What a Story Reveals about the Story Teller Essay

What a Story Reveals about the Story Teller Essay

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Geoffrey Chaucer wrote the Canterbury Tales from the view of a pilgrim journeying with many other travelers who all had tales to tell. I believe that the stories told by the characters in Chaucer's book gives us insight into the individual spinning the tale as well as Chaucer as the inventor of these characters and author of their stories. There are three main characters whose stories I will be using as examples: The Knight's Tale, The Miller's Tale, and The Wife of Bath's Tale.

The knight told a tale of love, bravery, chivalry, justice, romance, and adventure. His story included two cousins and sworn brothers, Palamon and Arcite, who were both enraptured by the love of one woman, Emily. Emily was related to king Theseus who had the two friends imprisoned in a tower. It was from this tower that the two knights spotted the female embodiment of beauty and goodness. Palamon and Arcite each decided he could not live without her love and would die to have it. After a long while, the two meet up and are about to fight to the death for the love of Emily when Theseus comes upon them. He decides that these two former friends and prisoners will have a duel wherewith it will be decided who may win Emily's hand. Arcite and Palamon each pray to a different god to grant his victory. Arcite wins, but he dies before getting to claim Emily as his wife. She is later married to Palamon.

What does this fantastic story tell us about the knight's character and beliefs? This tale gives us insight into the Knight's sense of romance, passion, courage, loyalty and justice or fortune. Firstly, it shows us his ideal of one true, romantic love. He is virtuous and passionate, especially in his love-life. There was only one woman to be ...


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...te and analyze these characters to relay stories that would reflect their personalities. He conducted the interaction and relationships of these characters like Mozart would a symphony. He gave all of the characters their solos, but all of them interacted melodically. If nothing else, he was a humanist in the sense that he had concern for the needs and interests of other people. One may even call him a sociologist, or an observer of relationships between people of different classes. He gave a voice to many different types of people and had them all exchanging ideas and interacting. I wonder only if he had any idea that his stories were a window into his own personality.

Works Cited

The Canterbury Tales: The Knight's Tale, The Miller's Tale, The Wife of Bath's Tale. Chaucer, Geoffrey. Translated by: Coghill, Neville. London: Penguin Books Ltd., 1951.

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