Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer

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As we go through life each of us have been hurt by the sarcastic comments of others. The words a person speaks to us become very important and the true massage they contain is what we being to analyze. Similar to sarcasm being used in speech, satire has been used by authors for centuries to carry an underlying message in the works they produce. Satire is defined as “the use of irony, sarcasm, ridicule, or the like, in exposing, denouncing, or deriding vice, folly, etc.” and is often used to disguise a real message. One shining example of satire in literature is Geoffrey Chaucer in his Canterbury Tales the General Prologue, The Pardoner’s Prologue and Tale, and The Wife of Bath’s Prologue and Tale. Chaucer uses his satire to call attention to the issues he sees in their society and the audience he chiefly addresses are those who are being fooled by their firm belief in the church and others with hypocritical intentions. In The General Prologue uses satire to describe the characters he will introduce, The Pardoner’s Prologue and Tale is his attack on the catholic church, and The Wife of Bath’s Prologue and Tale is his attack on the social pyramid especially where women are concerned. Each prologue or tale, Chaucer had cleverly designed with the use of satire to describe and ridicule issues he sees inside his own society.
Chaucer begins his Canterbury Tales with the General Prologue in which he will describe the individuals the narrator is on the pilgrimage with which will be the foundation of his satiric approach as well as warning to the more simple people at that time. Chaucer is using satire to defend or to warn the people of his time against the wrongs of the church and others, he hopes this audience understands his meaning ...

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...used to satire that is present in his work because he needed those in his audience, those he wished to inform, to understand the wrongs of those they so blindly respected.

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