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Chaucer's Friar in the Canterbury Term Paper

… He sells "trentals" or promises to say thirty masses for the souls of the dead, and then erases their names from his list once he has collected the money. In fact, the Friar has so much money that he "needs a sturdy servant to help him carry it," but his greed and avarice is unlimited (Hallissy 148).

During the Pilgrimage, the Friar meets a man named Thomas, who is sick in bed and possibly dying. He offers to pray for his sins, hear his confession and have masses said for his soul in return for money, but he was already "shriven this day by my curate" or local parish priest (Chaucer, III, D, 2095). During the Middle Ages, in fact, competition between the friars and…. [read more]

Chaucer's Wife of Bath Prologue Essay

… The Wife of Bath's perspective of what constitutes a happy marriage is quite different from the view of women and their roles in the medieval ages. During this period, there was huge respect for scriptural authority and authors to an extent that their works were preserved in manuscript form. The huge respect for scriptural authority and authors in the medieval ages is evident in the fact that they were read or taught within institutions of learning that were related to the church. While she uses scripture as the basis for her explanations, her perspective on what comprises a happy marriage is based on misinterpretations of scripture. As a result, she refutes the manner in which scriptural authorities, particularly priests with no actual knowledge on marriage,…. [read more]

Canterbury Tales Is a Masterpiece of Literature Term Paper

… Canterbury Tales is a masterpiece of literature that is a reflection of English society during the 14th century. What happened was the author (Geoffrey Chaucer) wrote the work from the viewpoint of the 27 different individuals. They were on pilgrimage from: Southwark to the shrine of Thomas Becket at the Canterbury Cathedral. The host (whose name is Harry Bailey) proposes that everyone can entertain one another by: having a contest to see who can tell the best stories. The way the competition worked is each contestant told a total of four tales. Two were provided on the way to Canterbury, while the others were told on the way back. The winner of the contest would receive a free meal at Bailey's Tavern (courtesy of the…. [read more]

Chaucer's Canterbury Tales Chaucer's Masterpiece Term Paper

… Chaucer's Canterbury Tales

Chaucer's masterpiece, the Canterbury Tales, presents in vivid, honest, and often amusing detail the great variety of human interaction. Especially insightful are his portrayal of romantic relationships. Chaucer presents such a broad spectrum of relationships that it is easy to find both successful and unsuccessful examples of More's three types of mates: those brought about by nature, those by chance, and those by choice.

The first category, nature, can be difficult to define in Chaucer, since his work is so governed by the medieval conflagration of nature, divinity, and Fate. If we take nature to mean simply phenomena concerning the natural world, then we can find an example of a successful natural relationship in Constance and Alla from the Man of Law's…. [read more]

Chaucer's Canterbury Tales Term Paper

… Detail after detail is used in "The General Prologue" to portray this lack of manhood such as his high voice "as smal has hath a goot" (699), his lack of a beard (689-690), and his long, womanly hair with locks that "his shuldres overspradde" (678). One should also remember the castrated rooster. This signifies the fact that the Pardoner might also be sterile or unable to produce children (686-689). These are all unmanly qualities that reveal a deformity that the Pardoner desperately works to cover up by singing bawdy songs. But all of these are false, for the Pardoner is a eunuch.

The Pardoner weaves the tale of three young revelers who enjoy indulging in the ways of the world with such acts of sin…. [read more]

Chaucer's Canterbury Tales Term Paper

… Chaucer's Canterbury Tales

The raucous tales of the thirty-odd travelers to Canterbury disguise powerful social commentary as well as commentary on the medieval mindset. Each of the tales in Chaucer's work refers to a meaningful issue such as social justice, gender, economic imbalance, political corruption, and corruption within the Church. Chaucer divulges his views on feudalism and the role of the Catholic Church in medieval England especially through the tales told by the Friar and the Summoner. As Schwartz notes, "Chaucer is highly conscious of the social divisions" manifest during the Middle Ages, and especially of the "three estates" social class division. Chaucer clearly points out through the Canterbury Tales that the clergy occupies the upper echelon of the society, keeping its stronghold on the…. [read more]

Chaucer Canterbury Tales Term Paper

… Canterbury Tales


Chaucer's Canterbury Tales is a human comedy, which represents an interesting kaleidoscope of life as the author presents it through various characters. These characters are caricatures of their real-life counterparts and hence provide readers with great insight into the hypocrisy and shallowness of some people in the society. The author in a lighthearted manner criticizes the society and the roles that it has assigned to various people and occupations. Chaucer is a master humorist whose satire and wit is never meant to offend but is serious in nature. They draw attention to the flaws of societal expectations and hence we find caricatured images of a wife, a nun, a knight or a monk. For example the prioress is presented…. [read more]

Chaucer's Wife of Bath Prologue Term Paper

… However, the first three husbands were also quite rich and left the Wife of Bath with a good deal of money, and for this it is almost hypocritical to assume they were 'bad' and more reasonable to assume they were good husbands. These characters are vital to the prologue for they establish the foundation upon which the main character, the Wife derives much of her personality and gusto for life. These characters might be seen as weak and unwillful, as much time is spent in the work detailing how the Wife of Bath gains power over her husbands and considered the first three husbands nothing more than pawns in her game of life.

Fourth Husband

This husband is talked of little in the prologue to…. [read more]

Chaucer Both Shakespeare's Hamlet Essay

… Hamlet's insistence on Claudius's guilt leads him to stage a "mousetrap," a means by which to expose the lies told and lived by his uncle and his mother. The Murder of Gonzago is the means by which to evoke the emotions of the false king: to present to the audience the universal truth in absence of hard, forensic evidence. Hamlet's perceived insanity engenders even more sympathy, making him a figure who transcends the boundaries of culture and time. It is frustrating that Hamlet has to resort to embarrassing himself in order to expose the truth. The fact that the supernatural realm is where the truth actually lies becomes a central motif in Hamlet. The King's ghost possesses the truth, but the audience does not know…. [read more]

Chaucer's "The Monk's Tale Essay

… The tale considers sin and its social implications in hopes to warn others.

The monk, ironically, is nothing like a traditional monk. He is handsome, he enjoys hunting and keeps several horses, which he prefers to ride rather than pray or study. He lives in a monastary but he is not confined to it. In short, the monk is a rebel when it comes to monastic rule and he seems quite happy in this role. In fact, he is aware that monks are discouraged from participating in the kind of he behavior he loves but he considers such discouragement as worthless. The monk is rather carefree and in light of his tale, it is easy to see why he is so. he does not take…. [read more]

Canterbury Tales Are a Collection Essay

… In a serious of hilarious and unfortunate events, Absolon is tricked into kissing Alisoun's bare butt, and wanting to seek revenge for this cruel trick, sets out to find a hot poker to burn it; upon his return, Nicholas farts in Absolon's face and has his butt burned, awakening John with his screams for water. John misinterprets Nicholas's screams and thinking the flood has come, cuts loose the tub he is sleeping in, and falls and breaks his arm.

"The Wife of Bath's Tale" is also about love. This story revolves around a knight in King Arthur's court who raped a young woman, who was condemned to die by King Arthur, and saved when Queen Guinevere interceded on his behalf. King Arthur allows Guinevere to…. [read more]

Chaucer's "Retraction" and Its Meaning Term Paper

… It reeks of false modesty, as Byron remarked of Augustine's Confessions: "Augustin in his fine Confessions makes the reader envy his transgressions" (quoted by Nourisson). Chaucer refers to the Tales as a "litel tretys or rede," and refers slightingly to his own "unkonnynge" (Chaucer, Retraccioun). He lists all his most accomplished works in order to denounce them a "many a leccherous lay," but claims some merit for his rather pedestrian translations, only one of which, the Consolation of Boethius, he bothers to name. (Ibid.) At the end of the Retraction, he slyly returns to the guise of the narrator-pilgrim, who has only "compiled" the Tales, not authored them.

In fact, we have reason to think that Chaucer was rather proud of his erudition, as much…. [read more]

Chaucer's the Miller Tale the Miller Research Paper

… ¶ … Chaucer's "The Miller Tale"

"the Miller's Tale:" the follies of human agency in Chaucer's fabliaux

Geoffrey Chaucer's the Canterbury Tales chronicles the stories told by a motley band of pilgrims on their way to the shrine of Saint Thomas Beckett in Canterbury. The pilgrims include noble members of society, such as a knight who tells a story of courtly love, and a miller who tells a story of the follies of rampant sexual desire. In contrast to the noble knight, the miller's philosophy "is the philosophy of intoxication" and excess (Morgan 2007, p. 477). In "The Miller's Tale," a young woman named Alison is married to a much older man, a wealthy landlord named John. She is courted by two younger men, a…. [read more]

Wife Bath: Feminism Chaucer Thesis

… She exhibits no feelings towards her spouses other than harsh and also vicious ones, for example embarrassment as well as ridicule. Her spouses had been all aged and also wealthy and she together with her youth and sweetness has total control over all of them. As she describes:

As help me God, I laughe whan I thynke

How pitously a-nyght I made hem swynke!

And, by my fey, I tolde of it no stoor.

They had me yeven hir lond and hir tresoor;

Me neded nat do lenger diligence

To wynne hir love, or doon hem reverence.

They loved me so wel, by God above,

That I ne tolde no deyntee of hir love!

(Chaucer, The Riverside Chaucer 107).

So help me God, I have…. [read more]

Characterization of Chaucer Research Paper

… Chaucer: The Prioress

The Pious and Contemptuous Prioress

In Geoffrey Chaucer's Canterbury Tales, the Prioress tale delves into the piety, propriety and prejudiced of a senior nun. Her tale examines the murder of young and innocent choir boy, who was killed by the town's Jews for singing aloud in praising Mother Mary. Much attention is placed on the words and sentiments (especially anti-Semitism) expressed by the Prioress in terms of assessing her character traits. Nevertheless, her social skills, dress and physical appearance also reveal much about the character of the Prioress, particularly that she is a human being who strives to maintain piety and spirituality, but is subject to human desires and weaknesses (Stone 58)

In the General Prologue the reader is privy to glimpses…. [read more]

Canterbury Tales, by Geoffrey Chaucer Term Paper

… It uses the characters to create a funny and amusing tale with moral overtones. The Knight might not see it the same way as the Miller, but that is part of the fun. The Miller pokes fun at the Knight's courtly romance, while amusing the rest of the travelers. He also underlines the differences between the travelers and their outlooks on life. Some are pious, some are pompous, and some are simply everyday people with their own problems and needs. The Miller, repugnant as he is, is still a person, and obviously he is on this journey for his own particular reasons. He helps break up the seriousness of some of the other stories, and parodies the Knight's tale, telling is own comic one right…. [read more]

Canterbury Tales Chaucer's " Term Paper

… ¶ … Canterbury Tales

Chaucer's "The Canterbury Tales" reflects the profound shifts that occurred in medieval culture's attitudes towards the relationship between human beings in social, literary, religious, and economic contexts. Socially, this shift is perhaps most obvious in "The Wife of Bath's Tale," whereby women's emerging place as the holders of wealth and land in medieval society comes to the forefront. However, even on a more subtle level, the fact that the entire series of Chaucer's poems evolves in a framed narrative, through a series of perspectives, illustrates a seismic shift in the religious worldview of Chaucer's day. Now, rather than one, singular point-of-view, society could be expressed through a multitude of first-person perspectives. The naive voice of the pilgrim in the "Prologue" views…. [read more]

Canterbury Tales and 14th Century Life Essay

… ¶ … Canterbury Tales and 14th century life

The Canterbury Tales is a fragmented narrative. It consists of a series of tales, told by a variety of characters on a pilgrimage. The tales are given additional resonance because of the character of the teller. For example, "The Pardoner's Tale" is a tale of how money is the root of all evil. Because it is told by a greedy and hypocritical figure in the employment of the church, the dark humor of the tale is even more pointed: the Pardoner is unable to see himself clearly, he only knows how to judge others harshly.

The reader becomes acquainted with the character of the Pardoner through Chaucer's "Prologue" which details the characters of a wide variety of…. [read more]

Chaucer's Canterbury Tales (General Prologue) Term Paper

… The three rioters treat him disrespectfully until the man tells them while he cannot find death, they can find death beneath a nearby oak tree.

3.) What plan do the rioters form together? Explain how this plan proves fatal to all three men.

At first the rioters say they will divide the gold they find beneath the tree evenly. They draw lots the rioter with the shortest straw goes into town for provisions, while the other two keep the gold safe until they can all sneak away, and thus not be presumed robbers. The two remaining decide to kill him to have more gold, the third poisons the wine he brings so he can have all the gold. When he returns, the two rioters stab…. [read more]

Chaucer in Favor of the Church Essay

… ¶ … Chaucer in favor of the Church or opposed to it? Be sure you provide proof.

Chaucer was very clearly opposed to hypocrisy, in all its forms. He contrasts the Pardoner's unpleasant, avaricious actions and demeanors with "The Pardoner's Tale, which explicitly has a moral that proclaims money to be the root of all evil. Many of Chaucer's tales take a deflationary view of church doctrine. "The Wife of Bath's Tale" suggests that women, not men alone, should rule the household, in contrast to the common medieval idea that the male should be the ruler of the female, and women could only be sanctified through obedience to their husbands. And "The Miller's Tale," takes a playful attitude towards the adulterous wife and her lover,…. [read more]

Wife of Bath's Prologue and Tale by Geoffrey Chaucer Essay

… Chaucer's Wife of Bath & Husbands

How the Wife of Bath Controls Her Husbands

With a lustful bent in her constitution, the Wife of Bath presents herself in Canterbury Tales in the form of autobiographical confession. In the long prologue, which functions as a character sketch of a cunning and profligate woman, we learn of her past experience of marriage, her sexual frustration, and her licentious tendencies. Never ashamed to be outspoken, she complains about the failure of her husbands to attend to their proper obligations as men: "Now wherewith sholde he make his payement if he ne used his sely instrument?" (Chaucer, 131-132). She wishes that her husbands paid "their debts" more often, for she is sensually ravenous. "In wyfhode I wol use myn…. [read more]

Chaucer's the Knight's Tale Jonathan Essay

… When the imprisoned pair first bears witness to the beautiful Emily, Palamon is the first to declare his love for the maiden and fully expects his cousin to defer his own feelings out of loyalty. This expectation is founded on the ideal of knightly freedom and the belief that chivalry requires a knight to relinquish his own possessions or desires in the name of fairness. After Arcita declares his own love for Emily, eschewing the bonds of chivalrous conduct, Palamon coldly tells his counterpart that "it will not prove to your honour, after so long a time to turn traitor to me, who am your cousin and your brother, sworn as we are, and each unto the other." Palamon's accusation of betrayal and dishonor speak…. [read more]

Chaucer's Canterbury Tales Essay

… ¶ … Solas in "The Pardoner's Tale"

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…. [read more]

Chaucer's Knight's Tale Term Paper

… ¶ … Knight's Tale by Chaucer

The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer signifies a great turning point in the history of literature. As such, its value to readers of Chaucer's time was entertainment on a level that related to every level of society. As such, Chaucer included many story tellers in his work, including those from all classes and backgrounds. The clergy, for example, view themselves as somewhat "better" than others, although many of their tales reveal just the opposite. As such, many of the tales reveal more about their narrators than the latter may have intended. One of the tales in Chaucer's work is the Knight's Tale, where an analysis of lines 875-885 could reveal certain things about the night, such as that he…. [read more]

Medieval English Literature Term Paper

… Chaucer's Canterbury Tales, like the works of Homer, stand as a piece of literary history and also as an indication of actual history. For nearly a millennium Europe was absent of any significant works of literature; between the time of the Romans to Dante, virtually no literary indications of what medieval life was like have survived or stood the test of time. Dante himself -- writing in the thirteenth and early fourteenth centuries -- provides the modern reader with little by way of what daily life consisted of during his time. Instead, Dante generates a brilliant critique of the role of the Church in medieval Europe, while leaving the more subtle aspects of medieval society unmentioned. Chaucer, on the other hand, brings together a series…. [read more]

Geoffrey Chaucer's Tales of Marriage the Wife Term Paper

… Geoffrey Chaucer's Tales Of Marriage

The Wife

The Merchant

The Franklin

Geoffrey Chaucer's Tales of Marriage

Geoffrey Chaucer wrote the Canterbury Tales, which is a collection of stories told by a set of thirty pilgrims to Canterbury Cathedral, to the shrine of Thomas of Canterbury, martyred in 1170. Most of the tales deal with the question of the correct attitude toward marriage, love, sex, and the connections between them. In Chaucer's day, most people believed that it was a man's highest privilege to select a lady and lay his heart at her feet, viewing her smile as a sufficient reward for years of faithful service.

This paper discusses three of these tales, "The Wife of Bath," "The Merchant's Tale" and "The Franklin's Tale," to determine…. [read more]

Medieval English Life Circa 1300-1450 Term Paper

… Canterbury Tales

THE exact date of Chaucer's Canterbury Tales is not known but it is unanimously agreed that the pilgrimage took place around 1387. Even though this pilgrimage and all the characters are fictional, still the date of writing has been established around late 1380s since several references to social, political and economic structure of 'Middle Ages' can be found in the tales. The fact that Chaucer did not choose to date his work has caused confusion among critics as to the exact period of Canterbury Tales. However handful of important references to some specific affairs such as reprehensible activities of the pardoners, the English Rising of 1381 and Peasants' Revolt all help place the work in late 1380s. 'Middle Ages' was a time of…. [read more]

Knight's Tale From Canterbury Tales Term Paper

… Lambdin looks at the story from the chivalry point-of-view, and points out how important knights and knighthood were during Chaucer's time. That he began his story with the tale of this knight gives some weight to what an important role they played in society. Regarding the book, critics often say, "The Knight is often called one of the 'ideal' pilgrims along with the Parson and sometimes the Clerk because unlike the other portraits, Chaucer offers no attack or satire against them" (Lambdin 2).

Calabrese explains knighthood, and its various meanings, and concludes that "Chaucer's Knight is at once a great military man and also kindly, noble, and Christian, for his religious identity cannot be separated from his social and military positions" (Lambdin 7).

Lambdin too,…. [read more]

British Literature Geoffrey Chaucer's Canterbury Tales Term Paper

… British Literature

Geoffrey Chaucer's Canterbury Tales are an almost complete portrayal of the society and the modes of thinking of the Late Middle Ages in England, through the great number of characters and the different tales they recount on their way to a pilgrimage. Both the characters and the tales are representative for Chaucer's epoch and their variety manages to cover a great number of aspects of life in the Middle Ages. On the theme of love, and the relationships between women and men, Chaucer was inspired by many of the most popular writings in his time, both the ancient ones, like Ovid, or more recent like Theophrastus, the correspondence between Heloise and Abelard or Guillaume de Lorris' The Romance of the Rose.

The Romance…. [read more]

English Literature (Chaucer and Shakespeare) the Images Term Paper

… English literature (Chaucer & Shakespeare)

The Images of Ideal Faith and Love: A Comparative Analysis of Geoffrey Chaucer's Canterbury Tales ("Pardoner's Tale") and William Shakespeare's Love Sonnets (Sonnets 18, 116 and 130)

Fifteenth to sixteenth century- English literature is characterized by the expression of radical idealism, whether this idealism pertains to social issues or human emotions. Geoffrey Chaucer, who was well-known for his work "The Canterbury Tales," exemplified the English poet of his period (14th-15th centuries), demonstrating through his famous work his ideals on religion and expression of faith. On a relatively similar vein, English playwright William Shakespeare (16th-17th centuries) reflected the same belief of idealism, this time in the form of expressing human emotions, most popularly evoked in his (love) sonnets (Sonnets 18, 116…. [read more]

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