• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Basing you answer on two portraits from The General Prologue, discuss Chaucer's presentation of characters associated with the church.

Extracts from this document...


Basing you answer on two portraits from The General Prologue, discuss Chaucer's presentation of characters associated with the church. C. Culpan You should: - Explain your own views of the characters you have chosen - Look closely at the effects of language and imagery - Comment on what the portraits suggest about attitudes towards the church in Chaucer's time. The 'Parson' is again almost another ideal, like the Knight, as there were so few Priests of his genre. The first line is positive, 'A good man was ther of religioun'. At this point in The General Prologue many words such as 'good' and 'worthy' are being used ironically showing Chaucer the Pilgrims na�vet�, this however is not the case. He was 'povre' indicating he does not live in wealth or extract monies from folk too readily. 'But riche he was of hooly thought and werk', which is obviously for the better. The contrast between 'povre' and 'riche' and what they are associated with, show what a good Christian he is. If I was living at the time of Chaucer I would like to have him as my priest! ...read more.


Technically she should not even be on the pilgrimage as she is breaking a vow. It seems unusual for a nun to have a 'simple and coy' manner also being known as 'madame Eglentine' the symbol of sensual love; to be a nun she would have take the chastity vow. Chaucer the Pilgrim notices her 'nose ful semely'and she pays attention to singing in an attractive way as opposed to the religious meaning of the words. Even though 'wel ytaught was she' and was very dainty, she still has to 'countrefete' cheere / Of court' and uses the wrong French accent. This indicates she is not of a courtly background and is aspirational and wants approbation. She eats well herself, there is no mention of anyone else that she donates to. Being dainty and having manners is important to her but the fact she does not know how to use a fork together with is paining her to find her manners and her lack of true French accent all indicate she is a second rate, corrupt nun. Nun's should have a conscience, Chaucer the Pilgrim believes her to be 'charitable and so pitous' simply because she would 'wepe' if ...read more.


Clearly she is not humble like the Knight and likes to exploit her power, again this reinforces her aspirations to become more important than she really is. Chaucer the Poet ensures we see all sides of her character, including the negative, whereas Chaucer the Pilgrim is blind to her blatant vow breaking and wrongful doings and likes her. As the General Prologue progresses it becomes more apparent that Chaucer the Pilgrim is a man that likes to be associated with status, it seems he is blinded by rank and fails to see any negative in pilgrim if the have status. This is shown in this tale of the Prioress, even though she wrongs the church he still approves of her. Through Chaucer the Pilgrim issues of rank or status are introduced as an important factor; this is also because at this time England had a very strict social hierarchy, born after feudalism. Chaucer the Poet shows the Pilgrim to be na�ve but clearly shows the reader what is right and wrong within the eyes of the Lord and the citizens at that time. The vast contrast between the Prioress and the Parson not only follow the corruption hypothesis but show there is no need for status to be a good person, something Chaucer the pilgrim did not understand. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Geoffrey Chaucer section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Geoffrey Chaucer essays

  1. "The pilgrims summarise the noblest ideals and the basest practises" Discuss this statement.

    When Chaucer uses the adjective "alle" we are assured that he literally means each and every day denoting the Plowman's dedication to a holy life. The Plowman's purity is such that he would work for the penniless with no pecuniary compensation demanded.

  2. The General Prologue

    Their Yeoman is a skilled servant in charge of the knight's land, his dress is described in detail, but not his character. The Prioress is one of the most fully described pilgrims, and it is with her that we first notice the narrator's refusal to judge the value of what he sees.

  1. It is impossible to feel either sympathy or admiration for any of the characters ...

    Although this passage develops John's character as being both gullible and opinionated, it is his concern for his wife that maintains the balance between sympathy and ridicule, keeping the reader interested in what happens to him. With John, as with the fellow characters in the Tale, the reader's sympathies are

  2. Compare and contrast the presentation of three pilgrims from Chaucer's 'General Prologue' and show ...

    Evidence to show she is a materialistic is where in the poem about her the text says; "Hir coverchiefs ful fine weren of ground Hir hosen weren of fyn scarlet reed Ful streite yteyd, and shoes ful moyste and newe" This shows that in contrast to the Knight the Wife

  1. What cinematic techniques does Alfred Hitchcock use to convey suspense in the two key ...

    As Mrs. Dewinter approaches the stairs, she calms herself and puts on a very regal feel about herself. As if playing a game like a child, she gingerly and daintily meanders down the grand staircase. Mrs. Dewinter has her shoulders uncovered, as if she had let her guard down and

  2. How does Chaucer's presentation of the portrait of Absalon bring him to life, and ...

    this as we learn that Absolon takes no money as the poor women will use his church whereby he can use this for is own good by having the opportunity to flirt with them 'That of no wyf ne took he noon offringe'.

  1. Examine the presentation of women in two or more of the stories studied

    The writer combines reality and the surreal to produce a different approach of looking at things. Magical realism is the combination of the real with the magical, which transforms common things into the unreal. It shows a new way to describe something.

  2. From Studying six portraits in Chaucer's General Prologue to the CanterburyTales what do you ...

    It is evident that people living in medieval times were not well-off, but those who were wealthy knew how to exploit others of their money. Wealth led to an individual's social status. From Chaucer's Prologue to the Canterbury Tales, the wealth of a portrait linked them to their social status

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work