Chaucer 's The Canterbury Tales Essay

Chaucer 's The Canterbury Tales Essay

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When it comes to The Canterbury Tales, nothing is safe from scrutiny. When the idea of doing a pedagogical project was introduced for this class, my mind immediately began buzzing with ideas of what I should do. One day I hope to have a class of my own, so being able to approach an assignment in a pedagogical way is something I’ve looked forward to for a while. Though we’ve read many great stories in this class, The Canterbury Tales is one that’s become quite a favorite of mine. Since this story covers many different themes and storylines, I decided to focus on Chaucer’s satirical outlook on the class system and his portrayal of the pilgrims’ portraits. The ideal class that I would be teaching this to would be a junior or senior level high school English course. I will also use a more modern interpretation of Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales so that it’s easier for my student’s to read.
When teaching literature from the medieval period, problems definitely arise. In today’s day and age it seems that less and less of a focus is being placed on literature in the school system. A woman by the name of Donna Dermond also agrees, stating that there are a number of interrelated reasons that account for its gradual demise which are, “the absence of a standard, national curriculum, choices about curriculum which are often based on the ethnic and makeup of individual classrooms, a diminishing number of teachers who have a passion for teaching Chaucer, and American high school students’ limited knowledge of and interest in the history and literature of the middle ages.” With such a negative connotation applied to teaching early English literature, how do students even stand a chance in learning and enjoying Chaucer? So it’s very clear that t...


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... are translated into movies incorrectly, “the book was great for a reason and there’s a reason why it’s being made into a movie, so why dramatically change everything?” While I understand this project isn’t about the debate between books vs. movies, the concept of my motto can still apply here. “The Canterbury Tales was great for a reason and there’s a reason why it’s still being referenced today, so why isn’t it emphasized more in education? If the Canterbury Tales has survived this long, 540 years to be exact, then there’s obviously something incredible about it. People still wouldn’t be discussing it today if it didn’t hold some metaphorical value. So all in all, early English literature is incredible and shaming it from our school system would not only be a disgrace, but it would mean that someone doesn’t get to appreciate the beauty that is The Canterbury Tales.

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