someone in their profession. In preparing the reader for the tales, Chaucer first sets the mood by providing an overall idea of the type of character who is telling the tale, then allows that character to introduce themselves through a personal prologue and finally, the pilgrim tells their tale....   [tags: Canterbury Tales Essays]
:: 5 Works Cited
4004 words
(11.4 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
Naughty Characters in The Canterbury Tales, by Geoffrey Chaucer Essay - The moral compass of mankind has always piqued the interest of authors. The Middle Ages was a time of immoral behavior, corrupt religious officials, and disregard of marital vows. Geoffrey Chaucer used The Canterbury Tales to explore his personal views of this dark time. In particular, he crafted “The Wife of Bath’s Tale,” “The Prioress’s Tale,” and “The Shipman’s Tale” to portray the tainted society, using women in all of them to bring forth his views. In The Canterbury Tales, Chaucer depicts women as immodest and conniving beings to suggest the moral corruption of the Middle Ages....   [tags: The Canterbury Tales Essays]
:: 9 Works Cited
1306 words
(3.7 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Religious Characters in The Canterbury Tales by Chaucer Essay - Religious Characters in The Canterbury Tales by Chaucer *Works Cited Not Included When thinking of the figures in the church, they are thought to be loyal, respectful, giving, and dedicated. Sadly to say this, but not all figures follow that description. In "The Canterbury Tales", Chaucer shows the corruption of the church in the medieval period through some of his characters, particularly through the Nun, the Monk, and the Friar. Yet, Chaucer does show one character, the Parson, as goodness and holiness in the church....   [tags: Papers] 599 words
(1.7 pages)
Better Essays [preview]
Characters in the General Prologue to "The Canterbury Tales" Essay - The Canterbury Tales are essentially a Chaucerian satire; the author sets out to deliberately upset the social order present at the time and proceeds to mock the faults innate in the characters. Chaucer gives a compressed view of characters such as the Knight and the Monk; in their descriptions, a preview of the kind of stories we can expect from these people is given. Take for example the Miller; his physical description alleviates him as a thick brute with a filthy mouth that was `moost of sin and harlotries', sufficed to say that his tale is one of adultery and sinful behaviour....   [tags: European Literature] 1231 words
(3.5 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
My favourite and least favourite characters from The Canterbury Tales Essay - My favourite and least favourite characters from The Canterbury Tales My favourite character from Chaucer's Canterbury Tales is the Reeve. The Reeve comes across as a 'shady' or 'dark' character who's intentions are not fully recognised even when his prologue is finished. We don't get too much about his background but a lot on his appearance and the way he works. We already know that he is the farm bailiff. His appearance already gave a gripping edge to his personality, "His berd was shave as ny as ever he kan; "His beard was shaved as close as could His heer was by his eris ful round shorn; His hair was cut round his ears His top was dokked lyk a preest biforn....   [tags: English Literature] 1279 words
(3.7 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Geoffrey Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales Essay - Geoffrey Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales is a collection of several tales that are all told by different characters and all convey different messages. The story presented in the general prologue is that a group of pilgrims is traveling to the shrine of St. Thomas Becket, and during their journey they take turns telling tales and talking about themselves. Chaucer uses the pilgrims to express his beliefs, about religion, marriage, social class, and many other topics. One of the pilgrims is the Manciple, who is a commoner and has the job of providing supplies for an institution and in this case, he is the caterer for a group of lawyers....   [tags: Literary Analysis, Tales, Characters]
:: 4 Works Cited
1014 words
(2.9 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Beowulf vs. The Canterbury Tales Essay - For centuries, children stories have been a valuable tool in teaching lessons and morals. Like most stories that one was read as a child, there lies a life lesson that the author is trying to portray. Whether it was told orally like the story Beowulf or written by an author like Chaucer who wrote The Canterbury Tales, there are life lessons that are being taught through the characters and their challenges that they endure. The main character and hero in the story Beowulf, Beowulf shows many heroic traits that German culture valued at that time....   [tags: lesson, life, characters, challenges, values] 532 words
(1.5 pages)
Good Essays [preview]
Hypocritical Tendencies in Chaucer's Canterbury Tales Essay - ... He uses lies and flattery to take advantage of people, often by selling them fake holy relics: “And with these relics, any time he found some poor up-country parson to astound, on one short day, in money down, he drew more than the parson in a month or two, and by his flatteries and prevarication made monkeys out of the priest and congregation” (115, 721-726). The Pardoner also shows his hypocrisy when he sings the offering. Being only concerned with the money, The Pardoner knows that people will donate more if he sings the offering....   [tags: characters, corrupt, wealth]
:: 1 Works Cited
621 words
(1.8 pages)
Better Essays [preview]
Essay about Greed and Corruption in The Canterbury Tales - Greed and Corruption in The Canterbury Tales Many of the religious characters in The Canterbury Tales represent character traits that are different from what is traditionally expected of them. This is because the Catholic Church, which ruled all of England, Ireland and most of Europe in the Fourteenth Century, was extremely wealthy. Extravagant cathedrals were built in every big city while the people suffered from poverty, disease and famine. The contrast between the wealth of the church and misery of the people was overwhelming....   [tags: The Canterbury Tales] 365 words
(1 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Essay about The Pardoner of The Canterbury Tales - The Pardoner of The Canterbury Tales How can a man exact vengeance on God if there is nothing a mortal can do to hurt Him. The Pardoner was born sterile, which resulted in abnormal physical development. He blames God for his deformities and attempts to attack God by attacking the link between God and mankind – the Church. In The Canterbury Tales, Chaucer indirectly depicts the characters through the stories they tell. The tale is a window upon the person that tells it. However, the Pardoner’s tale seems to contradict this situation....   [tags: The Canterbury Tales] 696 words
(2 pages)
Better Essays [preview]