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

By a close examination of two or three of the portraits in the Gen Prologue, discuss the ways in which Chaucer considered corruption to be active among those with religious responsibilities.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

By a close examination of two or three of the portraits in the Gen Prologue, discuss the ways in which Chaucer considered corruption to be active among those with religious responsibilities It is clear from studying the General Prologue that Chaucer considered corruption to be active among those with religious responsibilities. To prove this I will examine the Monk and the Friar. Monks were part of a religious community and were vowed to poverty, chastity and obedience. But straight away from studying his portrait it is clear that he does not strictly follow these requirements. He is said to 'loved venerie' and 'Ful many a deyntee hors hadde he in stable'. It was forbidden for monks to have many horses this shows that not only does he not care for poverty but he also clearly has no regard for obedience. The bells on his horse were said to be so loud 'men mighte his bridel here ginglen in a whistlinge wind als cleere and eek as loude as dooth the chapel belle'. ...read more.

Middle

He clearly took pleasure in fine clothes. The Monk is said to enjoy swan the most out of all the roasts. This is a sign of pure indulgence as the swan was expensive and hard to prepare. Although he is clearly corrupt, Chaucer does show his respect for him. He describes him as 'nat pale as a forpined goost'. Throughout the General Prologue Chaucer shows respect for those who have some life in their skin. It shows that he is an active and passionate man. But this does not hide his corruption; no other Monk was as involved in dalliance as he was. The Friar is equally corrupt if not more. Friars differed from Monks as they were licensed to beg and leave their cloister. Chaucer uses very ironic language throughout the portrait of the Friar. He talks of the way the Friar would marry off young poor girls 'at his owene cost'. On closer examination this is probably to avoid scandal as he most probably seduced these girls. ...read more.

Conclusion

Chaucer again uses irony, describing the Friar as a 'worthy man'. The Friar believes that he shouldn't bother spending time with leppars but only with people for his own profit. This again shows extreme lack of charity. More scathing irony is used as Chaucer informs us that if a chance of profit should arise the Friar would become courteous, this is confirmed by the way he is described by Chaucer, 'there was no man nowher so verteous'. Another example of the Friar's corruptness is the way he uses his religious position to beg more effectively. Chaucer describes an occasion where a widow with hardly any money to speak of was so moved by his words that she donated money. The Friar again shows a lack of care for anyone but himself, taking money from a woman with practically none shows true corruption. The Friar, like the Monk was a lover of fine clothes and is written to wear a cape made of very expensive fabric, 'Of double worstede was his semicope'. ...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.

    Just as the Knight is the perfect model for chivalry, and the Parson for the clergy, the Plowman is the ideal model for Christian behaviour. He is a labourer who is not afraid of hard work, "a trewe swinkere and a good was he."

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

    Bath wore 'shoes ful moiste and newe' - these would have been soft leather shoes which were very expensive. The expense gone into her clothing reflects her social status and also her wealth very much so. The prioress is another portrait that resembles the link between social status and fashion,

  1. The General Prologue

    Her portrait is more concerned with how she eats than how she prays. She is rather too kind to animals, while there is no mention of her kindness to people. Finally, she has a costly set of beads around her arm, which should be used for prayer, but end in

  2. Basing you answer on two portraits from The General Prologue, discuss Chaucer's presentation of ...

    'but he ne lefte nat, for reyn ne thunder / In siknesse nor in mischief to visite'. This highlights more corruption within the church at Chaucer's time. This Priest sees it as a duty to live rightly and would be ashamed if there were a corrupt member of the clergy.

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