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Choose three pilgrims to show how Chaucer uses clothing, cloth, texture and choice of horse to convey character.

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Introduction

Choose three pilgrims to show how Chaucer uses clothing, cloth, texture and choice of horse to convey character. Chaucer's prologue to the Prioress is generally concerned with her appearance. The clothes worn would have been black. She wore a headdress which is what would have been expected of a Nun 'Ful semely hir wimpul pinched was' However, the fact that it is pleated shows how she is succumbing to the fashion of displaying her forehead. To follow fashion trends of the time is not what would have been expected of a Nun. Her cloak was neatly made which is perhaps supposed to be representative of her respectability. Accessories are also very revealing of her character. ...read more.

Middle

Perhaps she lacks confidence as she yearns to be perceived as attractive. Nuns would normally make their own clothes but the neatness of hers suggests that they have been tailored. Through the clothes of the Wife of Bath, Chaucer shows how she conforms to popular medieval life; noisy assertive and robust. The clothing worn by her is by no means inconspicuous, but was bold and very revealing of her character. Her business is involved with the trade of cloth. She 'passed hem of Ypres and of Gaunt'. which are rich and important Flemish cloth-weaving cities. This reference would suggest that she has knowledge and experience of the trade. Chaucer speaks of her 'coverchiefs' which were headdresses made of cloth, arranged on wire frames and used for covering the head or neck. ...read more.

Conclusion

As with the Prioress's tale, the Knight's clothing is spoken at the end of his prologue. In contrast to the other two pilgrims mentioned, the knight pays little attention to his clothing. However, the lack of attention he pays to his clothing is revealing in itself. The Knight is dressed in a tunic made of thick cloth. Such a material is serviceable rather than rich, 'Of fustian he wered a gipon' this shows that on the pilgrimage he was not dressed to impress anyone. His 'gipon' was 'bismotered with his habergeon'. The fact that he was still wearing his chain mail over the tunic suggests he had only just come back from a battle, but was still willing to go ahead with the pilgrimage. ...read more.

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