As a result of these elevated positions in society, Chaucer gained a variety of viewpoints of social hierarchy as he met people from all levels of the ladder. It is this idea, Chaucer's knowledge of society as a whole, as well as what we know of Chaucer's good education, that is reflected in his work, and in particular in the `Canterbury Tales'. The tales present the reader with characters from all levels of society and Chaucer uses different characters' positions in society to make comments on other areas of society whilst always distancing himself from the remarks made.
Chaucer comments on society by presenting the reader with a large variety of characters, from the Knight at the very top level of society to characters such as the miller and the carpenter, laymen who are down the bottom level....
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... there is no real difference between social levels other than the way in which members of each behave are all ideas that Chaucer depicts in the tales. These themes and ideas, as well as many others, are presented by Chaucer using satire throughout the tales and the prologue, and in particular through his changing use of humour and earnestness in all of them. The manner in which Chaucer uses both of these techniques so effortlessly to highlight key points within each character, even using comedy to affront the religious figures for whom he holds a particular disdain, as well as the manner in which he splits his own input to the tales into two separate characters in order to show two sides, shows Chaucer's great ability as a writer and allows us a deeper insight into society of the 14th Century, and in particular, Chaucer's view on the social system of the 14th Century.
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