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The Wife of Bath, The Miller and The Pardoner.

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Introduction

The Wife of Bath, The Miller and The Pardoner. Throughout the course of this essay I am going to discuss the extent to which I believe that "Chaucer's characters are more than photo fits they are real life portraits." I feel that this seems to be a very accurate view to The Canterbury Tales. I can not however tell that the characters are not just created by Chaucer's imagination because I have not read enough from that time period to tell whether or not everybody in that era was writing with the same amount of detail to their characters and their attitudes. This would have given me a better perspective on Chaucer's work and I would have seen whether it was in keeping with the norm which would have helped me to intensify my argument. The description that Chaucer uses throughout the general prologue is incredibly detailed and draws attention to even the smallest and subtle physical aspects of his characters. These can also hint at what the person may be like as he wants the reader to judge by physical appearance first so that they get an image of the character before they speak. One such time is where he is describing the Wife of Bath and says "Gat-toothed was she." This minute detail is very personal and some people may feel that Chaucer would have only written this if he had actually viewed someone with this physical attribute. ...read more.

Middle

of heris" This is such a personal and distinguishing characteristic that it can only have been through observation that he came upon this. It is also hard to envisage someone going to all this trouble and attention to detail for a Character that they have just made up. The fact that he has a wart on his nose makes him seem an ugly person and this is reflected in his personality and the type of story he is likely to tell. He also has a mouth which is described as a " greet forneys." This is to indicate that he is a bit of a gossip and full of hot air. It may also be indicative of the hellish language that he uses as a fire is used to heat a furnace and hell is linked to fire. This type of person would have probably been around quite a bit in Chaucer's time in the taverns and inns. He may have seen a few going home in the early hours of the morning and heard them telling rude jokes ad stories at the top of their voices. This would have given him the perfect frame for the Miller as most would have been big burley men. The fact he is described as being so ugly may be partly the view that Chaucer has about millers in general and also based on those people that would have been lying drunken in the street. ...read more.

Conclusion

This is because he finds it so amazing that such a dishonest man can stand in a church and praise god and sell pardons which are essentially sinful in themselves as no one has the power to forgive except for God. This type of person may very well have been met by Chaucer at some point in his life and his utter disgust at the man stayed with him forever. This would undoubtedly influenced his decision as to make the pardoner the most disgusting and unscrupulous members of the pilgrimage. In conclusion I believe that Chaucer based his characters on real people as the descriptions are in such depth that it is hard to think he could have just made them up. On the other hand as a Fiction writer he has to be very creative and would want his audience to believe the characters as much as possible. I am of the opinion that no one can imagine something completely new that they have never seen before or at least something close to it in nature or appearance. Therefore even if his attentions were to create complete characters of fiction subconsciously he would have based them on people that he may have seen walking past him in the street. This is unlikely as I feel he would have closely observed different groups and their attitudes very closely in order to get the right appearance and personality that he wanted for his characters. ?? ?? ?? ?? John Mcarthur 1st October 2005 ...read more.

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