Essay about Analysis of The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer

Essay about Analysis of The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer

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The Canterbury Tales is more than an amusing assortment of stories; it is an illustration of the society in which Geoffrey Chaucer lived. It portrays the culture and class system of the medieval ages in microcosm. Every strata of human life at the time were represented by the many characters whose tales are told. Each character’s basic human nature also plays a role in their stories, and each one has within them the strengths and weaknesses that make up all of humanity. Each character exemplifies their life and reputation through the stories they tell. The Pardoner uses his tale as a ploy to garner money. His tale embodies each deadly sin, and every reader can relate to his story and feel the guilt of his characters. The Wife of Bath’s tale expresses her own ideals in the way her character is given a second chance after committing a crime. The Franklin’s tale, because of its straightforwardness and honesty is a direct representation of the Franklin’s simple and joyful life. Each character tells a tale that is a suitable match to their personality. These characters’ tales represent prevalent themes of the middle ages, including greed, corruption of religious clergymen, violence, revenge, and social status. In Chaucer’s society, the traditional feudal system was losing its importance and the middle class began to emerge. The middle class characters within the Canterbury Tales, with their personal lives and interactions with members of differing social classes, gave an understanding of the growth of society, especially the rising middle class, during medieval times.
The Canterbury Tales examines many important qualities of human nature. Chaucer purposely mocks the faults in his characters, and shows the hypocrisy and deceitfulness ...


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... Therefore, the traditional feudal system fell apart, and the middle class began to grow. The middle class tend to question the beliefs of moral standards and religion in their lives. Chaucer has members of the middle class as being a third of the total amount of pilgrims. The rise of the middle class and the decline of the nobility were illustrated by the numbers in the pilgrimage. Although in Chaucer’s society, the middle class was not a third of the population, he felt it was important to make them a large part of his story, due to their rising importance. The Knight is symbolic of those who belong in the highest social class, or the nobility. His peacemaking, gentle behavior is meant to contrast the lower social class, or the Miller and Reeve characters. The Knight is one of the only characters who has a noble position, and he keeps to the old ideals of chivalry.

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