Essay Chaucer's Caterbury Tales

Essay Chaucer's Caterbury Tales

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Chaucer is a medieval author best known for his witty Canterbury Tales. He “was born between 1340 and 1345, probably in London. His father was a prosperous wine merchant” (BBC). Drawing inspiration from what he had experienced in his lifetime, Chaucer wrote his problems about his society with a series of short stories, names the Canterbury Tales. These tales are abnormal, due to being written in English, instead of Latin, like most stories of that period. Also, there is lots of examples of satire within the text. Within the General Prologue, Pardoner’s Prologue, and Wife of Bath’s Prologue, Chaucer uses both types of satire to reach his intended audience, which is the common public.

In the General Prologue, Chaucer uses lots of Horatian satire, which is “A gentle, sympathetic form of satire in which the subject is mildly made fun of with a show of engaging wit.” (Satire Character).For example, the narrator tells how the Prioress “. ..was indeed by no means undergrown”. However, he also uses Juvenalian satire, which “in literature, any bitter and ironic criticism of contemporary persons and institutions that is filled with personal invective, angry moral indignation, and pessimism” (Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc.). In other words, its when someone says “Dude, did he really just call out…” and another person says “Yup, he just did.” An example of this is the Monk. The Monk is a well-respected character within his town “He was a fat and personable priest”, and even though he is supposed to be practicing celibacy, the narrator tells us that one of the Monk’s favorite pastimes is to get down and dirty! Chaucer calls out the Church right here, ticking off a lot of people.

In the Pardoner’s Prologue, there is lots more Juvenalian satire...


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Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., ed. "Juvenalian Satire (literature)."

Juvenalian Satire (literature). Ed. Encyl. Encyclopædia Britannica,

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topic/308986/Juvenalian-satire>.

Feminist Analysis of the Prologue for the Wife of Bath (Canterbury Tales).

ArticleMyraid, 6 Dec. 2011. Web. 24 Nov. 2013.

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Learningtogether2012. "The General Prologue of the Canterbury Tales." The

General Prologue of the Canterbury Tales. N.p., 26 Jan. 2012. Web. 24 Nov.

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"Satire Character." Characterists of Satire. N.p., 2013. Web. 24 Nov. 2013.

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