Chaucer Tales: The General Prologue

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In “The General Prologue”, Chaucer's portrait of the pilgrim Friar satirizes the estates through his seduction of women, his misuse of begging, and his disassociation with the class he should be living among. The ironic descriptions and estates satire of the Friar portray how corrupt the Catholic Church was at this time. The pilgrim Friar is in the class of the clergy, but acts as if he is of a higher class. He does not act as how a Friar should be; he is not who he should be. Any other friar is a man of God, they represent God and God's actions. The Friar is the complete opposite of this, so arise the irony. The Friar is more interested in woman than helping the poor. He uses his ability of begging and doing confessions to fund his needs and desires; money that should be going towards helping the poor. The Friar simply does not want to be who he should be, so explaining his disassociation from the class he should be a part of, the class he should be helping.

The Friar's occupation required him to help the peasants and overall the less fortunate. He is a man of God, his only necessities should consist of helping others. Chaucer shows the reader that helping people was the last thing on the Friar's mind, “So muchel of daliaunce and fair langage. He hadde maad ful many a mariage of yonge wommen at his owene cost” (Chaucer 211-213). The Friar was more focused on winning the hearts of women rather than doing his job. He seduced women, something that is not familiar with occupation of a Friar. He is by no means religious or holy, he is more of the opposite of who he should be. Again it is explained that the Friar has a way with words, “Ful wel biloved and famulier was he, and eek with worthy wommen of the toun” (Chaucer 215-217). H...

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...lain it to the rest of society. He the man of God, and his occupation requires him to help to poor. The irony with all that being said is that the Friar in Chaucer's “The General Prologue”, is everything he should not be. The Friar is more content on winning the hearts of every woman he finds attractive. Helping the poor is the last thing that comes to his mind, but the first thing that does come to mind is satisfying his own selfish needs. He uses his begging benefits, and wealth from doing confessions to buy expensive things for himself and the women he attempts to impress. The Friar believes that he is above the class he belongs to, so he robs and deprives them of their chance to survive, in order to be someone who he is not. The Friar is meant to guide the people that look to him for help, instead he robs them of their dignity when they have their backs turned.
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