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

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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.

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