Insight And Power In Geoffrey Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales

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Geoffrey Chaucer’s deep poetic sensibility, combined with his strong understanding of human nature, gave him the ability to observe surrounding life with a creative insight and power. In his anthology, The Canterbury Tales, Chaucer exhibits many of his great attentions to people while walking through the English countryside. Some of these characters include the Clerk, the Sergeant of the Lawe, and the Wife of Bath. Geoffrey Chaucer’s careful and astute observations of people in The Canterbury Tales indicate that he is an accurate and insightful onlooker. In The Canterbury Tales, Chaucer overall discusses facets of the Clerk, such as his being quiet, intelligent, and penniless. In line 289 of the anthology, Chaucer writes, “As lene was his hors as is a rake...” Chaucer’s observing of the thinness of the horse reveals that the Clerk does not spend a lot of money on his animal. The Clerk…show more content…
The Wife of Bath is known as one of the world’s first feminists. Her ability to use her femininity to take advantage of men is acknowledged by many who read Chaucer’s anthology. He writes in line 470 of the anthology, “Gat-toothed was she, soothly for to saye...” By saying this, Chaucer is indicating that the Wife of Bath can appear very loving to men. By her having a gap between her teeth, she is showing a sign of amorousness. Chaucer is furthering this sign into translating that the Wife of Bath is considered attractive by a variety of men. In lines 477 to 478, Geoffrey Chaucer writes, “Of remedies of love she knew parchaunce, for she coude of that art the olde daunce.” Most men may not have realized, but the Wife of Bath knew how to charm just about any man. She had been with so many men that nothing is new to her. This leads one to believe she is very knowledgable and cunning, not just a woman in need of a man’s fortune. It takes an astute observer, like Chaucer, to understand
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