Reflection Of Everyday Life In Geoffrey Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales

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Ways in which “The Canterbury Tales” were reflective of everyday life during the Middle Ages The Middle Ages began with the collapse of the Western Roman Empire and merged into what is known as the Renascence Era and the Age of Discovery. It encompasses the 5th to the 15th century, in the area that is modern day Europe. Author Geoffrey Chaucer, chose to explore the social structure/ classes of these times in an effort to share his observations and thoughts. Using vivid imagery, exaggerated characters, and everyday settings, Geoffrey Chaucer used “The Canterbury Tales” to depict real world parallels of the social changes that were happening in the Middle Ages in England. Common everyday tasks were sometimes difficult in the middle…show more content…
Often cynical Chaucer often criticized the church establishment. “There were some 8500 parishes in England in Chaucer’s Day” (Sigman, McLean 11). Socially, church leaders were at a higher level than the level of common people. Massive Cathedrals were being constructed and much money was being used for lavish lifestyles for church leaders. The Pardoner’s Tale invites the readers to look into a world where a pardon for sins or transgressions is available for a price. These ‘charitable donations’ were intended for the church and to be used in the community, but the reader is left to draw their own conclusions, given the questionable character of The…show more content…
Religion, as mentioned in the Pardoner’s tale is one of the many themes he explores. Religion was a cornerstone for a community with huge cathedrals and implied extravagant spending. Chaucer firmly lays down his belief that that church is selling salvation to finance a finer life for its leaders. Almost, like a modern day editorial. “Thus can I preach against that same vice which I practice, avarice. But though I may be guilty of it, I can make other people depart from avarice and repent sorely. But that is not my primary purpose; I preach for nothing but greed; and this should suffice for this matter” (Chaucer 271). Chaucer chose settings that were familiar to everyday people. The pilgrimage to the Canterbury Cathedral starts in a tavern, while they are feasting and drinking beer. The destination itself, Canterbury Cathedral, a gothic styled grand cathedral was revered by most, and a cornerstone of community activity. The characters Chaucer choses to explore in “The Canterbury Tales” are relatable to people, a knight whose duty is protection. A pardoner, whose relationship with the church, may or may not be of noble intent, depending on your personal assessment of his intent. Finally, in The Wife of Bath, an extravagant well experienced woman is highlighted for her extravagant behavior and her frank conversation that would make her stand out in a crowd of other women of the

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