The canterbury tales: the prologue essay

Get Full Essay Get access to this section to get all help you need with your essay and educational issues. The tales are presented as part of a story-telling contest by a group of pilgrims. The Canterbury Tales, the work stands as a historical and sociological introduction to the life and times of the late Middle Ages. In The Canterbury Tales, the Knight is a representative of those who belong to the very high social class of the nobility.

The canterbury tales: the prologue essay

Although some critics have argued that the resultant text should be approached as a collection of distinct pieces, most would agree that there are unifying components and that these include certain thematic strands.

At the very least, the specific tales told by the pilgrims as they wend their way to Canterbury generally reflect their respective positions within medieval society as well as their personal characteristics.

The Canterbury Tales Essays and Criticism - arteensevilla.com

As or more important, Chaucer employs the device of a narrative framework, the story of twenty-nine individuals committed to both a religious pilgrimage and to participation in a story-telling contest.

Reinforced by exchanges between the contestants, shared motifs appear in their respective narrations. Of these running themes, relations between men and women and, more specifically, the topic of marriage is the most prominent topic, but additional motifs, such as financial duplicity, unite groups of characters and run through several of their tales.

In the General Prologue to The Canterbury Tales, the poet establishes a shared motivation for the pilgrims as a natural urge for spiritual renewal. He remarks that in England as in all of European Christendomwhen the "sweet showers of April fall. Yet at the same time, the interaction among the pilgrims is animated by the far less serious impulse of playful social intercourse.

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At the suggestion of the innkeeper Harry Bailey, a story-telling contest is organized among the convivial assembly of wayfarers who stop at his tavern. The essential spirit behind The Canterbury Tales is social and playful. The pilgrims generally interact with each other in a light-hearted way as befits a group of people on a holiday or vacation excursion.

Drawn from diverse vocations, each pilgrim has the opportunity to rub shoulders with those who are normally outside their particular sphere and rank.

The canterbury tales: the prologue essay

Under these circumstances, they are encouraged to talk freely about their own experiences and they assume considerable license in their choice of stories and the manner in which they are told.

Parody flourishes, and Chaucer even introduces an element of self-parody by including a character named "Geffrey" "Geoffrey the Pilgrim".

He turns out to be both a weak storyteller and an extremely poor judge of character, referring to the Shipman who is basically a pirate as "a good fellow" I, A, l.

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Among and within each group, moreover, vertical hierarchies discriminated between those of high and low estate. Individuals were expected to adhere to established roles and standards as expressed in both external behavior and their attitudes and values.

It is in this context that the outward attire of the characters as depicted in the General Prologue takes on significance as an emblematic theme.

The clothes that each character wears are indicative of his conformity or non-conformity to the late medieval code that each person should dress according to his or her particular station in life.

The Knight in his well-worn male, the Clerk of Oxford in his threadbare scholars robes, and the Parson in his simple vestments all display an adherence to regnant social mores. On the other hand, the Prioress and the Monk, who would be expected to wear the plain, conservative garb of their clerical professions adorn themselves with attractive cloaks and fur-trimmed robes, suggesting a certain non-conformity to official standards.

The entire section is 1, words.The Canterbury Tales The Canterbury Tales, a masterpiece of English Literature, written by Geoffrey Chaucer, is a collection, with frequent dramatic links, of 24 tales told to pass the time during a spring pilgrimage to the shrine of St.

Thomas a Becket in Canterbury. The Canterbury Tales Essays Plot Overview General Prologue. On the Tabard inn, a tavern in Southwark, near London, the narrator joins a agency of twenty-nine pilgrims.

The pilgrims, just like the narrator, are touring to the shrine of the martyr Saint Thomas Becket in Canterbury. The Host at the inn, Harry Bailey, suggests that, to make the trip to Canterbury pass more pleasantly, each member of the party tell two tales on the journey to .

General Prologue of the Canterbury Tales: The Friar and the Parson The Friar and the Parson, as described in the General Prologue of the Canterbury Tales, can be used to portray both the good and the bad sides of clergy.

The Canterbury Tales Essays Plot Overview

A summary of General Prologue: Introduction in Geoffrey Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales. Learn exactly what happened in this chapter, scene, or section of The Canterbury Tales and what it means. Perfect for acing essays, tests, and quizzes, as well as for writing lesson plans.

The General Prologue - The Canterbury Tales The General Prologue The most popular part of the Canterbury Tales is the General Prologue, which has long .

SparkNotes: The Canterbury Tales: General Prologue: Introduction