Essay on Geoffrey Chaucer 's The Canterbury Tales

Essay on Geoffrey Chaucer 's The Canterbury Tales

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The Canterbury Tales, written by the Father of English Poetry, Geoffrey Chaucer, is a poem based around twenty-nine pilgrims, as well as the narrator, who are going on a pilgrimage to Canterbury for prayer. The Prologue frames the tales of the characters like a picture, with the tales acting as the photograph. Each character’s tale is explained in their point of view, holding a moral behind each tale. In Geoffrey Chaucer’s poem, The Canterbury Tales, he borrows central ideas from his time period and life, earlier works in history, satire, and themes to develop the tales of his characters.
The exact date of birth of Geoffrey Chaucer is unknown, but many historians believe that he was born somewhere between 1340 and 1344 (“Geoffrey Chaucer” 1), most likely in London, England (Nelles 1). Chaucer was born to a wine merchant, John Chaucer, and his mother, Agnes Copton (“Geoffrey Chaucer” 1). Historians have never found any information regarding Chaucer’s early education or his childhood (Nelles 1). Chaucer had many different jobs, such as a soldier, civil servant, diplomat, and a courtier, even though he had been a part of the middle class (Nelles 1). Elizabeth de Burgh appointed Chaucer as a page in the year 1357 (Nelles 1). Two years later, in 1359, Geoffrey Chaucer traveled with the troops of Prince Lionel when England invaded France (Nelles 1), and during the Hundred Years’ War, he was captured by the French, then ransomed during the year 1360 (Nelles 1). Even though there is no evidence explaining the events of Chaucer’s life between the year 1360 and 1366, Thomas Speght recalled seeing records of Chaucer studying with the lawyers at the Inner Temple (Nelles 1). During the year 1366, Chaucer married a daughter of a knight by th...


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...ecause of how the women in the story are treated, and how the identity of the women had been defined (Dominick 8). The Wife of Bath is the most criticized pilgrims, and Chaucer shows her as an anti-feminist, using her to show a male’s point of view on women (Dominick 8), which is why she is portrayed as seductive. George Kittredge explained that each of the tales of the pilgrims in The Canterbury Tales are not just tales that are grouped together, but rather the reflections of the character’s personality (Dominick 2). The Wife of Bath and Doctor are compared, as the Wife of Bath is a symbol of feminine sexuality and women’s power, which is corrected by The Clerk’s Tale, which is over the patient wife Griselda (Kretzschmar 7). Both the Pardoner and the Summoner in The Canterbury Tales are viewed as the devil, and they both help shape the future of man (Kretzschmar 3).

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