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

From Studying six portraits in Chaucer's General Prologue to the CanterburyTales what do you find out about medieval life and society?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

From Studying six portraits in Chaucer's General Prologue to the Canterbury Tales what do you find out about medieval life and society? I have been studying Geoffrey Chaucer's General Prologue to the Canterbury Tales, of which I looked specifically at six portraits, these being: the Knight, his son, a young squire, the prioress, the wife of Bath, the Miller and the Pardoner. From these portraits I was able to observe the ways of life and society in medieval times. I found out about social status, fashion, wealth, romantic love, the importance of manners and the church during this era - and these are just the topics I took particular interest in; there were many other areas of medieval life and society that Chaucer's General Prologue to the Canterbury Tales helped me find out about too. Each portrait I studied dealt with different areas of medieval life and society in some way; some portraits more than others. Wealth was important amongst all these characters, as they all needed money to cover the expenses of the trip from London to Canterbury. But wealth in general was a topic which was portrayed through these characters as an importance of medieval life and society. One portrait that had great relevance to this was the Miller. ...read more.

Middle

He was seen as the most socially important pilgrim and Chaucer tells much of his circumstances and very little of his appearance or personality. 'He loved chivalrie, trouthe and honour, freedom and curteisie'. The life of the knight was an example of how to be unselfish. Chivalry was an important quality in his knighthood and he fulfilled that and was admired for it. He, as well as the prioress, who was the chief nun, showed the importance of manners in the medieval society. The knight never said anything cruel about anyone and throughout Chaucer's description of him in his prologue, he repeatedly mentions how worthy he is - 'and evere honoured for his worthiness'. The prioresses actions show the relevance between her and the important of manners in the medieval society. In Chaucer's description of the prioress, there are seven lines dedicated to her ladylike table manners. From the way she dresses and the way she eats, to the order in which she will enter the church on a Sunday, presents to us the importance of manners in medieval society. The church played an important part of medieval life and society, especially around the fourteenth century. Everyone was religious in one way or another, mainly within the Roman Catholic religion. ...read more.

Conclusion

At the very end of Chaucer's description of the wife of Bath, in his prologue, he mentions her 'remedies of love' and that she knew how to get a husband 'for she koude of that art the olde daunce' (which was a dance of love). Romantic love was very much existent throughout medieval society, as it is today, but the way in which people displayed there affections with 'love dances' and 'love remedies' is very much different to how it would be displayed today. From reading Chaucer's General Prologue to the Canterbury Tales, I have found out about many different aspects of medieval life and society. I have seen how people with such high status and authority within the church could show such a vain and sinful character to society, but with the na�ve people, living an ordinary life, remaining so oblivious to it all. I have seen the role of the church within society during that era, and the affect it had on people's lives. Medieval life and society was much more religious than any kind of society people live in today, yet it was so strict in the means of social status and wealth. Chaucer did a very detailed job in creating an atmosphere of medieval life and society that people can read and relate to in many different ways. ?? ?? ?? ?? Danielle Sharpe ...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. Discuss Chaucer's use of irony in the General Prologue of the Canterbury Tales.

    The Prioress' name is Madame Eglentine. Eglentine was not a saint's name and nuns were supposed to take names of saints. The Prioress cared more about animals than people, Chaucer tells us this by describing how well she treats her dog when she mentions nothing of helping people.

  2. How do the Canterbury Tales represent female desires?

    What is the opposite to immaculate? Dirty. Again a reference to sex as filthy. Eve, on the other hand was a temptress. She encapsulates all that is wrongful in women. Vanity, cupidity and lust. Alisoun is a faithful representation of Eve. Her physical description shows us that she has many sexual attributes.

  1. The Canterbury Tales - "The Wife of Bath's Prologue" discussed.

    The wife says this for appearance only, inside she despises virginity, but she attempts to hide this disapproval. The Wife believes that wives should rule their husbands, and enforces this with the story of her own life.

  2. Canterbury Tales: The Knight and The Squire. Their differences can be seen by ...

    How a person conducts themselves on a daily basis can tell you a lot about their character and motivations. If one were to examine the Knight then they would see he is a humble, brave, and kind man. "And though so much distinguished, he was wise / And in his bearing modest as a maid.

  1. How do the Canterbury Tales explore the idea of gender? Discuss with reference to ...

    and control within the marriage, possibly due to the fact that women were allotted so little freedom in general society. For men to be more reasonable surely this would require them to submit to feminism, and the desires of women as the Knight does in The Wife of Bath's Tale.

  2. The Canterbury Tales - Write about either the character from the prologue you think ...

    This suggests that the Knight wants to continually be doing something to look good to his fellow countrymen to retain his high moral standards. Throughout the description of the Knight Chaucer does not criticize him as I think that he feels is too worthy for criticism, it could also be

  1. Carnival and Pilgrimage in The Canterbury Tales

    The pilgrimage sets�m the tavern in Southwark, a festive banquet setting, and proceeds to Saint Thomas 'a Watering, a place of execution. Against this menacing background, the Knight is chosen by lot to tell the first tale; the Host then calls on the Monk as the person next highest in

  2. What are the arguments of the Wife of Bath in relation to marriage? How ...

    necessarily worth claiming true nobility unless they live virtuously - it adds information to Chaucer's definition of nobility. One of the most distinctive examples of the similarity between the Prologue and the Tale is the "sovereinetee" (line 1044) that both the Wife of Bath and the Old Wife use to "wel over [their] [husbands] as [their] love" (line 1045).

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