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Character Anlysis of The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer

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“The Canterbury Tales” Character Analysis Essay

Considered to be one of the most interesting and famous writings of literary work, “The Canterbury Tales,” by Geoffrey Chaucer deals with five different social groups. Each social group consists of characters that can be considered ideal and realistic and characters that can be considered the complete opposite of that. Chaucer’s incredible analysis of each character’s personality allows the reader to determine whether a character is convincing or questionable. Based on Chaucer’s analysis of each character, the most ideal characters in, The Canterbury Tales are the Knight from the ruling class, the Oxford Cleric from the middle class, and the Plowman from the peasant class; however, each social group also has a character who falls short of the ideal as established by the model character in each group for example, the squire in the ruling class, the Doctor in the middle class, and the Skipper in the peasant class.
One of the most ideal characters in the ruling class is considered to be the Knight. The Knight’s character is summed up by the narrator when he remarks that, “ A Knight there was, /That from the time that he first began,/To ride out, he loved chivalry,/Truth and honor, freedom and courtesy.” The Knight was a gentleman who was fond of the truth and preached freedom and equality. The Knight is embarking on the pilgrimage to go and thank the saints for preserving his life through his battles because he battled over 15 battles in the Crusades and was victorious in all of them. The kind and genuine personality of the Knight made him one of the most respectable characters of the story. However, the Knight’s son, the Squire, was quite the opposite of his father. He does not pos...

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...ad temper. The Skipper is definitely a character who falls short of the ideal characteristics of a character such as the Plowman who is very calm and kind.

The plot development in “The Canterbury Tales,” is based upon the development of the characters and the definition of ideal characters as opposed to characters who fall short of being an ideal character. Chaucer carefully gives each character certain aspects a character from a certain social group should have but he also adds unique personality traits to each character that helps develop each of the characters’ tales. Each character’s tale reciprocates the personality traits displayed by them. Geoffrey Chaucer does an excellent job when distinguishing characters in this novel and that allows the reader to automatically decide which characters can be considered true and ideal, as opposed to fake and exaggerated.
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