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

Chaucer's Art of Characterization

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Chaucer?s Art or Technique of Characterization? Chaucer outlines his thirty pilgrims in ?The Prologue to the Canterbury Tales?. He is the first great painter of characters in English Literature. He has painted the whole of English nation during the fourteen the century, ranging from knightly class to the order of Clergymen. The Character sketches are brief, yet lucid and comprehensive. Both the in and out of the characters are depicted in such a superb way that the entire personality seems moving before the reader?s eyes. It is infect Chaucer?s unique rich and original art of characterization that has enabled him to delineate memorable portraits. For the purpose he employs several techniques of characterization, some of whom were popular among the contemporaries, while the others are purely his own. I. Characterization by theory of Humor One of the major techniques of characterization which was current in the medieval authors was the theory of humor. This theory divided personalities according to the pre-dominance of one of the elements-fire, water, air and earth. For example, his character was dominated by humor of blood, which on its turn was understood to produce a large appetite and pleasure in physical satisfaction. ...read more.

Middle

But Chaucer?s Monk is an individual with bald head and rolling eyes, glowing like the fire under a cauldron. The Oxford Church is the type of good scholars, not interested in worldly glory, but in the advancement of knowledge and learning. But Chaucer?s Oxford Clerk comes as a figure of individual, by his learning, his hollow-cheeks, grave look and his threadbare cloak. In short Chaucer?s characters are types as well as individuals. 4. Characters are real and universal Chaucer?s characters are real and universal because no one is like them, and they are real and universal because they are so like us. His people are always on move. Never do they become shadowy or lifeless. They shout and swear, laugh and weep, interrupt the story teller, pass compliments and in general behave themselves, as we might expect them to be. 5. Characterization by profession of Characters Another portrait delineations technique which Chaucer uses is to define the characters to a great or lesser extent by the job or profession, they do. The deferent pilgrims represent different professions. The War-like Elements is represented by the Knight, The Square, and Yeoman. ...read more.

Conclusion

The goodness of the ?Gentle rascal? becomes clear when Chaucer comments that just for a quart of wine he would allow a sinner to keep on committing sins. 8. Chaucer?s use of Contrast Chaucer utilizes the technique of contrast in drawing the portraits of the pilgrims. The good and the bad rub shoulders together. We have paragon of virtue in the characters of the Parson and The Ploughman, we have monsters of vice in the characters of the Reeve, The Miller and the Summoner. The knight, is foil to his son, the lusty Squire; the Oxford Clerk, is the very opposite of the merrymaking Monk. In this way Chaucer distinguishes the characters through the exhibition of dissimilar qualities. Chaucer a detached Observer Chaucer?s art of characterization is free from personal bias. He portrays his characters, objectively, impartially and disinterestedly. He depicts what he sees personally. He has the seeing eye, the memory, the judgment to select and the capacity to expound. Conclusion Lastly, two conclusions may be drawn from the above discussion of Chaucer?s art of Characterization. His world of man is varied and wide. In the words of Dryden . ?There is God?s plenty? and secondly, it is through the depiction of his characters, Chaucer has managed to give an expression to his vision of life which is both joyous and realistic. ...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. Chaucer: Satire And Humor

    This is a very humorous contrast, and it adds a little mystery to the Knight's description. The next character in the story is the Squire. The Squire is the son of the Knight, and he is described as being very young and handsome.

  2. Remind yourself of the portrait of the Franklin and his prologue and discuss the ...

    as his purse is declared to be "as white as morning milk" in a simile used by Chaucer.

  1. General Notes on Chaucer and the Prologue to the Canterbury Tales

    'worthy' but critics are still unsure of what Chaucer's intended strategy was here. The Merchant is briefly described, and is followed by the Clerk of Oxenford (Oxford) who is as sincere a student as could be wished: poor, skinny like his horse, and book-loving.

  2. Merchant; Franklin; Sergeant of the Law. For each of these characters analyse how Chaucer ...

    That is to say, the stereotype of the day concerning merchants was that they were not to be trusted; especially not if they dealt in money. It is very easy to imagine that this stereotype went so far as to consider them proud and extremely self-conscious of the position in society which they have earned.

  1. Compare and Contrast Chaucer’s Presentation of the Monk and the Pardoner

    He is trying to defend his actions with an argument that is absolutely absurd, hunting which is the killing of animals, is against all of the teachings of the bible which tells one to preserve and care for life. As well as devoting their lives to the monastery monks should

  2. Chaucer biography and compaing the monk and the prioress.

    king, later he became more important and became a 14th century equivalent of a civil servant, when john

  1. How Does Chaucer Present The Miller To Become Such A Vivid And Vibrant Character

    Returning, he asks for another kiss. This time Nicholas, who had risen from the bed to urinate, sticks his bottom out of the window and farts loudly; Absolon brands him in the rear. He cries for water, awakening the carpenter, who thinks that the second flood is come at last.

  2. Taking together the portrait of the Miller in the 'General Prologue' with the framing ...

    Prologue' causes the reader to recognise that the Miller was of a low social class. As social status was everything in the 14th century, due to the reigning feudal system of the time, it can be realised that the Miller's position towards the end of the list of pilgrims indicates his place in the lower ranks of the social hierarchy.

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