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The Canterbury Tales - Write about either the character from the prologue you think is the most admirable, or the least admirable, or both of these characters.

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Introduction

Write about either the character from the prologue you think is the most admirable, or the least admirable, or both of these characters. How does Chaucer's presentation influence your feelings about the character(s) you have chosen? In the General Prologue of "The Canterbury Tales" Chaucer describes all of the characters that are preparing to go on a pilgrimage to Canterbury to see Thomas A Becket. During each of these descriptions Chaucer mentions the moral values, the clothing and the appearance of each of his characters. I think that the Knight is the most admirable character in the General Prologue as Chaucer describes him to be as an exceptional example of human goodness and 'chivalrie'. Chaucer applies many words to describe the character of the Knight, such as 'gentil' and 'noble' - these words advocate grace, virtue, depravity of jealousy and forgiveness. He also illustrates the Knight to be, "a verray, parfit gentil knight." The words 'parfit' suggest purity and perfectness, which is commonly associated with people who possess no faults within themselves. The word 'gentil' is also used to describe the Manciple, however it is used in his case as irony. ...read more.

Middle

It also suggests that the Knight had a good reputation among his peers as being a good fighter and force on the battlefield. Chaucer uses the word 'worthy' to say that the Knight was, "Ful worthy was he in his lordes werre," This phrase implies that the Knight was very worthy in his Lord's war - the use of 'lordes were' suggests that he followed God and was religious and fought for his religion. The Knight is a Christian and Chaucer suggests this when he says that the Knight fought, "As wel in cristendom as in hethenesse," This implies that the Knight had fought all over the world and in places that were considered to be evil; Chaucer confirms the Knight's Christianity when he says 'No Cristen man'; the Knight appears to fight on behalf of his beliefs. The Knight has many military values and many people are proud of his battle, which is implied when Chaucer commented that the Knight was honoured for his worthiness. The Knight is shown to have much experience on the battlefield when Chaucer talks at length about the wars that the Knight had been at, "At mortal batailles hadde he been fifene," This suggests that the Knight had been at fifteen worldly and deadly wars about the world during his life. ...read more.

Conclusion

I think that the way Chaucer writes about the Knight affects the way I view him because Chaucer does not criticize him, as he does to the other character's, and is constantly repeating words such as 'worthy' and 'honour'. This suggests that Chaucer admires and respects the Knight for his morals and his social status within medieval England; the characteristics that the Knight represents and possess also present the morals respected of humanity today. The way the Knight is portrayed does affect my view of morals and standards within the medieval times as the Knight is illustrated as an ideal moral person. This makes me think that all knights in the medieval century fought for God and their country, and were of a high moral standard. However, this is known to be untrue as some knight's were corrupt and tried to over-throw their King, who is appointed by God. The Knight is defined in terms of his morals and virtues and not with his faults and criticisms, which leads me to suggest that the Knight is the most admirable of all the pilgrims as he is the most noble and honoured by Chaucer. Emma Smith Chaucer - Admiration 26-11-03 1 ...read more.

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