Chaucer's Canterbury Tales Essay

Pages: 5 (1457 words)  ·  Style: MLA  ·  Bibliography Sources: 2  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Mythology

¶ … Solas in "The Pardoner's Tale"

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Geoffrey Chaucer's the Canterbury Tales are notorious for many reasons. For one, they allow us to take a different look at the medieval world and the people that inhabited it. We can see that their world was full of just as many colorful characters as ours is today and despite the lack of technology, they managed to communicate with each other and have a good time with no problems. Chaucer was an astute study of character and his stories reveal just how much man really does not change over the centuries. While he was entertaining his audience, he was also informing them. Through his tales, he exposed many different types of rascals and scoundrels up against the solid moral and ethical ideals to which we are accustomed. That Chaucer could deliver a strong message and do it with style and humor, demonstrates his talent as a writer. When we look at his tales, we must also see the message he is attempting to convey with them. One of the most powerful tales in his collection is "The Oxford Scholar's Tale." With this tale, Chaucer demonstrates the best sentence and solas. With the story of Walter and his treatment of Griselda and his family, we have the height of absurdity. Through all of this absurdity, we are taught a lesson about human behavior. "The Wife of Bath's Tale," "The Miller's Tale," and "The Pardoner's Tale" are also strong stories with powerful messages. Some teeter on the edge of believability and reason. If these four tales were in a contest regarding sentence and solas, "The Oxford Scholar's Tale." Would win because it is a tale that examines morality and does so in a pleasant, entertaining way.

TOPIC: Essay on Chaucer's Canterbury Tales Assignment

The scholoar has a very unique point-of-view and that point-of-view is in contrast with some of the other tales regarding love and marriage. works in direct opposition to the Wife of Bath's Tale. The Scholoar's Tale honors the subserviant and docile wife. Walter's expectations of his future wife that are very high in regard to what she can do for him. He states, "I warn you to be ready to obey/My lightest whim and pleasure; you must show/a willing heart, ungrudging night or day" (Chaucer 348). He does find a woman that seems to meet his needs in Griselda. She is the perfect, doting wife for Walter and obeys Walter's silly, selfish desires. Her attentiveness is so over the top that we wonder about the truth behind this tale. For example, her responese to Walter when he takes her daughter away is, "My child and I are your possession... We are all yours to spare or kill" (353). Furthermore, when another child is taken away from her, she tells her husband, "You are sovereign, do with what is yours" (357). When we read this, we must wonder about the validity of this tale and this is what makes it such a great tale. It makes us think. It hinges just on the edge of being believable and that allows us to consider its weight in teaching morality more. As if taking her children from her is not enough to serve as a test for her loyalty, she must endure another grueling test of Walter's remarraige. Her cool, collected response is simply to wish them "joy and long prosperity" (363). She even tells him that she will leave when he tells her to do so and will she can only hope that Walter "will not make a mock/of me or send me forth without a smock" (363). When she does leave, she is only allowed to wear the smock on her back. The Scholar cleverly connects Griselda's tale with Job's tale insinuating that scholars have few women thay can admire. We can learn from Walter and the demise of his family.

In "The Wife of Bath's Tale," we see the absurd taken to the extreme. Her tale describes a submissive knight. This notion is incredible and far-fetched given the time that it was written. Certainly, it is amusing enough and it does prove its point but it goes over the top with the agreement the knight entered into along with the surprise ending. The Wife of Bath proves her point but it is excessive. She presents her tale in the form of a fairy tale and this may… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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How to Cite "Chaucer's Canterbury Tales" Essay in a Bibliography:

APA Style

Chaucer's Canterbury Tales.  (2008, September 25).  Retrieved October 17, 2021, from

MLA Format

"Chaucer's Canterbury Tales."  25 September 2008.  Web.  17 October 2021. <>.

Chicago Style

"Chaucer's Canterbury Tales."  September 25, 2008.  Accessed October 17, 2021.