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Do the Canterbury Tales suggest that people are individuals or people are merely representations of their profession?

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Cristina Hall October 22, 2002 Canterbury Tales Essay Prompt: Do the Canterbury Tales suggest that people are individuals or people are merely representations of their profession? In the specific instances from the stories "Wife of Bath's Tale" and the "Pardoner's Tale", the Canterbury Tales describes how two people view their lives and subconsciously reveal secrets about themselves through these tales. The Wife of Bath is a prime example of how people are individuals; alternatively the Pardoner does not break away from the typical stereotype of his job. In the "Wife of Bath's Tale" we see the Wife of Bath tell a story about man failing in their quest to please women, which subconsciously justifies her own reasons for not showing respect towards men. ...read more.


The Wife of Bath is a cruel woman who takes a man so noble as a knight and turns him for a fool, making her true intentions for hating men and wanting to hurt them as they do woman. The Pardoner's Tale is an example of the narrator's personality, and the story has a strong moral, and is used to get a specific response from the people who listen to his tale. The Pardoner is a money grubbing person who wants to make the listeners of his story feel bad for keeping any money in their possession, "A pile of golden florins on the ground, New-coined, eight bushels of them as they thought. No long was it Death those fellows sought," (Lines 169-171). ...read more.


The Wife of Bath sleeps around with men, but in her story she shows men abusing women, "Ahead of him, alone as she was born. And of that maiden, spite of all she said, By very force he took her maiden head. "(Lines 62-64). At the end of the story, the Pardoner demands that the Host be the first to pay, claiming him somewhat worst off of all the people present, "Come forward, Host, you shall be the first to pay, And kill my holy relics right away." (Lines 337-338). The accusation made by the Pardoner to the Host was a prime example of how he thinks of the other men in the party and is a good example of how he can break away from his profession, and this gives him a personality. These two characters are both diverse in story and profession, but both their tales tell about themselves and what kind of values they have. ...read more.

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