Chaucer 's The Canterbury Tales Essay

Chaucer 's The Canterbury Tales Essay

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In Geoffrey Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales, there are several stories told through pilgrims traveling to a shrine. Through his humorous telling of these tales, Chaucer attempts to comment on many issues that were prevalent during his life, especially religious officials’ corruption. Chaucer also presents what may seem shocking narratives of characters about their lives and the stories they will tell. In “The Wife of Bath’s Prologue” Chaucer presents an early feminist model in the title character who rebukes the religious men who condemn her for her numerous husbands. Chaucer also presents a character in the pardoner, who is well aware of his corruption as a religious official and even explains to the group how he cons people to give him money. The only pilgrim who will be examined in this essay who does not have a prologue is the knight, who seems to be a good, and noble man even though Chaucer continually portrays knights as petty, corrupt, and evil men throughout the stories. Overall, Chaucer presents a work that is littered with social and political commentary in one of the few works of the time that was able to be read by the public because of his use of the English language. Chaucer uses the tales to expose flaws within the courts of the world and to allow the lower classes to enjoy the works.
Chaucer’s use of thinly veiled sexual jokes and crude humor may be one the reasons that his works were so popular not only in his time but still is. Chaucer has created a story in The Canterbury Tales that has been enjoyed by millions of people over the centuries and will probably remain in the literary cannon for years and years to come.
Chaucer grew up in a fairly wealthy family for the time period and served under the nobility in h...


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...e period or the feelings of the author. The fact that this work was written in the form of a poem is significant to understanding Chaucer’s intentions and feelings about his work. The use of English to write the story is also important as it was one of the first literary works to be written in English. The structure of the lines in the poem are also important and Chaucer even utilized several palindromes in The Canterbury Tales.
This work is one of the few celebrated works from the time period and was revolutionary in its portrayal of the nobility and church. Chaucer’s work allows us an insight into the world of his time and gives the reader a delightful trip through the end of the medieval period. The stories told in The Canterbury Tales are often humorous and is a wonderful way to get younger students interested in older literature that they may view as “stuffy”.

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