The Canterbury Tales by Chaucer
Explore the use Chaucer makes of parody by referring to at least two tales.
Chaucer’s book “The Canterbury Tales” presents a frame story written at the end of the 14th century that is set through a group of pilgrims participation in a story-telling contest that they make up to entertain each other while they travel to the shrine of Saint Thomas Becket at Canterbury Cathedral. Because of this, some of the tales become particularly attractive for they are written within a frame of parody which, as a style that mocks genre, is usually achieved by the deliberate exaggeration of some aspects of it for comic effect. In fact, as a branch of satire mimicry, its purpose may be corrective as well as derisive. (Penguin Dictionary of Literary Terms) Chaucer, therefore, uses parody to highlight – satirize - some aspects of the medieval society that should be re-evaluated. He uses the tales and the behaviours of its characters to paint an ironic and critical portrait of the English society at that time, therefore the tales turn satirical, elevated, ironic, earthy, bawdy, and comical. When analysing the Knight’s and the Miller’s Tale, one can realise how Chaucer mocks the courtly love convention, and other social codes of behaviours typical of the medieval time.
The Knight’s Tale, for example, uses the concept of a knight not only to parody the concept of the hero, but also to question the well-established courtly love convention. This concept refers to a set of ideas about love that was enormously influential on the literature and culture of the medieval times for it gave men the chance to feel freely; and women, the opportunity to be an important element in the story – not only decora...
... middle of paper ...
...gerated stories, so Chaucer the author, can use this parodies to satirize medieval society in an innocent but genius way “Be then advised, and hold me free from blame; / Men should not be too serious at a game.” (The Miller’s Tale Prologue). It is through of the eyes of Chaucer the pilgrim, and through his tendency to use propensity long words, double banked adjectives, long, complicated sentences and paragraphs, attractive mannerisms of expression that there parodist features can be identified and then exploit. Chaucer the poet, is therefore a man who takes it upon himself to correct censure and ridicule the follies and vices of society and thus to bring contempt and mockery upon aberrations from a desirable and civilized norm. Thus Chaucer parodies actually convey a protest, a sublimation and refinement of anger and indignation – a satire – of the medieval times.
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- Essay on the middle ages The Canterbury Tales by Chaucer Explore the use Chaucer makes of parody by referring to at least two tales. Chaucer’s book “The Canterbury Tales” presents a frame story written at the end of the 14th century that is set through a group of pilgrims participation in a story-telling contest that they make up to entertain each other while they travel to the shrine of Saint Thomas Becket at Canterbury Cathedral. Because of this, some of the tales become particularly attractive for they are written within a frame of parody which, as a style that mocks genre, is usually achieved by the deliberate exaggeration of some aspects of it for comic effect.... [tags: Geoffrey Chaucer and parody]
963 words (2.8 pages)
- The Canterbury Tales serves as a moral manual in the Middle Ages. In the tales, Geoffrey Chaucer portrays the problems of the society. For instance, Chaucer uses the monk and the friar in comparison to the parson to show what the ecclesiastical class are doing versus what they are supposed to be doing. In other words, it is to make people be aware of these problems. It can be inferred that the author’s main goal is for this literary work to serve as a message to the people along with changing the society in relation to these problems.... [tags: Middle Ages, Women, Feminisim, Analysis]
1371 words (3.9 pages)
- There once was a group of people, high and low, rich and poor, educated and ignorant, religious and fool, who suddenly found themselves thrown together in most charming disarray upon the Road to Canterbury. Geoffrey Chaucer was a famously political scholar of his time and an impetuous writer from the medieval period of English literature. His many works, which includes an extensive poetic narrative titled The Canterbury Tales, were widely popular during his time and have remained so ever since. The Canterbury Tales, a group of tales packed within a framing narrative, are widely studied and adapted today reinforcing Chaucer’s enduring talent to produce written works which so enduringly grasp... [tags: Fabliau, Middle Ages]
3017 words (8.6 pages)
- The Tall Tales of, Canterbury Why are the Canterbury Tales so important. The Canterbury Tales were different forms of literary works written by Geoffrey Chaucer. In Chaucers The Canterbury Tales he uses personal experiences, observations of London, and unique style to create his Middle Age Tales. He was, not only a talented writer, but also had a very interesting life outside of his works. All of his works differentiate from medieval romance to the practiced of chivalry and courtly love. They prevail different themes, characters, and personalities.... [tags: The Canterbury Tales, Geoffrey Chaucer]
2013 words (5.8 pages)
- The Canterbury Tales, written by the English poet Geoffrey Chaucer, is a poem comprised of a collection of stories, which skilfully critique major aspects and attitudes of European society during the Middle Ages. Although truly horrific and atrocious, the rape of women was a prevalent occurrence within Middle Aged society. In The Wife of Bath’s Tale, Chaucer tells the story of a lustful knight who came across a young woman and “spite of all she said / By very force he took her maidenhead (Chaucer, 282).” In the tale, it is clear that Chaucer recognizes rape as a violent crime that should “[condemn] the knight to lose his head (Chaucer, 282).” At the end of this tale, however, Chaucer grants... [tags: Woman, Gender, Middle Ages, Female]
965 words (2.8 pages)
- The Prologue of the Canterbury Tales was written in Middle English (closely related to Modern-Day English but derived from the Middle Ages). The Canterbury Tales is a collection of over 20 stories by Geoffrey Chaucer in the 14th century. The stories were designed for pilgrims to relay on the long pilgrimage from Southwark to Canterbury Cathedral at the shrine of the late Saint Thomas Becket. Chaucer tells us about a group of guild members that he sees on the way to Canterbury in the Prologue of the Canterbury Tales.... [tags: The Canterbury Tales, Geoffrey Chaucer]
1737 words (5 pages)
- 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.... [tags: The Canterbury Tales Essays]
1322 words (3.8 pages)
- Ways in which “The Canterbury Tales” were reflective of everyday life during the Middle Ages The Middle Ages began with the collapse of the Western Roman Empire and merged into what is known as the Renascence Era and the Age of Discovery. It encompasses the 5th to the 15th century, in the area that is modern day Europe. Author Geoffrey Chaucer, chose to explore the social structure/ classes of these times in an effort to share his observations and thoughts. Using vivid imagery, exaggerated characters, and everyday settings, Geoffrey Chaucer used “The Canterbury Tales” to depict real world parallels of the social changes that were happening in the Middle Ages in England.... [tags: Geoffrey Chaucer, The Canterbury Tales]
1885 words (5.4 pages)
- The Canterbury Tales is a set of stories written by Geoffrey Chaucer in the fourteenth century. The stories were told by a group of pilgrims traveling to Canterbury Cathedral, in hopes to see a shrine of Saint Thomas Becket. To make time go by the host recommended each pilgrim tell a tale. The tale that each character gives, reveals that person’s background and life. Some pilgrims matched their stereotype of that time but most do not. The Prioress, Madame Eglentyne, and Wife of Bath, Allison, are two characters that do not fit their stereotype of the Middle Ages.... [tags: The Canterbury Tales Essays]
1118 words (3.2 pages)
- The Canterbury Tales and Enrique Iglesias In Chaucer's epic poem, The Canterbury Tales, you get a real taste of different kinds of people of the Middle Ages. The Canterbury Tales are stories told by different characters to pass the time on the way to their destination. The character of the Squire, who is approximately twenty years old, and the son of a knight, is of average height, strong, agile, can read and write, and likes to impress the ladies by singing and dancing. Enrique Iglesias, a Latin Pop star, is much like the Squire in numerous ways.... [tags: Canterbury Tales Essays]
581 words (1.7 pages)