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

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Introduction

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.

Middle

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.

Conclusion

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.

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