The Canterbury Tales is a aggregation of narratives written in Middle English by Geoffrey Chaucer at the terminal of the fourteenth century. The narratives are presented as portion of a story-telling competition by a group of pilgrims. The Canterbury Tales. the work stands as a historical and sociological debut to the life and times of the late Middle Ages. he was familiar with and was accepted by the lower categories every bit good as by the higher categories ; therefore. throughout his life. he was able to detect both the highest and the lowest. and his talented head made the best of these chances.
In The Canterbury Tales. the Knight is a representative of those who belong to the really high societal category of the aristocracy. His behavior – peacemaking. talking like a gentleman. stating a polite love affair – is likely meant to supply a point of contrast with the really different “low-born” behaviour of characters like the Miller and the Reeve.
the Prioress which represents an ideal spiritual figure in the General Prologue. to happen out the reply. With the Prioress. our first illustration of person from the spiritual life. we have non merely our first purportedly pious individual with her precedences out of whack but besides our first illustration of person who’s seeking manner excessively difficult to be perceived a certain manner. and how pathetic that looks.
The Clerk The storyteller tempers his sarcasm of the Clerk by besides stating us that he diligently prays for the psyche of those who lend him money for books and lessons. that he speaks little but what he does state is ever virtuous. Kind of like us here at Shook. this guy’s generous with his cognition. Since this property was one of the most desirable for mediaeval bookmans. we have permission to believe good of the Clerk. And don’t experience excessively regretful for this cat – his lucks could take a bend for the better if he gets a benefice – a place as a priest that comes with a wage.
The Doctor With the Physician. one of the most educated of the pilgrims. Chaucer provides us with an interesting contrast to the Clerk. While the Clerk’s surveies have been motivated by pure love of cognition. to the hurt of the Clerk’s fiscal state of affairs. the Physician pursues his acquisition for fiscal addition. The comparing of these two highly-educated work forces allows us to weigh the effects of both motives for instruction.
The Wife of Bath Chaucer is stand foring the mediaeval estate. or societal category. of wifehood. There were many anti-feminist stereotypes about married womans during this clip period. We see them expressed here. in the portraiture of the Wife as lubricious. in the Host and Franklin’s ailments about their married womans. and in the Wife of Bath’s Prologue. But the presence on the pilgrim’s journey of a dynamic and articulate married woman who gets the opportunity to reply her critics means that these stereotypes are non allowed to stay unexamined.
the Parson’s portrayal we see a batch of pastoral imagination. or linguistic communication about sheep and shepherds. The Parson sees his parishioners as his sheep. and says that he can non go forth them stuck in the clay. He reinforces his grounds for populating a holy life by stating that it wouldn’t be right for a flock of white sheep to be watched by a “shiten” ( dirty ) shepherd. person bespattered with wickedness. From this linguistic communication we get the feeling that the Parson genuinely views himself as the caretaker of Christian psyches. He takes his duty highly earnestly.
Many parish priests at this clip period chose to take a “benefice. ” or place far off from their parish. in which their lone occupation might be to state mass for one departed rich individual one time a twenty-four hours. This was a manner for a priest to do much more money. but it required him to populate far off from his parishioners. By rejecting this option. the Parson shows that he is willing to give his ain comfort to make his occupation as a shepherd of psyches.
The Summoner With the Summoner’s portrayal we have a review non merely of his single character. but besides of the state of affairs that has created him. Although the Summoner’s strong belief that one can avoid exclusion by paying a payoff is morally condemnable. it may besides hold been true. Historians besides think that summoners were non paid adequate money by the church to truly do a life ; therefore. they may hold had to depend upon graft to acquire by.
The Pardoner From the Pardoner’s portrayal. we have good ground to believe the Host is likely right non to swear the cat: Chaucer tells us that. among his relics. he’s transporting a jar full of pigs’ castanetss. and that. with them. he’s able to rip off a hapless curate out of two months’ salary. The Pardoner is good at prophesying. but in his prologue he tells the pilgrims he merely does it to win money. call on the carpeting the people for their wickedness so they’ll be more likely to purchase what he is selling.
Like the Summoner’s. the Pardoner’s portrayal throws into inquiry non merely the character himself. but besides the patterns upon which he relies to do a life. Both of these portrayals explore what happens when religious goods begin to be profit-earning trade goods like any other. and inquiry the consequence of this trade upon the psyche of those who pattern it.